The most common pattern throughout the saga of DOJ/FBI abuse that started during the 2016 election has been the use of selective leaks to “get ahead” of and shape stories. We saw that with the admission of spying on George Papadopoulos, in which The New York Times went to hilarious lengths to not use the word “spy” and dismiss the formerly lied about surveillance as vital to national security. We saw that dynamic again when numerous leaks claiming the IG report would exonerate the FBI happened in the weeks before its release. In the end, nothing could be further from the truth. Like clockwork, every single revelation during the Mueller investigation that painted the FBI in a bad light was preemptively spun via leaks to one of several Fusion GPS mouthpieces.
Enter this new Times report saying that John Durham is investigating whether the CIA at the behest of John Brennan hid evidence from the White House. On the surface, this seems like this leak helps Barr and Durham. As RedState reported this morning, it shows a startling amount of possible corruption via the Obama administration.
This per Nick Arama’s breakdown.
Questions asked by Mr. Durham, who was assigned by Attorney General William P. Barr to scrutinize the early actions of law enforcement and intelligence officials struggling to understand the scope of Russia’s scheme, suggest that Mr. Durham may have come to view with suspicion several clashes between analysts at different intelligence agencies over who could see each other’s highly sensitive secrets, the people said.
Mr. Durham appears to be pursuing a theory that the C.I.A., under its former director John O. Brennan, had a preconceived notion about Russia or was trying to get to a particular result — and was nefariously trying to keep other agencies from seeing the full picture lest they interfere with that goal, the people said.
But as with all things coming from a mainstream media that’s shown itself to be rabidly partisan, you have to ask two questions: One, why is this being leaked now, and two, why was the outlet doing the leaking selected as the conduit?
Heck, the Times isn’t even really hiding the ball, as the first paragraph in their article casts aspersions on Durham’s new thread.
Trump administration officials investigating the government’s response to Russia’s election interference in 2016 appear to be hunting for a basis to accuse Obama-era intelligence officials of hiding evidence or manipulating analysis about Moscow’s covert operation, according to people familiar with aspects of the inquiry.
Let’s look at this in the broader sense.
Back when the Mueller investigation finally ended and it was revealed that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the very first thing that happened next was a leak of a letter trying to paint Bill Barr as a liar. Despite accurately reporting the top line results of Mueller’s report, this letter (almost certainly leaked by Andrew Weissman) accused the Attorney General of misrepresenting the findings. This startled Barr, as he had just talked to Mueller on the phone and received no objections.
The purpose of that leaked letter was to discredit Barr, and not just in regards to his handling of the Mueller probe. It didn’t matter that once the report was released, his description of it was vindicated. The narrative was set and it would serve as the basis of every attack on his investigation into the origins of Crossfire Hurricane.
Fast forward several months to the impeachment saga. What was the one thing Democrats and the media desperately tried to inject that they couldn’t really get off the ground? The answer is that not only was Bill Barr knowledgeable of a illegal “quid pro quo,” but that he personally had a hand in it via machinations at the DOJ to carry out investigations. There was no evidence of such, but that theory was relentlessly pushed by high profile conspiracy nuts like Rachel Maddow.
Then we get to the Roger Stone sentencing. Prosecutors from Mueller’s team tell Barr one thing in their briefing and then go file something different. That’s not just a “mix up.” The President would tweet about it after Barr had already moved to fix matters, but once again, the narrative that Barr was being political was the headline. In fact, Chuck Todd actually asserted that it might be time to end political oversight of the DOJ. I guess he thinks un-elected bureaucrats should just run themselves?
And that’s really the game being given away.
One of Barr’s first acts as AG was to setup the Durham investigation to figure out exactly why illegal warrants were sought against Carter Page and why the FBI used garbage information to pursue the Trump campaign with such doggedly, evidence ignoring pursuit. And ever since that’s been announced, every single attack on Barr has really come down to that investigation. These people are scared. Whether it’s John Brennan, James Comey, James Clapper, or just the media being terrified their narrative will blow up, every leak and every attack is really about stopping Durham.
If they can successfully tar Bill Barr or even cause him to recuse, they can use that to counter Durham’s findings, both in the public sphere and in court. That’s the real goal of all this. No leak every happens in a vacuum. They are always done to get ahead of the story and/or harm a specific party. What does this latest leak do except tip off a myriad of possibly guilty figures of what Durham is doing? It also allows them and the media at large to solidify their defense of what’s being looked at.
That’s exactly what this latest Times report is about. It’s not about reporting the news, it’s about preemptively spinning these revelations and trying to use them as a cudgel to attack Barr and Durham’s investigation. Nothing more.