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Top Reporter Reveals New Details On Why Durham Report Won’t Be Released Before Election
William Barr, U.S. attorney general, speaks during a roundtable discussion with federal, state, and local officials, not pictured, at the U.S. Attorney's Office in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., on Monday, Sept. 21, 2020. Barr said the federal government is awarding more than $100 million in grants to target human trafficking. The money will go to task forces combatting human trafficking, to victim services and victim housing, reports the Associated Press.
Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A top investigative reporter gave new insight on Friday into why U.S. Attorney John Durham is not releasing a report summarizing the findings from his criminal investigation into the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016.

CBS News Senior Investigative Correspondent Catherine Herridge noted that in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic being a contributing factor in slowing things down, the investigation “expanded in recent weeks” and it now “goes well beyond origins of FBI Russia probe.”

“This includes Sept 2016 CIA investigative referral to FBI over alleged 3rd party discussion of HRC approved plan ‘concerning candidate Trump + Russian hackers’ + Brennan notes,” Herridge continued. “Separately, official told @CBSNews that if there is a probability of future prosecutions stemming from Durham then there cannot be a report released prior to that. The official would not comment as to whether potential prosecutions are in the works.”

Herridge’s reporting comes after Axios reported early Friday morning that Attorney General William Barr had started “telling top Republicans that the Justice Department’s sweeping review into the origins of the Russia investigation will not be released before the election.”

“Barr has made clear that they should not expect any further indictments or a comprehensive report before Nov. 3,” the report continued. “According to one of the sources briefed on the conversations, Barr said Durham is working in a deliberate and calculated fashion, and they need to be patient. The general sense of the talks, the source says, is that Durham is not preoccupied with completing his probe by a certain deadline for political purposes.”

The report said that Durham was taking the criminal investigation “extremely seriously” and that he was focused on winning prosecutions against those involved.

Herridge’s reporting that the newly expanded scope of the investigation to include the CIA investigative referral comes after Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe recently declassified documents that outlined information that U.S. intelligence agencies obtained in 2016.

“U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee,” the document stated. “The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

The document added, “On 07 September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director of Counterintelligence Peter Strzok regarding ‘U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.'”

Ratcliffe later released additional declassified information indicating that former CIA Director John Brennan briefed then-President Barack Obama on the intelligence that U.S. officials had obtained.

Opponents of the administration were quick to call the information “Russian disinformation,” a claim that was quickly countered by Ratcliffe.

“To be clear, this is not Russian disinformation and has not been assessed as such by the Intelligence Community,” Ratcliffe said. “I’ll be briefing Congress on the sensitive sources and methods by which it was obtained in the coming days.”

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