A Washington Examiner report on a recent expansion of John Durham’s team, to include U.S. Attorney Anthony Scarpelli, may reconcile recent earlier reports by John Solomon of “clear evidence” showing Durham is narrowing in on some key DOJ and FBI figures.
According to the Examiner Scarpelli was brought over in part based on his work on Violent Crimes and the Narcotics Trafficking Section of the DOJ. In that capacity Anthony Scarpelli would hold a Top Secret/SCI clearance (he does); which becomes a valuable necessity for the specifics of the type of investigation ongoing.
WASHINGTON – […] Amid the pandemic, Durham and a team of prosecutors and investigators have continued their work, even requesting witness information after the country largely shut down in March because of coronavirus restrictions, according to people briefed on the investigation. Leading up to the lockdown, Durham’s team had spent many days a month reviewing classified intelligence inside a special facility for reviewing classified documents known as a SCIF.
In recent weeks Durham has added to his team of investigators who operate in Connecticut and Washington, DC, including FBI agents and the chief of the violent crimes and narcotics section in the US Attorney’s Office in Washington, Anthony Scarpelli, people familiar with the probe said.
[…] Durham’s scrutiny of the Russia intelligence is “like a proctologist,” one source told CNN. But it’s unknown what Durham’s findings or his end goals may be.
He could bring charges or issue a report, as Barr suggested in a recent interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, where he also called the FBI’s Russia investigation “one of the greatest travesties in American history.”(more / CNN)
Some cautious optimism?
Here’s how AG Bill Barr described recent events to Hugh Hewitt:
HH: Now Mr. Attorney General, I want to close with a couple of specific issues. The investigation of U.S. Attorney John Durham into the circumstances surrounding the surveillance of President Trump’s campaign, transition, and early administration, does that investigation remain on track undisturbed by the virus?
HH: There are guidelines concerning the announcement of indictments or the closing of the investigations prior to the election. When is that deadline for U.S. Attorney Durham? And do you think he will make it either to disclose indictments or to disclose that the investigation is over?
WB: As far as I’m aware, none of the key people that, whose actions are being reviewed at this point by Durham, are running for president.
HH: But would not the announcement of indictments after a time certain have an impact on an election of the sort that the U.S. Attorney’s manual recommends against?
WB: Well, what is the sort that the attorney manual recommends against?
HH: As I recall, this came up with Director Comey making his announcement, and the concerns in 2016 that he had acted improvidently during the run up to the election. I don’t recall what the exact timing is.
WB: Yeah, well, that was directly as to a candidate.
HH: And so it would not matter, in your view, if there is an investigation, and the day before the election, someone is indicted?
WB: Well, you know, I think in its core, the idea is you don’t go after candidates. You don’t indict candidates or perhaps someone that’s sufficiently close to a candidate, that it’s essentially the same, you know, within a certain number of days before an election. But you know, as I say, I don’t think any of the people whose actions are under review by Durham fall into that category.
HH: That’s big news to me. I had assumed that they would be in the category of people that could not be indicted given the obvious connection to President Trump, but I’ll take the news and I’ll put it away. Let me ask you about Senator Grassley. A couple of weeks ago, he tweeted, and this is a direct quote, “We are learning FBI flubs on Carter Page spying case are just tip of iceberg. IG audited 29 other spying applications on Americans and found problems with every one of them, in caps. Constitutional rights are at stake when FBI fails to justify use of spying tools. Reforms needed to protect civil liberties.” Is Senator Grassley correct, Mr. Attorney General?
WB: Yes, well, I think as I have said, I think that the failure to follow the guidelines and the requirements in preparing FISA applications, you know, is very disturbing, especially coming as recently as it has. And you know, we shouldn’t proceed with FISA unless we have safeguards and ensure that the law is being scrupulously followed by the FBI.
HH: Are you shocked by what you have found to date or have been briefed by U.S. Attorney Durham to date about?
WB: I wouldn’t use the word shocked, right? You know, I’m very troubled by it, but you know, I think the reason that we have this investigation is because there are a lot of things that are unexplained. And I think we’re getting deeply into the situation, and we’ll be able to sort out exactly what happened.
HH: I’m not going to ask you, because you wouldn’t answer whether there will be indictments or not. But when do you expect that the public will know a definitive assessment of where the U.S. Attorney Durham is going?
WB: As soon as we feel we have something that we are confident in to tell the people about.
HH: Is that imminent?
WB: No, it’s not imminent. But I’m not sure what imminent means. I’m not sure what imminent means, but it’s not imminent.