It's Heating Up: Former NSA Director Mike Rogers Reportedly Cooperating in Durham Probe

Navy Vice Adm. Michael Rogers testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to become an admiral and director, National Security Agency/Chief, Central Security Services/Commander, United States Cyber Command. (Lauren Victoria Burke/AP Photo)

 

As my colleague Elizabeth Vaughn reported, U.S. Attorney John Durham is taking a close look at the role of John Brennan.

The New York Times reports that “according to a person briefed on the inquiry,” U. S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the investigation into the origins of the Trump/Russia investigation, has requested former CIA Director John Brennan’s “communications records including emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A.” Durham’s team is also said to be scrutinizing prior testimony given by Brennan.

According to the Times, Durham wants to learn what “Mr. Brennan told other officials, including former FBI Director James Comey, about his and the CIA’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.” Additionally, Durham is trying to determine if “Mr. Brennan privately contradicted his public comments, including May 2017 testimony to Congress, about both the dossier and about any debate among the intelligence agencies over their conclusions on Russia’s interference.”

But now there’s more news that sounds like Durham is closing in and over the target.

According to The Intercept, former NSA Director Mike Rogers is cooperating with the investigation and has met with Durham multiple times.

While the substance of those meetings is not clear, Rogers has cooperated voluntarily, several people with knowledge of the matter said…

Rogers’s voluntary participation, which has not been previously reported, makes him the first former intelligence director known to have been interviewed for the probe.

“He’s been very cooperative,” one former intelligence officer who has knowledge of Rogers’s meetings with the Justice Department said.

If we try to suss that out or speculate a little, “multiple times” sounds like Durham believes that Rogers has information on something worthwhile.

Rogers was part of the briefing of President-elect Donald Trump in January 2017 on the efforts by Russia to influence the election. Others involved in the briefing were Brennan, then FBI Director James Comey and then Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

Rogers also gave Trump a briefing in a meeting at Trump Tower shortly after the election. Then the Trump transition team moved from Trump Tower to Trump’s club in Bedminster, New Jersey on November 18, 2016.

Obama was reportedly considering firing Rogers in the waning days of his administration, as Hot Air notes.

Administration officials had planned to relieve Admiral Rogers of his duties after the election and announce a plan to create separate chains of command for the N.S.A. and Cyber Command. But the plan, supported by Mr. Carter and Mr. Clapper, stalled in part because of opposition from Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who heads the Armed Services Committee.

Under the plan, Cyber Command would remain under the Armed Services Committee’s jurisdiction, but oversight of the N.S.A. would shift to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Mr. Trump’s victory complicated the planning.
So the plan was to split off US Cyber Command from the NSA and both Carter and Clapper supported that plan. However, that got scuttled when Trump won the election. Trump wound up keeping Rogers on and firing Clapper. All that to say that you probably shouldn’t assume Rogers is the type who wants to circle the wagons with his old colleagues Clapper and Brennan. On the contrary, if he has a story to tell he might be eager to tell it.

Indeed, and it sounds like he’s sharing it.