Which “deep state” figures will be indicted in connection with the scandalous handling of the Russia probe that targeted Donald Trump? I have to believe that Kevin (“Viva la Resistance!”) Clinesmith will be. You can’t let government lawyers get away with making material alterations to documents.
Andrew McCabe might also be indicted. In 2018, Michael Horowitz found that the former FBI official “lacked candor” with James Comey, FBI investigators, and Justice Department watchdog investigators about his authorization to leak to the media the existence of an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation.
As a result of Horowitz’s finding, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington is weighing criminal charges against McCabe. An appeal by McCabe to avoid criminal charges was denied by the Justice Department, with federal prosecutors recommending charges. However, the grand jury apparently hasn’t yet delivered any indictment.
Note that the legal jeopardy discussed above falls outside of the matters John Durham is investigating. In view of Horowitz’s latest report and Durham’s investigation, McCabe may face additional exposure.
I hadn’t thought that John Brennan would be indicted. However, the New York Times reports that John Durham is now probing Brennan’s considerable role in the deep state’s scandalous effort to bring down Trump:
John H. Durham, the United States attorney leading the investigation, has requested Mr. Brennan’s emails, call logs and other documents from the C.I.A., according to a person briefed on his inquiry. He wants to learn what Mr. Brennan told other officials, including the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, about his and the C.I.A.’s views of a notorious dossier of assertions about Russia and Trump associates.
Mr. Durham is also examining whether 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. . . .
If Durham finds that Brennan knowingly gave false testimony, under oath, to Congress, then Brennan should be indicted for perjury.
It may be that Brennan did just that. Debra Heine reminds us:
In sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in May of 2017, Brennan claimed that the Steele dossier was “not in any way used as the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment” that Russia interfered in the election to help elect Donald Trump. He has repeated this claim numerous times in media appearances, including last February on “Meet the Press.”
Two top former Obama administration officials have since then contradicted Brennan’s testimony about the unverified dossier.
Retired National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have both made statements that suggest Brennan may have perjured himself when he testified about anti-Trump Steele dossier.
Rogers stated in a classified letter to Congress that the DNC and Clinton campaign-funded dossier did factor into the assessment, and Clapper conceded in a recent CNN interview that the ICA was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.”
Brennan may have also perjured himself in written testimony to the House Intel Committee when he claimed that he had briefed each member of the so-called Gang of Eight about “Russian attempts to interfere in the election” between August 11, 2016 and September 6, 2016.
At the time, the Gang of Eight—congressional leaders who are briefed on classified intelligence matters by the executive branch—was comprised of Senators Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), and Representatives Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
“Again, in consultation with the White House, I personally briefed the full details of our understanding of Russian attempts to interfere in the election to congressional leadership,” Brennan wrote. “I provided the same briefing to each Gang of Eight member. Given the highly sensitive nature of what was in what was an active counterintelligence case, involving an ongoing Russian effort, to interfere in our presidential election, the full details of what we knew at the time were shared only with those members of congress; each of whom was accompanied by one senior staff member.”. . .
But Nunes told Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” last July that he and former Speaker Paul Ryan were never told about the Steele Dossier.
“The CIA has mostly come clean about its activities during the 2016 election,” Nunes said. “The only one who has questions to answer is John Brennan,” he added. “We now know that John Brennan briefed Harry Reid on the dossier in August of 2016,” Nunes said. “At the same time, he never briefed me or Paul Ryan, who was the Speaker of the House at the time.”
I’m not convinced that Brennan will be indicted. I’m not even sure that the case against him warrants indictment. But I’m glad Durham appears to be taking a close look at the question.