Democrats pushing allegations against President Trump amid their impeachment inquiry might want to take note of another ongoing investigation that could punch sizable holes in their narrative.
U.S. Attorney John Durham has been moving along and even steadily growing his investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, potentially setting up the president with some ammunition to use against Democrats bent on removing him from office.
The Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has simultaneously been conducting an investigation into alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act which, along with Durham’s probe, should give Democrats pause.
The investigation by Durham, launched by Attorney General William Barr, is reportedly expanding to soon include interviews of former Obama administration intelligence officials like CIA Director John Brennan and director of national intelligence James Clapper.
Clapper and Brennan on alert: AG Barr expands probe of Russia investigation origins https://t.co/wBzcaud8el
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 19, 2019
“If the rumors are true that IG Horowitz’s report and findings in Durham’s review will blast the conduct of the FBI’s Russia investigation, it will give Trump a lot of ammo to support his argument that he was unjustly targeted then and is being unjustly targeted now,” a House Republican source told Fox News on Tuesday.
“It will justify Trump’s warnings about the Deep State acting to hobble his presidency,” the source added.
Durham was initially appointed to investigate the intelligence and law enforcement communities and their handling of events related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, as well as into his inauguration in January 2017. But the investigation has reportedly been expanding and now will extend into the spring of 2017 which includes the time period that Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel, according to Fox News.
The Connecticut U.S. Attorney is “gathering information from numerous sources, including a number of foreign countries,” Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said.
“At Attorney General Barr’s request, the president has contacted other countries to ask them to introduce the attorney general and Mr. Durham to appropriate officials,” Kupec said last month.
While a notable number of FBI officials have been interviewed, key figures involved at the beginning of the Russia investigation remain to be questioned in Durham’s review, including former counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok who opened the inquiry, the bureau’s general counsel James Baker, as well as fired FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.
The president sent his critics into a tailspin Tuesday as he slammed the impeachment inquiry as “a lynching.”
Trump uses word ‘lynching’ to describe impeachment scam, ‘black trauma-porn addicts’ go nuts https://t.co/asZYVM7hmb
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) October 22, 2019
Sen. Lindsey Graham soon came to his defense, backing his characterization and dismissing the outrage that Trump was being racist in using the phrase.
“This is a lynching in every sense,” the South Carolina Republican told reporters Tuesday.
“What does lynching mean?” Graham continued. “When a mob grabs you, they don’t give you a chance to defend yourself. They don’t tell you what happened to you. They just destroy you. That’s exactly what is going on in the U.S. House of Representatives right now.”
The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee vowed earlier this year that he would get answers on the alleged FISA abuses at the start of the Russia probe. While it is not clear if such an investigation is underway, he said recently that “a bunch of witnesses” would be called following the completion of Horowitz’s review.
“As soon as Horowitz is done with his review of the FISA warrant application, the counterintelligence investigation, the Trump campaign, we’ll have a hearing in public with Horowitz and we’ll call a bunch of witnesses,” Graham said on Fox Business Network’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Fox News host Tucker Carlson was skeptical of the senator’s plans, speculating on Monday whether Graham is slow-walking investigations because of his “disagreement” with Trump on foreign policy decisions.
But Trump has been teasing the impending report which, along with Durham’s review, could rattle Democrats and their impeachment efforts.
“Democrats are afraid that the reports will validate what the president has been saying for years—his enemies in Congress are so desperate to undo the results of the 2016 election that they will manufacture conspiracies and sell them to the American people,” a senior Republican aide told Fox News on Tuesday.
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