FILE – In this May 23, 2017, file photo, former CIA Director John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force. President Donald Trump is revoking the security clearance of former Obama administration CIA director Brennan (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
The New York Times is at it again.
They seem to always be there, ready to spin a story to minimize the damage to Democrats.
This time, they seem to be wanting to cast aspersions and seeds of doubt about U.S. Attorney John Durham and something interesting he’s reportedly found.
Check out the first paragraph of their story:
From the New York Times:
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.
Hmm, another non-spin way to write that might be “Durham is looking into the question of whether Obama-era intelligence officials hid evidence about Russian meddling.”
Wow. So let’s see what’s under that report.
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.
So what was it they may have been hiding, according to this report? You have to read way into the story before you find out as they bury it further down.
According to the Times, some in the FBI have suggested to Durham that’s wrong while others are “reserving judgment.” Then the Times suggests, of course, that’s going to make it look like “Mr. Trump is using the Justice Department to go after his enemies.” Now you know it must be good when the spin is this intense.
The Times says Durham was asking questions about a variety of incidents that seemed to involve interagency fights over not being allowed to see data or having a different opinion on that data.
One involved the clash over a reported informant in the Kremlin, with the CIA reluctant to provide information about that informant.
But officials disagreed about how much weight to give the source’s information, and the intelligence community’s eventual assessment apparently reflected that division. While the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. concluded with “high confidence” that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was specifically trying to help Mr. Trump win the election, the National Security Agency agreed but said it had only “moderate confidence.”
The Times also notes there were concerns about whether the informant may have been a double agent because he wouldn’t leave initially when they wanted to get him out.
A second incident involved data that the Times didn’t clarify that the CIA wasn’t sharing with the NSA, or whether the CIA needed to filter American names or organizations out of it.
Now we get to the money paragraphs.
Officials also differed over access to unclassified emails of American officials that the Russian government had previously hacked, including at the White House and State Department.
A foreign ally’s intelligence service had obtained its own copy of the stolen messages and provided drives with another reproduction of them to the United States government. Investigators, including at the F.B.I., wanted to look at those files. They argued that the Russian hackers’ chosen focus while the Kremlin’s election interference operation was gearing up might shed light on that operation.
But an index of the messages compiled by the unnamed foreign ally showed that they included emails from President Barack Obama as well as members of Congress. Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, decided that investigators should not open the drives, citing executive privilege and the possibility of a separation-of-powers uproar if the F.B.I. sifted through lawmakers’ private messages.
Oh, my. So if this is true, the Russians may have hacked the White House, the State Department and obtained the emails of members of Congress, the Russians have seen these emails, but the Obama administration wasn’t letting the FBI see them not only to determine the Russian meddling but to maybe determine what information in those messages may have been compromised and how to protect or guard against it happening again. How do they have “executive privilege” after these were hacked? Not to mention they don’t have executive privilege over emails of members of Congress. Of course, we were kept from knowing that this happened or what was in those messages. Did anyone ever tell Congress this happened?
Mr. Durham has interviewed F.B.I. officials and agents who worked on the bureau’s Russia investigation, called Crossfire Hurricane, and for the special counsel who took over the inquiry, Robert S. Mueller III. They have also interviewed C.I.A. analysts.
Mr. Durham and his team also interviewed around a half-dozen current and former officials and analysts at the National Security Agency, including its former director, the retired Adm. Michael S. Rogers, last summer and again last fall. The Intercept first reported the interviews of Admiral Rogers.
But Mr. Durham has not interviewed the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, his onetime deputy Andrew G. McCabe or Mr. Brennan. Mr. Durham has requested Mr. Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A. to learn what he told other officials, including Mr. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.
The Times questioned Brennan for his opinion on the report. He, of course, tried to dismiss it while at the same time suggesting it was dangerous. “It’s kind of silly,” he claimed. “Is there a criminal investigation now on analytic judgments and the activities of C.I.A. in terms of trying to protect our national security? I’m certainly willing to talk to Mr. Durham or anybody else who has any questions about what we did during this period of 2016.”
He then blamed Trump, of course, because that’s what he does. “It clearly, I think, is another indication that Donald Trump is using the Department of Justice to go after his enemies any way he can.”
This may explain why he’s been especially nervous and ranty as of late.
I’m just going to take a wild guess that when the Republicans in Congress start absorbing this report, they are not going to be happy about it and maybe not even some of the Democrats if they are just finding out now about the information including their emails which may have been compromised.
HT: Daily Wire