CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 16, 2016, before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on the Islamic State. Brennan said that the Islamic State remains “formidable” and “resilient,” is training and attempting to deploy operatives for further attacks on the West and will rely more on guerrilla-style tactics to compensate for its territorial losses in the Middle East. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Former DOJ official Ian Prior appeared on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday and said that no one should underestimate the significance of the statement made by U.S. Attorney John Durham about the IG Report. He emphasized that Durham is a “non-partisan” and a “serious prosecutor” and if he came out and made a statement like that:
It means he’s got the goods on somebody...I think you’re going to see some indictments.
Reporter after reporter stressed on Monday that this was a “rare” step for prosecutor Durham to take. In his statement, Durham said:
Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.
I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.
Obviously, given the wider scope of Durham’s investigation, he’s found evidence that contradicts Horowitz’s conclusions. Whereas Horowitz’ investigation focused on the actions of the FBI and the DOJ, Durham’s includes the CIA (think John Brennan) and foreign actors.
Because Horowitz could not investigate the CIA, he wasn’t able to include the activities of John Brennan, who played an outsize role in the origins of the Trump/Russia investigation.
Attorney General William Barr and Durham made one trip to Rome and London in August and a return trip to both cities in September. They were said to have listened to a recording of a deposition made by the shadowy Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud who made contact on several occasions with Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos in 2016. On one of those trips, they obtained two cell phones Mifsud had used in 2016.
In October, it was reported that their “inquiry” into the origins of the Trump/Russia collusion probe had shifted to a criminal investigation.
It was also reported that Durham had increased the size of his staff and had pushed out his timeframe. Further, he was expected to be interviewing former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper along with other current and former intelligence community officials.
Shortly after hearing that Durham wanted to question him, John Brennan told NBC that Durham’s investigation is “bizarre” and said, “I don’t know what the legal basis for this is.” He doesn’t? Let’s refresh his memory.
Brennan’s obsessive fear that Donald Trump might win the presidency may have instigated the whole collusion narrative. His exhaustive search for “dirt” on Trump and his insistence that the FBI open a counterintelligence investigation was key. Some Republican pundits, Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett comes to mind, believe that Brennan actually duped the FBI into opening their counter-intelligence investigation.
In an April 2018 article, The American Spectator’s George Neumayr’s explained how such a scenario might have looked in an article called, “John Brennan’s CIA operated like a branch office of the Hillary campaign.” Neumayr called the Trump/Russia investigation “the probe from nowhere to nowhere, undertaken simply to satisfy the partisan hunches of John Brennan and other Trump haters in the Obama administration.”
Neumayr wrote that, based upon Brennan’s testimony and his leaks, he started pushing the FBI to open an investigation in the spring of 2016. He would present the FBI with what he called evidence and that Brennan would “shake down” foreign intelligence officials looking for anything to hang on Trump. He would then present the information to Peter Strzok and other government officials. Strzok, as much as he hated Trump, famously told his paramour, Lisa Page, that “there’s no there there.”
Brennan was receiving most of his “intelligence” from British spy Christopher Steele. Neumayr explains:
Brennan’s alleged intelligence from the British on Trump-Russia collusion was just laundered Steele opposition research for Hillary (Steele had been feeding his work to British spies, who contacted Brennan). At the center of almost all the streams of phony intelligence flowing into the FBI was Steele. Through his relationship with the FBI, he served as a direct stream of bad intelligence. Through foreign intelligence agencies, he became an indirect stream of bad intelligence (with anything he gave those agencies re-routed to the FBI through Brennan). He also served as a conduit for opposition research from Hillary partisans at or connected to the State Department (Cody Shearer, a Hillary hatchet man, passed his opposition research through John Kerry aide Jonathan Winer to Steele, who then fed it back to the FBI).
Brennan leaked news of his “probe” to then-Senator Harry Reid, who told reporters Brennan had an “ulterior motive” for doing so. Reid said, “The very thought of Donald Trump as president made Brennan see red and caused him to lose all judgment.” But, regardless of what Reid believed, he wrote an open letter anyway to James Comey on August 27, 2016 about the Trump-Russian collusion he had just been made privy to and then the world knew about it.
The FBI knew they could not start an investigation based on the rubbish that Brennan was presenting to them. They needed to find a reason. When Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, had drinks in a London bar with low level Trump advisor George Papadopoulos, who told Downer that he had been approached by a Russian who offered to provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, that became a talking point for the FBI. However, according to Devin Nunes, that incident was not mentioned in the Electronic Communication (EC) that originated the counter intelligence investigation.
Brennan may have perjured himself. In sworn testimony, he told lawmakers the first time he saw the dossier was in December 2016. That flies in the face of what former FBI officials have said under oath. It may well be that his constant appearances at the FBI through the spring and early summer of 2016 pushing the FBI to open an investigation may have been the “the predicate.”