(New York Times) …The prosecutors, led by John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, have interviewed about two dozen former and current F.B.I. officials, the people said. Two former senior F.B.I. agents are assisting with the review, the people said.
The number of interviews shows that Mr. Durham’s review is further along than previously known. It has served as a political flash point since Attorney General William P. Barr revealed in the spring that he planned to scrutinize the beginnings of the Russia investigation, which Mr. Trump and his allies have attacked without evidence as a plot by law enforcement and intelligence officials to prevent him from winning the 2016 election.
Aside: They actually wrote this after Durham took possession of two Blackberries belonging to Joseph Mifsud.
[…] Mr. Durham has yet to interview all the F.B.I. officials who played key roles in opening the Russian investigation in the summer of 2016, the people familiar with the review said. He has not spoken with Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence official who opened the inquiry; the former director James B. Comey or his deputy, Andrew G. McCabe; or James A. Baker, then the bureau’s general counsel.
This is beginning to take on the appearance of a RICO investigation. Prosecutors begin by gaining evidence on lower level conspirators, or those with knowledge of the conspiracy, to get them to flip on those above them.
Then, keep applying pressure against each successively higher-level person in the criminal enterprise until a solid case has been built against the syndicate’s kingpins.
Only after the case against them is ready to be tried are they called in to be interviewed. That’s when nothing the high-level targets say can disprove the evidence that they’re confronted with.
Within the Times presentation we see evidence of their narrative designed to protect the DOJ/FBI.
Mr. Horowitz has asked witnesses about an assessment of Mr. Steele that MI6, the British spy agency, provided to the F.B.I. after bureau officials received his dossier on Mr. Trump in September 2016. MI6 officials said Mr. Steele, a Russia expert, was honest and persistent but sometimes showed questionable judgment in pursuing targets that others viewed as a waste of time, two people familiar with the assessment said.
The September delivery date of the dossier to the FBI is purposely planted to hang CIA Director John Brennan out to dry because we know for a fact Brennan briefed the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on the contents of the dossier in August.
The blame game begins.
Coupled with the smear of Steele as an agent of ‘questionable judgement’ we can see the outline of a ‘we got bad intelligence from Brennan’ defense being formulated.
One former official said that in his interview with Mr. Durham’s team, he pushed back on the notion that law enforcement and intelligence officials had plotted to thwart Mr. Trump’s candidacy..
[…] The former official said he was reassured by the presence of John C. Eckenrode, one of the former senior F.B.I. agents assisting Mr. Durham. Like Mr. Durham, who investigated C.I.A. torture of detainees overseas, Mr. Eckenrode is also familiar with high-stakes political inquiries.
He [Eckenrode] is probably best known for working with Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the former United States attorney who in 2003 was appointed to investigate the leak of the identity of an undercover C.I.A. officer, Valerie Plame, to a journalist.
“Jack is as straight a shooter as you can get in the F.B.I.,” Asha Rangappa, a former F.B.I. agent, said of Mr. Eckenrode, a friend. “It’s the first reassuring thing I’ve heard about this review.” (Go Deep)
The Times is using ‘former FBI agent’ Asha Rangappa as an unbiased source? Here she is wearing a “Comey is my Homey” T-shirt. Seriously? CNN Legal and National Security Analyst, Asha Rangappa? Please.
Rangappa’s endorsement of Eckenrode fails to mention that he has a close relationship with Comey’s lawyer, Patrick Fitzgerald.
Given that much of the source material for this Times narrative had to originate with leaks from inside Durham’s team, and that the Times’ narrative was clearly constructed to add a layer of defense for Comey, everything points to John Eckenrode as the source.
These were Comey’s and Obama Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s handpicked executive team.
It couldn’t be due to the fact that Comey is one level removed from Barack Obama… nah!
Asking for a friend.