WASHINGTON— On Friday, August 21, former CIA director John Brennan was interviewed by John Durham’s team as part of its inquiry into the origins of the FBI’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.
The FBI’s investigation, led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, yielded no evidence of criminal conspiracy or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials. Attorney General William Barr later appointed federal prosecutor John Durham to examine the investigation.
The interview of Brennan took place at the CIA headquarters and lasted eight hours. Brennan appeared voluntarily to be questioned.
“Brennan was informed by Mr. Durham that he is not a subject or a target of a criminal investigation and that he is only a witness to events that are under review,” said Nick Shapiro, Brennan’s former deputy chief of staff and senior adviser.
Brennan led the CIA in its assessment, published in January 2017. It stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence U.S. elections and help elect President Trump.
Durham is examining how U.S. intelligence officials, like Brennan, reached that assessment, which Trump has denied.
According to Shapiro, “Brennan provided details on the efforts made by the Intelligence Community to understand and disrupt the actions taken by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election… [He] expressed appreciation for the professional manner in which Mr. Durham and his team conducted the interview.”
“Brennan also told Mr. Durham that the repeated efforts of Donald Trump and William Barr to politicize Mr. Durham’s work have been appalling and have tarnished the independence and integrity of the Department of Justice, making it very difficult for Department of Justice professionals to carry out their responsibilities. It is Brennan’s fervent hope that the results of the Durham review will be apolitical and not influenced by personal or partisan agendas,” he added.
On August 19, Durham brought forth his first charge against former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith for falsifying an email used to support the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.