In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


Durham Investigation of Origin of Trump Campaign Probe Focuses on John Brennan

According to the Wall Street Journal:

Investigators examining the beginnings of the 2016 probe of possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian election interference are pushing to complete their inquiry despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durhams team began interviews earlier this year at the Central Intelligence Agency, according to people familiar with the process. It has focused on people who are or were working at the National Intelligence Council, a unit of the Director of National Intelligence’s office that coordinated the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s 2016 election interference, as well as on individuals at other agencies whose work fed into that assessment, one official said.

Increasingly, investigators are focused on former CIA Director John Brennan, examining whether he pushed for a blunter assessment about Russia’s motivations than others in the intelligence community felt was warranted, people familiar with the matter said.

Intelligence agencies agreed in 2016 that Russia’s interference in the presidential election was aimed at hurting Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and boosting President Trump’s election chances. The CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigation expressed high confidence in that assessment, while the National Security Agency had moderate confidence. Those disagreements have long been publicly known, and the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee said in 2018 that the conflict “appropriately represents analytic differences” between the agencies. The committee’s report also concluded the Russian efforts were meant to help Mr. Trump.

Part of the disagreement was over whether a source the CIA relied on in the intelligence assessment, who was close to the Kremlin, had specific knowledge that Mr. Putin wanted to help Mr. Trump, one person said. Mr. Durham’s team appears to be pressing people involved in that report on whether Mr. Brennan sought to steer the intelligence community agencies to sign on to a “high confidence” assessment, people familiar with the matter said.