Former FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 8, 2017. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

On Thursday evening, the New York Times reported that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s administrative review of the origins of the Trump/Russia investigation has shifted into a criminal inquiry. This major development grants Durham the power to subpoena witnesses and documents and to impanel a grand jury. Speculation has increased in the wake of reports that Attorney General William Barr and Durham had twice traveled to Rome and London to meet with intelligence officials recently and the news that Durham was interested in questioning both former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan.

My colleague, Bonchie, posted on this story last night (here), writing that the mainstream media is portraying this as a political move. The following excerpt from the Times will give you an idea of how they plan to spin it. (Emphasis mine.)

The opening of a criminal investigation is likely to raise alarms that Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his perceived enemies.

…] The move also creates an unusual situation in which the Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into itself.

Mr. Barr’s reliance on Mr. Durham, a widely respected and veteran prosecutor who has investigated C.I.A. torture and broken up Mafia rings, could help insulate the attorney general from accusations that he is doing the president’s bidding and putting politics above justice.

[…] Federal investigators need only a “reasonable indication” that a crime has been committed to open an investigation, a much lower standard than the probable cause required to obtain search warrants. However, “there must be an objective, factual basis for initiating the investigation; a mere hunch is insufficient,” according to Justice Department guidelines.

Rather than acknowledging that Durham is zeroing in on the truth about the plot to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy and following his unexpected victory, his presidency, they are characterizing it as Trump’s revenge. Still, there’s no doubt the major players involved in this travesty are starting to feel the squeeze.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, who has been peddling lies to her viewers for three years, characterized this latest move as a “frame job” and a “false flag operation” of the Trump campaign. She said, “This is the news that honestly, we’ve been sort of expecting for some time or thinking that if things got really bad, it might come to this…That is the conspiracy theory that the attorney general of the United States appears to have been going around the world trying to prove.”

It’s just crazy, isn’t it Rachel? Yes, now that Trump is on the verge of being impeached, his good buddy, Bill Barr, is going to bat for him. She will continue spewing this nonsense until Durham presents solid evidence of misconduct. At that point, her ratings, which fell by 25% following the release of the Mueller report, will crater.

Also last night, DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced that his long-anticipated report on alleged FISA abuse will be released in the next week to ten days with limited redactions. In a letter to lawmakers yesterday, which can be viewed here, he wrote that the classification process is “nearing an end” and explained that there will be one version of the final document. “Given the constructive progress that has been made during the classification review process, I do not anticipate a need to prepare and issue separate classified and public versions of the report.”

We know that Durham has questioned a number of CIA officials recently leading to speculation that the CIA outsourced some of their operations to their foreign counterparts to circumvent U.S. laws governing spying on U.S. citizens. Central to their investigation is the Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud. It was said that, on their most recent trip to Rome (at the end of September), Barr and Durham listened to a recording of a deposition provided by Mifsud in the summer of 2018 in which he explained his role in the saga. Additionally, Durham obtained two cell phones which Mifsud had used in 2016. Mifsud’s Swiss attorney, Stephan Roh, has been cooperating with Durham’s team for several months now.

In fact, the legal team of Trump’s former National Security Advisor, General Michael Flynn, believes there may be exculpatory evidence on those phones and they’re working to obtain them from Durham.

Former junior advisor for the Trump campaign George Papadopoulos, who was targeted by several “informants” in 2016, appeared on Fox News’ Martha MacCallum’s show recently and said:

Basically how I would summarize this, the grand statesman under Rome, Cicero, you know what he said?  What I think happened in 2016 and all of the events surrounding the 2016 campaign and the spying that took place on me and Michael Flynn and others was tantamount to treason. What happened was there was an intelligence agency with an ax to grind with candidate Trump and obviously President Trump, where we see the Russia hoax now evolving into Ukraine-gate. This is not going to stop. I predicted that Joseph Mifsud, that individual who now both of his Blackberries are now in the hands of the DOJ was a Western Intelligence agent. I wrote about it in my book exactly how I came in contact with this person who introduced me to him and what he wanted. Something I did not know and actually something that surprised me very much is that Joseph Mifsud was also spying on Michael Flynn just two months before he started his encounters with me… I joined the Donald Trump campaign in March of 2016. Before even the Washington Post or the American media knew that I was joining this campaign I had Joseph Mifsud and other intelligence agencies knowing all about me, what I was doing and what Donald Trump’s campaign was all about. So the notion that this investigation, Crossfire Hurricane, started spontaneously on July 31st 2016 is absurd. It’s completely absurd.

This is an extremely complex story which involves an enormous number of people. Durham’s team has been working on it formally since May. However, there were indications that he was actually on it several weeks or even months prior. If I recall correctly, Durham appeared at one or two Congressional hearings to listen to the testimony of former FBI officials.

In addition to the involvement of the British and Italian intelligence communities, there is reason to believe that Australian intelligence officials participated in the conspiracy. We need only look to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer’s May 2016 meeting with George Papadopoulos at a London bar where the Trump campaign’s newest advisor told him the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The FBI claims it was this event which triggered their counterintelligence investigation of Donald Trump.

Following Clapper’s lengthy trip to New Zealand and Australia in the late spring, Papadopoulos hinted he may have traveled there to cover his tracks. He posted the following tweet.

It looks like Trump is about to fight back. Fasten your seatbelts everybody!