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Travel Guides – GOP senators want DOJ official who has ‘bias’ against Durham investigation to recuse herself

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Republican senators are demanding solutions from Attorney General Merrick Garland about Susan Hennessey’s function within the Justice Department’s National Security Division, highlighting her “bias” proven in feedback critiquing John Durham’s investigation.

Hennessey, a former NSA legal professional, was picked in May for a key function on the DOJ. The former CNN contributor and editor of the Lawfare weblog has a historical past of defending the Trump-Russia investigation.

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson said they want solutions from the DOJ as a result of Hennessey “has repeatedly and publicly expressed partisan comments about previous and current investigations including the Justice Department inspector general’s review of Crossfire Hurricane and Special Counsel John Durham’s ongoing investigation, raising concerns that she is conflicted and should be recused from such investigations.”

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The senators said, in December 2020, Hennessey “expressed a clear partisan bias” when she tweeted: “Durham has made abundantly clear that in a year and a half, he hasn’t come up with anything. I guess this kind of partisan silliness has become characteristic of Barr’s legacy, but unclear to me why Durham would want to go along with it.”

Grassley and Johnson stated Hennessey’s “bias against Durham’s inquiry presents a clear conflict that makes it impossible for her to be objective.”

Hennessey also said in September, “The Durham investigation presents the opportunity for bad actors to make a lot of mischief.”

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Trump Attorney General William Barr quietly appointed Durham to be particular counsel in October after assigning him the duty in May 2019. Garland declined to promise throughout his affirmation listening to that he would shield Durham’s investigation or make his report public.

Durham’s legal inquiry has netted one guilty plea. Ex-FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith admitted he falsified a doc throughout the bureau’s efforts to renew its FISA warrant against former Trump marketing campaign adviser Carter Page.

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The Republican senators additionally stated Hennessey “expressed copious public views in support of the fundamentally flawed Crossfire Hurricane investigation and vouched for the Steele Dossier.”

They pointed to a Lawfare post from January 2017, wherein Hennessey wrote the British ex-spy was “a person whose work intelligence professionals take seriously.” Hennessey claimed, “The president and president-elect do not get briefed on material that the intelligence community does not believe to be at least of some credibility.” Her publish additionally claimed Steele compiled his memos “on behalf of anti-Trump Republicans and, later, Democrats working against Trump,” which is fake. Steele put his analysis collectively on the behest of Fusion GPS, funded by Hillary Clinton’s marketing campaign.

“If reports that a FISA order was obtained are accurate, that means that the FBI has developed a lot more evidence than just this private dossier on the point,” Hennessey wrote.

DOJ inspector basic Michael Horowitz stated Steele’s file performed a “central and essential” function in looking for FISA surveillance and FBI interviews of Steele’s major subsource “raised significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting.”

Grassley and Johnson said Hennessey “attacked” the “credibility” of Horowitz to “discredit” the report. They pointed to a November 2019 tweet wherein she claimed, “There are growing signs that there are serious problems with the IG report and questions as to whether this is designed to be an honest accounting of the views of the IG or a political document driven by Barr’s conspiracy theories.”

Horowitz criticized the DOJ and the FBI for 17 “significant errors and omissions” related to the FISA warrants, for concealing doubtlessly exculpatory info, and for the bureau’s reliance on the file.

The DOJ watchdog said the FBI’s explanations had been “unsatisfactory across the board” but was unable to determine whether the mistakes were “gross negligence” or “intentional misconduct.”

The DOJ told the FISA courtroom the ultimate two Page FISA warrants had been “not valid.” FBI Director Christopher Wray agreed there had been illegal surveillance.

Grassley and Johnson pointed to comments Hennessey made about the 2018 FISA memo by GOP Rep. Devin Nunes that “exposed Crossfire Hurricane’s fundamental flaws.” Hennessey tweeted in January 2018 that the “process of debunking [the memo] will be thorough but take long enough that damage from widespread confusion will be done.”

The Republican memo discovered Steele’s anti-Trump file fashioned a vital a part of the FISA functions and that the political origins and bias of the Steele file had been identified to senior officers however excluded from FISA functions.

The senators concluded, “Hennessey’s partisan comments show a clear political bias that undercuts her ability to impartially work on some matters … including the Durham inquiry.”

Hennessey told CNN in December 2018, “We can say without exaggeration that if Donald Trump was not currently president of the United States, he would be under indictment or he would be imminently under indictment.”

Hennessey tweeted, “This is actually a very big deal” and that “the first concrete allegation of Trump team collusion” after a Washington Post reporter tweeted in June 2017 {that a} “GOP operative sought Clinton emails from Russian hackers, implied he was working with Mike Flynn.” Hennessey wrote in a Foreign Policy article, “It undoubtedly strikes the collusion ball down the sphere.” She wrote a 2019 article for Lawfare titled, “The Mueller Report Demands an Impeachment Inquiry.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation concluded Russia interfered in a “sweeping and systematic fashion” however “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government.”

The U.S. attorney picked by Barr to review the Flynn case said in May 2020 that he “concluded the proper and just course was to dismiss the case.” Hennessey wrote in Lawfare that this was “An Ugly Day for the Justice Department.”

When fired FBI lawyer Peter Strzok testified in July 2018, Hennessey defended him by claiming that House Republicans “cannot even conceive of the possibility someone could place duty and institutional integrity over base political and personal interests.”

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Hennessey additionally wrote a June 2017 article for Lawfare titled, “In Sharing Memos, Comey Did Nothing Wrong as a Former Official and Everything Right as a Whistleblower.” But Horowitz criticized the fired FBI director, saying in 2019 that “what was not permitted was the unauthorized disclosure of sensitive investigative information, obtained during the course of FBI employment, in order to achieve a personally desired outcome.”

Johnson and Grassley asked Garland to tell them by July 13 whether Hennessey has any role in Durham’s inquiry, whether she has access to any aspects of Durham’s work, and whether she will be recused from the Durham matter.

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Tags: News, Justice Department, John Durham, Merrick Garland, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Christopher Steele

Original Author: Jerry Dunleavy

Original Location: GOP senators want DOJ official who has ‘bias’ against Durham investigation to recuse herself

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