One Step Closer to Despotism?

Donald Trump’s order on Twitter  to declassify documents related to the FBI’s investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign suggests that he’s lost faith in Attorney General William Barr and John Durham, the prosecutor tapped to investigate the origins of Crossfire Hurricane. 

Previously, the rationale for Barr’s failure to declassify Crossfire Hurricane documents en masse was that Durham needed to keep a close hold on them to build his case. But with less than a month to go before the 2020 election, the U.S. Attorney’s 18 month-long investigation has only secured one plea deal from an FBI lawyer. In the meantime, corrupt U.S. officials who spied on the Trump campaign and framed him as a Russian agent are basking in the sun. Former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former CIA Director John Brennan are on book tours; Showtime made a mini-series about former FBI Director James Comey; and the Democratic candidate for president is Joe Biden, an avatar for a potential third Barack Obama term. 

A subsequent presidential retweet featuring a photo-shopped image of the late comedian Chris Farley shouting at a complacent-seeming Barr confirms that the commander-in-chief has lost his patience—“For the love of God,” the caption reads, “ΑRREST SOMEBODY.”

Trump knows that at least one of his senior officials is fighting him. CIA Director Gina Haspel reportedly is refusing to turn over documents that may further illuminate the Agency’s role in the anti-Trump plot. Haspel was London station chief in 2016 as Crossfire Hurricane agents and their confidential sources moved in and out of the British capital to target Trump campaign officials visiting the United Kingdom.

A senior U.S. intelligence official tells me she would have known what the FBI was up to in London. “There’s very little in terms of intelligence and law enforcement matters the station chief is not aware of.”

Haspel appears to be protecting herself as well as her former boss. “She had an unusually close relationship with Brennan,” says the intelligence official. “He handpicked her for the London station chief job, which is a plumb position. It’s regarded as the best job a career CIA official can get.” [ … ]

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