The New York Times reports:
Federal prosecutors reviewing the origins of the Russia investigation have asked witnesses pointed questions about any anti-Trump bias among former F.B.I. officials who are frequent targets of President Trump and about the earliest steps they took in the Russia inquiry, according to former officials and other people familiar with the review.
The prosecutors, led by John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Connecticut, have interviewed about two dozen former and current F.B.I. officials, the people said....
The number of interviews shows that Mr. Durham’s review is further along than previously known. It has served as a political flash point since Attorney General William P. Barr revealed in the spring that he planned to scrutinize the beginnings of the Russia investigation, which Mr. Trump and his allies have attacked without evidence as a plot by law enforcement and intelligence officials to prevent him from winning the 2016 election.
Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.
NBC News adds:
Durham has also requested to talk to CIA analysts involved in the intelligence assessment of Russia’s activities, prompting some of them to hire lawyers....
Although the probe did not begin as a criminal investigation, Justice Department officials won’t comment on whether it has morphed into one....
A Western intelligence official familiar with what Durham has been asking of foreign officials says his inquiries track closely with the questions raised about the Russia investigation in right-wing media.
The Trump administration held up aid to Ukraine, and the president asked Ukraine's president for a favor -- or, rather, two favors: help in investigating a conspiracy theory that, if true, would disprove Russian election interference, as well as help in discrediting Joe Biden and his family.
But if Trump hadn't gotten personally involved, the right-wing "investigate the investigators" witch hunt would have gone along swimmingly without him. The exact 2016-related dirt Trump sought in Ukraine might not have been pursued as vigorously as Trump would have liked, but there's a great deal of effort being put into discrediting the accepted Trump-Russia narrative. The findings of this investigation will be trumpeted on Fox News and in other right-wing media outlets. Trump's base will believe the accepted narrative has been debunked. So will Trump himself. So why couldn't he have just let the process play out? Instead, he got personally involved, and now he's facing impeachment.
And why did he personally press for dirt on the Bidens? He could have just relied on John Solomon and Peter Schweizer -- as well as the mainstream media -- to besmirch them. Solomon was on the verge of getting a higher-profile job at Fox. Schweizer sometimes gets published by The New York Times. Much of the work he wanted done was being done.
Subordinates and propagandists are doing Trump's dirty work for him, but that wasn't good enough -- he had to get involved himself. Why?
Published with permission from No More Mr. Nice Blog