Included in that article are comments by Senator Graham--a former prosecutor--that are important for assessing the significance of what we are having confirmed:
Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he was “very pleased the investigation in the Senate Judiciary Committee has been able to secure the declassification of these important documents,” and thanked Attorney General Barr.
“What have we learned from the release of these two documents by the Department of Justice? Number one, it is clear to me that the memo regarding the FBI interview of the primary sub-source in January 2017 should have required the system to stop and reevaluate the case against Mr. Page,” Graham said. “Most importantly after this interview of the sub-source and the subsequent memo detailing the contents of the interview, it was a miscarriage of justice for the FBI and the Department of Justice to continue to seek a FISA warrant against Carter Page in April and June of 2017.”
Recall, I recently pointed out that a FISA can--and should--be terminated before it has run its full course if the FBI learns that the information used to obtain the FISA warrant was, in fact, unreliable. Of course, an entire investigation can--and should--be terminated for the same reason. That's exactly what Graham is getting at when he states that the interview of the primary subsource "should have required the system to stop and reevaluate the case against Mr. Page." That's especially true given that the case against Page was bogus--lacked predication--to begin with. However, there's more to this, because we know that in the real world the true target wasn't Carter Page but Donald Trump. Senator Graham isn't a dummy--he gets that.
“Secondly, the comments of Peter Strzok regarding the February 14 New York Times article are devastating in that they are an admission that there was no reliable evidence that anyone from the Trump Campaign was working with Russian Intelligence Agencies in any form," Graham explained. “The statements by Mr. Strzok question the entire premise of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump Campaign and make it even more outrageous that the Mueller team continued this investigation for almost two and a half years."
Have I been saying that AG Barr is targeting Team Mueller? Yes, I have. Are the principals of Team Mueller aware that they're being targeted? Of course they are, and that's why, after the Stone commutation, Mueller and Weissmann attempted not simply to criticize the commutation but to defend their entire witchhunt. You can find a pretty complete deconstruction of this attempted defense of the Team Mueller witchhunt in a very recent article by Aaron Maté: Mueller and Weissmann Op-Eds Greatly at Odds With Their Report and Evidence. Maté points out that Mueller (and Weissmann, as well) took the occasion of the Stone commutation to respond to what Mueller claimed were "broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper." Indeed! Mueller gets it--he understands what Barr and Durham are patiently doing.
[Graham] added: "Moreover, the statements by Strzok raise troubling questions as to whether the FBI was impermissibly unmasking and analyzing intelligence gathered on U.S. persons."
I think the big picture of much of what Barr and Durham have been doing is simply this. Knowing that the Team Mueller witchhunt was in fact nothing but a continuation of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane investigation of "four Americans" in the Trump campaign--proxies for targeting Trump himself--Durham, under Barr's guidance, has been methodically examining and demolishing the predication for these investigations, particularly as they pertain to President Trump. When Mueller states that people are making "broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper," what he's saying is simply that Barr and Durham are intent on demonstrating that the investigation lacked "predication."
We've seen that in the Flynn case, with continuing revelations that the FBI never had any basis (predication) for investigating Flynn.
It's clear that all of Durham's investigation involving Italy and Australia are pointing in a similar direction with regard to Papadopoulos. That's why Mueller attempted to, once again, convince the world that Crossfire Hurricane--and thus his own witchhunt--was predicated off information about Papadopoulus. Maté does an able job of debunking that--once again:
In a bid to refute [the claim that his investigation lacked predication], Mueller begins by defending the FBI's justification for launching the probe. "By late 2016," he writes, "the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate," Hillary Clinton. The campaign adviser is George Papadopoulos, whose barroom conversation with Australian diplomat Alexander Downer served as the basis for the Trump-Russia probe. (Downer passed this tip to the U.S. government in late July – though Mueller writes "late 2016.")
Contrary to Mueller's assertion, the record shows the FBI was not acting on any evidence that "the Russians had signaled" anything to Papadopoulos, but instead on the Australian diplomat's recounting of vague hearsay -- which Papadopoulos never relayed to anyone else in the Trump campaign. The bureau’s own documents make this clear. The recently declassified FBI electronic communication (EC) that officially opened its Russia investigation, code-named Crossfire Hurricane, states that Downer had told the U.S. government that Papadopoulos had "suggested the Trump team had received some kind of suggestion from Russia that it could assist" the Trump campaign by anonymously releasing damaging, yet "unclear," information about Clinton and President Obama. Not only was this tip vague, there was no evidence that the "some kind of suggestion" actually came from the Russian government or even a Russian national.
Instead, Downer was relaying what he claims Papadopoulos told him about an unspecified suggestion he had received of Russian assistance. Papadopoulos later told the FBI that the suggestion came from a conversation with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic. But Downer did not hear about Mifsud at the time, and his tip to the FBI accordingly made no mention of him.
I will not be surprised if something similar is revealed regarding the targeting of Paul Manafort and the effort to coerce him into "composing" regarding Trump.
But the Carter Page case is in many ways the heart of the case against Trump. It was Carter Page--supposedly working with Manafort--who was initially fingered by Steele (and supposedly by his primary subsource) as the key link between Trump and the Putin regime. The FBI's debriefing of the primary subsource--now released to the public in redacted form--demolishes that narrative. Moreover, since the FBI had no other legitimate predication for investigating Carter Page (the NYO case was a bad joke), the predication for continuing Crossfire Hurricane as a Special Counsel investigation simply crumbles to the ground.
The key players in this charade, of course, include: Comey, McCabe, Rosenstein, Mueller, and Weissmann. These are the officials who had the ultimate responsibility for the Team Trump witchhunt. If any one of them had done their jobs with integrity the country would have been spared its biggest and, perhaps, most destructive political scandal and crisis ever. At the same time, their are complementary players, officials or former officials, who were part of this, and some of whom have been cooperating with Barr and Durham: Bruce Ohr, Dana Boente, James Baker, Peter Strzok, Joe Pientka, Sally Yates, Lisa Page. And there are others.
So, when Barr tells us that he hopes for action by the end of summer, this document release may be pointing at the kind of action he has in mind--that's why this release at this point in time is significant. It's not the whole ball of wax, of course. There's still Brennan, the ICA, State Department, the White House and NSC, and no doubt more. However, I'm guessing that this release is a signal of what may be about ready to go.
UPDATE: Here's what I mean when I say I wouldn't be surprised to see revelations on the targeting of Paul Manafort emerge. We all know--since the previous investigation of Manafort was shut down--that the reinstitution of the investigation by Team Mueller and Manafort's confinement pre-trial in brutal conditions that were utterly unwarranted was all part of an effort to coerce testimony from Manafort that would damage Trump. Period.
Now consider this from the Primary Subsource, via Undercover Huber:
Also Primary Sub Source says that in March 2016 he was “clueless” about who Paul Manafort was. Yet then went on to supposedly provide allegations Manafort was the ringleader of the Collusion conspiracy?
Revelations such as this could go a long way toward rehabilitating Manafort as a possible witness. At the least it very obviously adds to the utter deconstruction of the Crossfire Hurrican pretext predication, since Manafort was named in a key early "dossier" report. This is key to building the big picture conspiracy case.