A.G. & Durham Now Granted Power to Present Classified Information to Grand Jury
A memorandum made public today by the White House says, “The Attorney General is authorized to use classified information as he deems necessary in connection with his review, including in a grand jury or other proceeding.
A memorandum made public today by the White House says, “The Attorney General is authorized to use classified information as he deems necessary in connection with his review, including in a grand jury or other proceeding.”
The Attorney General and special counsel John Durham are now authorized to present classified information to a grand jury convened around the investigation of the Crossfire Hurricane (Russian Collusion) inquiry.
Although William Barr will no longer be Attorney General after this week, he is replaced by now-Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen who will be acting in the same capacity.
The memorandum, which extends and reinforces the investigatory powers granted to Barr and Durham, was signed on Friday by President Donald Trump and made public today. The updated memorandum should relax the restraints of how classified information can be presented to a grand jury.
The memorandum also adds: “The authority in this memorandum shall terminate upon the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s investigation, unless expressly extended by the President. In addition, the authority of the Attorney General under the May 23, 2019, memorandum is hereby extended to terminate only upon the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”
In 2019, President Donald Trump gave Barr special powers to investigate the Crossfire Hurricane inquiry the FBI had made into the incoming Trump Administration during the 2016 presidential election. Durham was chosen to run the investigation last spring. Barr revealed that in November, just days ahead of the election, that he elevated Durham to special counsel status.
“I designated John Durham as a special counsel because I wanted to provide him and his team with assurance that they’d be able to finish their work, and they’re making good progress now, and I expect they will be able to finish their work,” Barr said. “I’m hoping that the next administration handles that matter responsibly.”
To date, Durham’s investigation has had only minor success, with only a single prosecution.
Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith plead guilty to making false statements in the D.C. District Court this past August. Clinesmith had falsified an email which was then used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to surveil a former Trump aide and campaign advisor, Carter Page.
When the FBI sought to renew a FISA to continue to surveil Carter Page In June 2017, Clinesmith was asked to determine whether Page was a source for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The fact that Page had been a source to the Intelligence Agency concerning Russia activity was a necessary disclosure as it would have explained the purpose of his Russian contacts.
The CIA had informed Clinesmith in an email that Page had been an “operational contact” between 2008 and 2013. However, Clinesmith deleted that section of the email before submitting it to obtain the FISA.
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