Wa Examiner: Federal prosecutor John Durham is scrutinizing the intelligence community’s interagency turf war over viewing secretive foreign intelligence and the government restricting access to President Barack Obama’s emails that were hacked by Russians but obtained by a foreign ally, sources claimed.
Durham, selected by Attorney General William Barr last year to lead the Justice Department’s inquiry into the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and the conduct of the U.S. government in dealing with the Kremlin’s interference, apparently is focused on at least two clashes over sensitive information, according to sources cited by the New York Times.
The first internal Obama administration squabble, described by the article in vague terms, related to restrictions placed upon yet-unknown foreign intelligence by one intelligence agency, speculated to be the CIA directed by John Brennan. Other agencies, speculated to include the National Security Agency, wanted access to the material. One source suggested that the CIA wanted to mask American identities in the data set before allowing the NSA to view it.
The second squabble was about the White House preventing the FBI from viewing U.S. emails hacked by the Russians but obtained, copied, and given to the United States by an unnamed foreign intelligence service. The Russians had hacked the Obama White House and State Department — as well as Congress — in 2014, and the FBI wanted to examine the reproduced emails to understand the Russian active measures campaign in 2016.
“But an index of the messages compiled by the unnamed foreign ally showed that they included emails from President Barack Obama as well as members of Congress,” the New York Times reported. “Mr. Obama’s White House counsel, W. Neil Eggleston, decided that investigators should not open the drives, citing executive privilege and the possibility of a separation-of-powers uproar if the FBI sifted through lawmakers’ private messages.” read more