The New York Times has a report this evening surrounding U.S. Attorney John Durham questioning CIA officials about the origination of the Trump-Russia investigation.
However, a closer look at the substance underneath the NYT reporting and it doesn’t actually look like Durham is questioning the CIA about the investigation itself; rather it appears he is questioning the CIA about how they came to the conclusions within the January 7th, 2017, Intelligence Community Assessment, or ICA.
(New York Times) […] Mr. Barr wants to know more about the C.I.A. sources who helped inform its understanding of the details of the Russian interference campaign, an official has said. He also wants to better understand the intelligence that flowed from the C.I.A. to the F.B.I. in the summer of 2016.
During the final weeks of the Obama administration, the intelligence community released a declassified assessment that concluded that Mr. Putin ordered an influence campaign that “aspired to help” Mr. Trump’s electoral chances by damaging Mrs. Clinton’s. The C.I.A. and the F.B.I. reported they had high confidence in the conclusion. The National Security Agency, which conducts electronic surveillance, had a moderate degree of confidence. (read more)
Questioning the construct of the ICA is a smart direction to take for a review or investigation. By looking at the intelligence community work-product, it’s likely Durham will cut through a lot of the chatter and get to the heart of the intelligence motives.
CTH has previously outlined how the December 29th, 2016, Joint Analysis Report on Russia Cyber Activity was a quickly compiled bunch of nonsense about Russian hacking. The JAR was followed a week later by the January 7th, 2017, Intelligence Community Assessment. The ICA took the ridiculous construct of the JAR and then overlaid a political narrative that Russia was trying to help Donald Trump.
The claims within the ICA were/are completely silly, and manufactured specifically to present a political narrative intended to undermine President-elect Donald Trump. The ICA was the brain-trust of John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey. NSA Director Mike Rogers would not sign up to the “high confidence” claims, likely because he saw through the political motives of the report.
Apparently John Durham is looking into just this aspect: Was the ICA document a politically engineered report stemming from within a corrupt intelligence network?
The importance of that question is rather large. All of the downstream claims about Russian activity, including the Russian indictments promoted by Rosenstein and the Mueller team, are centered around origination claims of illicit Russian activity outlined in the ICA.
If the ICA is a false political document…. then guess what?