Politics - 1 week ago

James Clapper: Premature for Barr to Ask US Attorney With Reviewing Russia Investigation Origins

Author: Daniel Chaitin

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said on Monday the U.S. is “losing sight” of the threat posed by the Russians.

Attorney General William Barr’s decision to task a U.S. attorney with examining the origins of the federal Russia investigation is one Clapper said he would not have made, at least not yet.

“First of all, there’s already an investigation well underway, in fact nearing completion which is by the department of justice inspector general,” Clapper said on CNN, where is a contributor. “I don’t quite get the involvement of these state attorneys general, and I hadn’t heard that before.”

He was reacting to news that Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John Durham from Connecticut with reviewing the genesis of the Russia investigation, which a source told Fox News started “weeks” ago. Durham’s effort is the third known federal investigation dedicated to unearthing information about the genesis of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, which was later wrapped into special counsel Robert Mueller’s effort. Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is investigating alleged FISA abuse and is expected to wrap up in late May or June. U.S. Attorney John Huber is also conducting an investigation into allegations of misconduct atop the Justice Department and the FBI.

Clapper said all this is a distraction from what he views is the main takeaway from Mueller’s investigation.

“So I — you know, if I were king, I would prefer to wait until the outcome of the Department of Justice investigation about the origins of the investigation,” he said, adding that “we’re kind of losing sight here of” Russian interference.

“The big deal in my mind is the threat posed by the Russians,” he added. “We don’t discuss volume one of the Mueller report very much, which to me is the issue at hand for the country, the threat posed by the Russians and we’ve gotten all consumed with collusion or not, obstruction or not, when to me the big deal here is the threat posed by the Russians.”

This comes on the heels of reporting from the New York Times that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was warned not to bring up in front of Trump preparations to fight against Russian interference targeting the 2020 election.

This comes on the heels of reporting from the New York Times that former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was warned not to bring up in front of Trump preparations to fight against Russian interference targeting the 2020 election.

Still, the Trump administration has signaled it is taking election security seriously. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Russia on Tuesday, where he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi. Pompeo said in a news conference that he told Lavrov that he made it clear the U.S. would not “tolerate” 2020 election interference.

 

Source: James Clapper: Premature for Barr to task US attorney with reviewing Russia investigation origins

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