The Department of Justice’s intensive review of the questionable origins of the Trump-Russia probe has escalated into something that Democrats and the deep-state are all afraid of – a full-fledged criminal investigation.
The official launch of a criminal probe grants U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the investigation opens up a flood of potential moves for Durham.
Durham now has the power to subpoena witnesses for testimony and documents. The move also authorizes Durham to impanel a grand jury and file charges.
Attorney General William Barr tapped Durham earlier in 2019 to lead an inquiry into FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign.
The development comes after an NBC report revealed Barr recently expanded his agency’s review, noting that Durham has “found something significant and critics should be careful.”
As part of the inquiry, Durham has sought interviews with CIA analysts who assessed Russia’s activities during the 2016 presidential election, prompting some of them to hire lawyers, NBC News stated.
“Mr. Durham has indicated he wants to interview former officials who ran the C.I.A. in 2016 but has yet to question either Mr. Brennan or James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence,” The Times added.
“Some C.I.A. officials have retained criminal lawyers in anticipation of being interviewed.”
“The sources said Durham was ‘very interested’ to question former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director John Brennan, an anti-Trump critic who recently dismissed the idea,” Fox News added.
“The two Obama administration officials were at the helm when the unverified and largely discredited Steele dossier, written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, was used to justify a secret surveillance warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page.”
The hard-nosed U.S. attorney has reportedly received briefings on the “four corners” of the FBI’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants as part of its controversial counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign.
“Durham is specifically reviewing the FISA warrant obtained by the FBI to surveil former Trump aide Carter Page, as well as general issues relating to surveillance during the 2016 campaign and matters flowing from the FISA process,” Fox News reported.
The FBI used the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Carter Page but did not disclose to the FISA court that Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign or the Democrat National Committee (DNC) funded the dossier, despite indicating that the dossier was compiled as opposition research. Barr has described the dossier as “opposition research” with “clear mistakes.”
“If true, this shows Bill Barr is doing EXACTLY his job: following the facts Those who damaged America and broke the law to spread this hoax are about to face accountability,” Rep. Mark Meadows tweeted in response to the report by the New York Times.
Testifying before Congress in May, Barr told lawmakers he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, but stopped short of saying whether it was done improperly.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he told the Senate Appropriations Committee, before adding, “I am not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at them.”
President Trump has remained constant his belief that his campaign was illegally surveilled and has voiced this belief publicly, even accusing officials of treason.
“My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on,” the president wrote on Twitter in May. “Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!”