U.S. Attorney John Durham issued a statement contradicting a key and consequential conclusion of Inspector General Michael Horowitz, and reads in part:
…”last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
The reason for this conflict, and immediate rebuke by Durham, is stunningly clear on Page ii of the executive summary as highlighted below. This is a very important element, and needs to be contemplated in its totality:
What inspector general Horowitz outlines in that key section is that: (A) he has reviewed everything, and talked to everyone (current and former) within the FBI; and (B) the ONLY evidence they FBI cited for the opening of Crossfire Hurricane is the singular conversation between George Papadopoulos and Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer and/or Downer’s asst. Erika Thompson.
That’s it. Nothing else.
There is no other predicate evidence from the FBI investigative unit other than a singular conversation between Alexander Downer/Erika Thompson and George Papadopoulos.
Nothing before that July 26, 2016, contact by Australian High Commissioner Alexander Downer relaying a conversation with Downer on May 10th, 2016, is cited by the FBI as having anything to do with opening Crossfire Hurricane (started on July 31st).
That conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos was George Papadopoulos relaying a rumor he heard from Joseph Mifsud is the totality of evidence used to initiate Crossfire Hurricane.
This investigative predicate is where Durham and Horowitz have a conflict. Horowitz says the predicate was justified, Durham says not-so-much.
So the totality of the variables to create a conflict is very small. Papadopoulos, Downer and Mifsud.
Durham says: “last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened“. This is important because the difference between the inspector general and the U.S. attorney is that John Durham has interviewed Downer and Mifsud, and Horowitz has not.
Therefore for Durham to state the predication was not justified, has to come from his contact with Ambassador Downer or Joseph Mifsud.
However, stay with me, Alexander Downer is not really a variable in this dynamic. Assuming Downer is honest, and there’s nothing indicating inconsistency in the public comments he has made about this contact. Downer had a conversation on May 10th, weeks later he relayed what he felt was his best interpretation of that conversation on July 26th. There’s not a lot of variable in that sequence.
The variable in this small group dynamic is Joseph Mifsud, and the only variable within the Papadopoulos-Mifsud interplay is the background and purpose of Mifsud.
Horowitz has eliminated all predicate variables on his end by stating all FBI witnesses and all FBI documents agree the Downer contact with the FBI initiated the investigation. The only variable on the Durham end is…. yep, the background and purpose of Joseph Mifsud.
If Durham is disputing the validity of “predication and how the FBI case was opened”, then it’s the predicate behind Joseph Mifsud driving the dispute. This almost guarantees that Mifsud was *NOT* the Russian operative that current FBI and Intelligence Officials have stated he was or is.
From Page 56 of the IG report:
We also asked those FBI officials involved in the decision to open Crossfire Hurricane whether the FBI received any other information, such as from members of the USIC, that the FBI relied upon to predicate Crossfire Hurricane. All of them told us that there was no such information and that predication for the case was based solely on the FFG information.169
We also asked Comey and McCabe about then CIA Director John Brennan’s statements reported in several news articles that he provided to the FBI intelligence on Russian contacts with U.S. persons that predicated or prompted the opening of Crossfire Hurricane. Comney told us that while Brennan shared intelligence on the overarching efforts by the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections, Brennan did not provide any information that predicated or prompted the FBI to open Crossfire Hurricane.
McCabe said that he did not recall Brennan providing the FBI with information before the FBI’s decision to open an investigation about any U .S person potentially cooperating with Russia in the efforts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. elections. Priestap and the Intel Section Chief also told us that Brennan did not provide the FBI any intelligence that predicated the opening of Crossfire Hurricane. We did not find information in FBI or Department electronic communications, emails, or other documents, or through witness testimony, indicating otherwise. [Page 59 IG Report pdf]
Chapter 3 of the IG report clearly outlines a presumption by all FBI officials that Joseph Mifsud was acting on behalf of the Russian government. Again, Horowitz eliminates more variables.
The only thing remaining is the conflict between Durham and Horowitz on this predicate issue; and eliminating all other possibilities for the strength of the disagreement expressed by Durham only one reasonable aspect remains to reconcile the disparity:
Joseph Mifsud wasn’t an FBI operative (not in the CHS database); but also Joseph Mifsud was not a Russian operative (hence predicate issue).
Someone else was running Mifsud on behalf of the background effort.
My hunch is CIA asset Stefan Halper was running/instructing Mifsud, thereby creating plausible deniability for the CIA and John Brennan. Whoever it was, Durham knows.