Quantcast
Connect with us

There’s a huge hole in Barr’s summary of the Mueller report — according to top counterintelligence experts

Published

on

Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the special counsel report overlooks one of key aspects of the investigation into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation shortly after Trump fired the bureau’s director James Comey, although it’s not clear what happened to that probe after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel, reported The Atlantic.

“We were concerned, and we felt like we had credible, articulable facts to indicate that a threat to national security may exist,” said former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

That counterintelligence investigation was aimed at determining whether the president was acting as a Russian agent — which presents an immense challenge.

“Normally, the bureau would investigate,” said Jeremy Bash, former chief of staff at the Defense Department and the CIA during the Obama administration, “and if criminal matters were involved, they’d ask prosecutors to get involved. But if it is just a matter of there being a national-security threat, the FBI would report to the director of national intelligence, who would then report to the president. But what if the president is the threat? We don’t have a playbook for this.”

Trump sought real estate ventures in Moscow during the 2016 campaign, which he and his lawyer Michael Cohen lied about, but that still doesn’t fully explain his odd devotion to Russian president Vladimir Putin.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We still do not understand why President Trump has this affinity for Putin,” said former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell. “What happened yesterday is Mueller took one possibility off the table — that there was a criminal conspiracy. But we still don’t know what is going on between these two leaders, and what is driving this relationship.”

Barr’s summary showed Mueller apparently determined there was not enough evidence to prove a criminal conspiracy case, but that’s a different standard of proof than what a counterintelligence investigation would determine.

“(Mueller) always noted that the term evidence meant something different to intelligence analysts who had to work with a variety of sources of varying reliability, whereas an FBI officer needed something so unassailable as to work in a court prosecution,” said JOhn McLaughlin, the former acting CIA director under former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

That distinction is crucial to understanding what evidence Mueller was looking for, and it’s something that Barr ignored in his summary.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If all we do is provide criminal standards to investigative findings, we are missing the point,” said Frank Figliuzzi, the former assistant director for counterintelligence at the FBI.

Most counterintelligence cases don’t result in criminal prosecution, but are intended to determine whether a foreign power targeted, compromised or recruited the subject of the investigation.

“This thing started as a counterintelligence investigation,” Figliuzzi said, “and it needs to end as a counterintelligence investigation.”

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Ukrainian-Russian developer with Trump Tower Moscow ties suing after getting bilked for $200,000 at inauguration

Published

on

It is illegal for foreigners to donate to presidential inaugurations, but a new lawsuit sheds light on how wealthy foreigners attempted to buy access to the Trump administration.

"A Ukrainian-Russian developer who wanted access to President Trump’s inauguration filed a lawsuit on Tuesday saying he was bilked out of the $200,000 he paid for what he thought would be V.I.P. tickets to the event," The New York Times reported Tuesday.

"The developer, Pavel Fuks, who once discussed a Moscow real estate project with Mr. Trump, said in the lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, that he had paid the money to a firm at the direction of Yuri Vanetik, a prominent Republican fund-raiser and sometime lobbyist," the newspaper explained. "But, the lawsuit said, Mr. Vanetik failed to come through with the promised tickets, and Mr. Fuks ended up watching the inauguration from a Washington hotel bar."

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Indicted Republican gets his passport back — so he can leave the country prior to his bribery trial

Published

on

Despite being indicted and waiting to stand trial, a North Carolina judge returned the passport of a top Republican and is allowing him to leave the country.

Former North Carolina GOP Chair Robin Hayes spent a decade in Congress and was once the Republican nominee for governor.

In April, Hayes was indicted on bribery and wire fraud charges.

Despite the seriousness of the charges, a federal judge will temporarily return Hayes' passport for him to travel abroad in July, WSCO-TV correspondent Joe Bruno reported on Tuesday.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Republican Attorney General sued by four women for retaliating against their sexual harassment complaints: report

Published

on

On Tuesday, Indiana's GOP attorney general, Curtis Hill, was sued in federal court by four women, who accuse him of defaming them and engaging in retaliation after they reported episodes of his sexual harassment.

Democratic state Rep. Mara Reardon, communications director Gabrielle McLemore, and legislative assistants Niki DaSilva and Samantha Lozano, are pursuing both compensatory and punitive damages for sexual harassment, retaliation, sexual battery and defamation, and want the judge to order Hill to apologize and retract his claims that the women are liars.

Continue Reading
 
 

Copyright © 2019 Raw Story Media, Inc. PO Box 21050, Washington, D.C. 20009 | Masthead | Privacy Policy | For corrections or concerns, please email [email protected]

I need your help.

Investigating Trump's henchmen is a full time job, and I'm trying to bring in new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have more stories coming you'll love. Join me and help restore the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link

Investigating Trump is a full-time job, and I want to add new team members to do more exclusive reports. We have stories coming you'll love. Join me and go ad-free, while restoring the power of hard-hitting progressive journalism.

TAKE A LOOK
close-link