The New York Times confirmed tonight that the Justice Department is preparing to interview senior CIA officials about the 2016 Russian election-interference investigation, and presumably just how and why it got started.
The interview plans are the latest sign the Justice Department will take a critical look at the C.I.A.’s work on Russia’s election interference. Investigators want to talk with at least one senior counterintelligence official and a senior C.I.A. analyst, the people said. Both officials were involved in the agency’s work on understanding the Russian campaign to sabotage the election in 2016.
While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny. Attorney General William P. Barr, who is overseeing the review, assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to conduct it.
A little anxiety in the CIA could not be a bad thing, right? I’m still wondering why they got so nervous when Trump said he would release all the JFK assassination papers. That was more than 50 years ago! How much more worried must they be to have their election tampering exposed. If I were Obama’s former CIA Director John Brennan, I’d be pricing tickets to a non-extradition-treaty country about now. I hear the Ecuadorean Embassy in London has an opening!
Of course, when the president gave Attorney General Barr authority to investigate the spook secrets, the hypocritical Dems cried that Barr could not be trusted to protect the nation’s security. Nonsense. The spy agencies cannot be trusted to protect our constitutional rights.
The C.I.A. director, Gina Haspel, has told senior officials that her agency will cooperate — but will still work to protect critical pieces of intelligence whose disclosure could jeopardize sources, reveal collection methods or disclose information provided by allies, according to current and former American officials.
Ms. Haspel will not block the interviews and has told the agency that talking with Mr. Durham need not jeopardize secrets and is consistent with cooperating with Mr. Barr’s inquiry.
Well, good for Gina Haspel. I don’t trust her as far as I could throw her, which even though she is a wee thing, would not be very far. She’s not as deep a Deep Stater as FBI Director Christopher Wray, but she certainly didn’t wind up in charge of the CIA because she is pure as snow.
Let’s hope Barr and Durham move quicker than the Inspector General. If they get to the bottom of this before the 2020 election, the fur will surely fly.
Frank Miele writes from Kalispell, Montana, at www.HeartlandDiaryUSA.com and is a columnist at Real Clear Politics. To read more of my columns about the Dishonest Media, the Deep Swamp, the failed presidencies of George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and Trump’s war to restore American greatness, read my “Why We Needed Trump” trilogy or “The Media Matrix: What If Everything You Know Is Fake?”. They are available at Amazon in paperback or Kindle editions.
Also visit Heartland Diary on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1FmrOF2TF-njRznqoU4yjA