The CTH post is quite amusing--for what it doesn't say. We all know that sundance has been pushing the line that his controllers feed him: AG Barr is a bad guy, a swamp dweller looking to double cross all right thinking Americans. So, it's funny to read the CTH subject line, Dirty Spooks Concerned About Barr and Durham. You might expect from the subject line that there would be some mention of Barr, and maybe even an apology of sorts--given that if the Dirty Spooks are concerned about Barr then Barr has to be doing something right. Right? You'd be wrong if that was your expectation. Instead there's only one additional mention of Barr by sundance:
Apparently, if the article is semi-accurate, John Durham and Bill Barr are working around ICIG Michael Atkinson. That would be good news because Atkinson is a dirty cop, completely compromised.
Sundance even manages to quote at length from the Politico article (authored by Natasha Bertrand), while carefully excising all mention of Barr. Well, in fairness, he does omit his usual Bagpipe Bill photo from the post.
You may remember when Barr was nominated that I quoted from profiles of Barr, in which lawyers who had either worked with Barr or against Barr related how shockingly aggressive Barr is as a litigator. A portrait so much at odds with Barr's seemingly genial public persona. But those lawyers were guys like Barr--at the top of their profession--and if they were shocked you can imagine just how tough a litigator/prosecutor/investigator/political operator Barr is. Moreover, not only does Barr have plenty of experience in the Intel world, but he also likes to make his own mind up--which must be extremely unsettling for those under his microscope.
Keep that in mind as you read the following excerpts from a very heartening article, written by an author who is a determined opponent of Barr and a Deep State propagandist. And just imagine the dismay, and fear, being experienced by Deep State actors as they increasingly come face to face with Barr and his chosen bulldog, Durham. Any illusions that this nightmare will somehow just go away must have been dispelled long ago. That part is all over except for the squealing that we're hearing:
The review led by U.S. Attorney John Durham is making life uncomfortable for America’s cautious spy chief.
The prosecutor appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to examine the origins of the Russia investigation is focusing much of his attention on the CIA, placing the agency’s director, Gina Haspel, at the center of a politically toxic tug-of-war between the Justice Department and the intelligence community.
The prosecutor, John Durham, has reportedly asked the CIA for former director John Brennan’s communications as he examines the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment that concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin intervened in the election specifically to help Donald Trump.
Barr has been skeptical of the agency’s conclusions about Putin’s motivations, despite corroboration by the GOP-led Senate Intelligence Committee and an adversarial review by former CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
But intelligence community veterans say the Durham probe could force Haspel to choose between protecting her agency from Trump’s wrath and bowing to Barr’s wishes; they point to FBI chief Chris Wray, who has found himself at odds with the president in recent weeks over a watchdog report about the bureau’s conduct in the Russia probe.
And they say the Barr-Durham probe represents overreach by an attorney general who seems to have already made up his mind and is bent on imposing his own skeptical view of the Russia investigation on the intelligence community.
Haspel’s plight, though, may depend on how deeply Durham investigates an uncorroborated theory pushed by Trump allies that a key player in the Russia probe, a Russia-linked professor named Joseph Mifsud, was actually a Western intelligence asset sent to discredit the Trump campaign — and that the CIA, under Brennan, was somehow involved.
I think we already know the answer to that one. If Durham has been to Italy three times already, we can rest assured his investigation of Mifsud will be very, very thorough.
Haspel was the CIA’s station chief in London in 2016 when the U.S. Embassy there was made aware of Mifsud’s contact with a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, by Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Haspel was briefed on Downer’s outreach to the embassy, according to a person familiar with the matter, but it’s unclear whether she was then made aware of the FBI’s plans to interview him or knew about the bureau’s use of an informant in London.
An inspector general report released earlier this month said the embassy’s deputy chief of mission at the time briefed the FBI’s legal attache and another official—whose title is redacted, but is Haspel, according to another person familiar with the matter—on Downer’s outreach. The attache told the inspector general that Haspel, upon being briefed, said the Downer information sounded “like an FBI matter.”
And that sounds like standard bureaucratic CYA procedure.
One former intelligence official said it’s unlikely Haspel would have been read in to the FBI’s subsequent operation given how closely held it was within the bureau and the Justice Department. But Trump’s allies have been asking questions about what Haspel knew about the probe since before she was sworn in as director.
“It is unprecedented and inappropriate to do this via Justice Department prosecutors, who will tend to apply the standards of a courtroom to the more nuanced, and often more challenging world of intelligence analysis,” said John McLaughlin, who served as both deputy director and acting director of the CIA from 2000 to 2004.
Ha! Who thinks protestations from the likes of John McLaughlin on what is or isn't appropriate for DoJ prosecutors will make an impression on Barr?
Another issue former officials have flagged: It isn’t clear whether Durham has consulted with the intelligence community inspector general, Michael Atkinson, as part of his review, which reportedly evolved into a criminal probe in October.
Duh! Rest assured, Barr knew everything he needed to know about Michael Atkinson--long before Atkinson's underhanded role in the "whistleblower" hoax.
Normally, potential intelligence community misconduct is reviewed by an agency’s internal watchdog, who would then recommend criminal charges if warranted to a U.S. attorney with jurisdiction, noted Greg Brower, a former FBI assistant director.
A very cozy relationship!
“It appears that the cart has been put before the horse,” said Brower. “Here, Durham appears to be acting as a sort of super IG and prosecutor in one. The difference: Durham works for the attorney general, while the IC IG, like any IG, operates independently from executive branch direction.”
Turnabout is fair play. Let's see how the Deep State likes it.