A sharp letter from reader Al P. will serve as a great introduction to today's story:
"Great summary [on AG Barr's appointment of U.S. Attorney John Durham]. But one point about Durham is missing. [It] Glossed over his work on the Bulger case. He prosecuted and convicted FBI hot shots who had protected a criminal. And who was heading the Boston office at the time? Mr. Robert Mueller.
"If you are picking Durham, you are sending a very clear shot that you mean business. You're aiming to prosecute FBI/DOJ hot shots who went after the President after protecting a criminal. (And Mueller's peeps are knee deep in it.)
"Oh, and Durham is already confirmed to be investigating former FBI Chief Counsel James Baker's leaking. So Durham has already been involved in this Russia Hoax nonsense for a long while.
"William Barr is not playing games. The bad guys know it. The selection of Durham proves it."
From the Gov:
Thanks, so much for writing, Al. Your thoughts coincide with those of my research team, as we were already set to go with the very connection you have made. Yes, Robert Mueller was in charge of the Boston field office that Durham investigated for its handling of the “Whitey” Bulger case, and the significance of that is not lost on us. When Mueller was first appointed special prosecutor and getting praised to the skies for being so honest and above-board and all, it seemed obvious to us that his ardent fans and promoters were overlooking what had gone on in that office. But Durham knows better than anyone about that, and he’s bound to be aware of exactly what he is dealing with now.
More on Durham in a moment. To update John Solomon’s story on State Department official Kathleen Kavalec’s notes on the problematic meeting she’d had with Christopher Steele, he’s got more specifics on that today. We know Kavalec, in October of 2016 –- just over a week before the FISA application was made to spy on Carter Page –- emailed her information to Special Agent Stephen Laycock, who at the time was the section chief for Eurasia inside FBI counterintelligence, the division that was conducting the Russia investigation. (He’s still there, by the way, as Director Chris Wray’s assistant director for intelligence.) Solomon’s sources told him that Laycock immediately forwarded the information to the team running that investigation –- Peter Strzok’s team. It was their responsibility to check that out before going ahead with their FISA warrant application, but, obviously, they didn’t. Much more at the link...
Also, it’s starting to look as though Steele may have had little to do with actually writing the “dossier.” That work of fiction may have come primarily from the imagination of Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson with help from Russia specialist Nellie Ohr, who was working for Fusion as a researcher. Of course, Nellie Ohr just happened to be the wife of Bruce Ohr, who just happened to be fourth in command at the Justice Department. Unbelievably, Steele was working as an informant for the FBI while also being paid as a researcher by Fusion GPS, the firm hired by Hillary’s campaign and the DNC (same thing) to dig up dirt connecting Trump with Russia.
As for Durham, we hear that he has already been working for weeks, perhaps months, “on background” to piece together information on the investigation of Trump’s campaign. As a sitting U.S. attorney, he has the authority to work with a grand jury and issue subpoenas; that’s an investigative tool Inspector General Michael Horowitz has not had. Horowitz also has been confined to questioning current government officials, not those outside government or former employees, but Durham has no such limitation. According to Joe diGenova, Durham has already obtained documents and talked with the intel people.
And, yes, it does appear that Durham has already been involved in an inquiry into Jim Baker’s alleged leaking, although some people connected with the case are saying this particular probe has nothing to do with Russia or the Steele dossier. At any rate, he knows the territory.
AG Barr is also coordinating with the CIA director and the DIR (director of national intelligence). The way it looks to DiGenova is that this group is now “focused like a laser” on a conspiracy centered around ex-CIA head John Brennan and the Democratic National Committee. “This is very serious business,” he told Laura Ingraham on Tuesday evening, “and for the first time, I now believe that some of these guys are going to go to prison.”
And, wow, Brennan is on the offensive, telling the willing dupes on MSNBC that the warrant application “went through a rigorous due process within the Department of Justice and the FBI. It was approved by the FISA court. It went through all of those steps...What they’re trying to do is to uncover something that they will misrepresent as being part of this ‘deep state’ effort to try to undermine Donald Trump’s election.”
No, Mr. Brennan. That is bunk. The application did NOT go through “all those steps.” One of the steps is VERIFICATION. Yet the information in the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page was not verified. And the FBI chose not to disclose that it KNEW Steele was trying to keep Trump from getting elected, instead crafting a cover story in a convoluted footnote about the Steele dossier that disguised the truth. That much we know, Mr. Brennan. We have a lot of other pieces, too, thanks to watchdog groups such as Judicial Watch, investigative reporters such as John Solomon, and Republican committee members such as Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan and Devin Nunes. Now Durham gets to dig for the rest of it and put it all together.
Those who complain about “the investigations of the investigations” are either ignorant of how things work or are lying, too. (Many of them, ironically, have no problem with 81 congressional subpoenas and other examples of unending legal harassment by Jerry Nadler and friends.) Durham’s investigation is the only one that has prosecutorial power. As I pointed out yesterday, it was undertaken because Barr suspects something CRIMINAL took place. So taking this step is absolutely appropriate. Tom Fitton, for one, is ready to see some prosecutions, sooner rather than later…
I’m hopeful that Barr will also get to the bottom of the story George Papadopoulos is telling, both in interviews and in his new book DEEP STATE TARGET, about what he says was an attempted frame-up by agents who gave him $10,000 cash in Greece for a purported business deal, apparently assuming he would carry it home undeclared on his flight back to Dulles Airport. Papadopoulos, who had served as a foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, was met at his destination by agents who rummaged through his bags and were set to arrest him. This took place after Mueller had been appointed special counsel.
Fortunately, he hadn’t gotten on the plane with the cash; he’d been suspicious of the source of the money and had left it with an attorney in Greece before returning to America. But this is just one example of what appears to have been undercover agents using Papadopoulos, who is now calling on Barr and the Justice Department to look into what happened to him, and even to examine the money.
Someday, there’s going to be a huge blockbuster movie about all this. Of course, knowing Hollywood, they’d change the plot so that all the bad guys were...RUSSIANS! Somehow, all this would have to do with Russians helping Trump win –- nobody said the plot had to make sense –- and keeping Hillary from fulfilling her destiny as the first woman President of the United States. Ironically, if Hillary HAD won the election, we would never have known about any of this, and the bureaucratic power machine would have become even stronger.