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Durham Scrutinizing Former CIA Director Brennan’s Role in Russia Investigation

U.S. Attorney John Durham (United States Attorney's Office, District of Connecticut/Wikimedia)

Federal prosecutor John Durham, tasked with probing the Russia investigation into the Trump 2016 campaign by Attorney General William Barr, is scrutinizing what role former CIA director John Brennan played in the investigation, the New York Times reported Thursday.

Durham has requested various documents from the CIA including Brennan’s emails and call logs, according to the Times. The prosecutor is looking into what Brennan knew of the Steele dossier, how the dossier was received by the agency, and whether Brennan conferred with former FBI director James Comey regarding it.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that the dossier played a “central and essential” role in the FISA application to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page. In his report released earlier this month, Horowitz also confirmed that the FBI did not inform the court that the dossier, which some in the CIA believed amounted to an “internet rumor,” was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign, and was never independently verified by the bureau.

Durham is also trying to discover if Brennan privately contradicted any public testimony he made regarding the Russia investigation.

On Wednesday Barr confirmed on Fox News that Durham’s investigation was casting a wide net by looking at several aspects of the Russia investigation.

“He’s not just looking at the FBI, he’s looking at other agencies, and departments, and also private actors, so it’s a much broader investigation,” Barr said. Durham “is looking at all the conduct both before and after the election.”

Durham upgraded the investigation from an administrative review to a criminal probe in October but it’s unclear what, if any, criminal acts he’s uncovered.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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