With all the focus on the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill, it’s worth noting there’s another major investigation going on, one the media doesn’t like to focus on.
And, from all appearances, it’s focusing in on two major anti-Trump voices and members of the Obama-era intelligence apparatus.
According to Fox News, investigators looking into the origins of the FBI’s 2016 Russia probe are interested in talking to former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about their roles in the matter.
The investigation, being headed by Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, has apparently expanded after a visit to Rome to meet with Italian officials.
Sources told Fox that Durham is now “very interested” in talking with Brennan and Clapper.
According to Fox’ Catherine Herridge, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte informed his country’s parliament that Barr had met with Italian intelligence officials.
“The two Obama administration officials were at the helm when the unverified and largely discredited Steele dossier, written by British ex-spy Christopher Steele and funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee, was used to justify a secret surveillance warrant against former Trump adviser Carter Page,” Fox reported.
“In Italy, Barr reportedly told embassy officials he ‘needed a conference room to meet high-level Italian security agents where he could be sure no one was listening in.'”
During one meeting, Barr apparently played a recording from a deposition given by Maltese academic Joseph Mifsud, the man who allegedly told Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton.
During the deposition, Mifsud claimed he was in potential danger and needed protection.
The likelihood that either Brennan or Clapper submits to an interview willingly is roughly zero, of course.
Both men have been decidedly anti-Trump in their rhetoric since the president has taken office.
Brennan has been a bit more aggressive than Clapper; followers of the travails of Brennan on Twitter will no doubt be familiar with his fulminating, stilted tweets about Trump.
Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) July 16, 2018
However, Brennan might have something to be concerned about.
In a May appearance on Fox News, former South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said he had seen a document which may not bode well for the former CIA director during his time in Congress, although he was circumspect about what it might entail other than the fact that it involved Brennan and former FBI Director James Comey.
Gowdy said that “sometimes when you have two people, I can tell from you having been in a courtroom, sometimes when people are blaming each other, they are both right. It’s both of them,” he said.
“And I think it’s interesting Brennan and Comey right now, the only thing they seem to share is a hatred for Donald Trump. It’s going to be interesting if they begin to turn on one another. I’ve seen the document. I’m not going to describe it any more than that, Comey’s got a better argument than Brennan based on what I have seen.”
Furthermore, there were reports that Brennan had “insisted” the unverified Steele dossier be included in a draft version of the intelligence report on Russian meddling.
No, the Durham-Barr investigation probably isn’t going to get the same headlines that the impeachment inquiry is going to garner, and rightfully so.
After all, Trump could be just the third president to be impeached.
However, for John Brennan and James Clapper, this one is no doubt a much bigger worry.
They’re the ones used to asking the questions, after all — and it looks like the tables could be turning soon.
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