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DOJ to interview CIA officers on Russian interference conclusions: Report

DOJ to interview CIA officers on Russian interference conclusions: Report
© Greg Nash

The Justice Department plans to interview senior CIA officers as part of its investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, according to The New York Times.

CIA Director Gina HaspelGina Cheri HaspelCIA chief threatened to resign over push to install Trump loyalist as deputy: report Biden announces veteran diplomat William Burns as nominee for CIA director Meet Biden's pick to lead the US intelligence community MORE has told senior officials that while the CIA plans to cooperate, it will protect information that could place sources or collection methods at risk, the newspaper reported, citing current and former American officials.

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The Department of Justice has not filed formal written requests to talk to the officers, but intelligence officials have been informed that Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBudowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated Two-thirds say the election was fair: poll The Hill's Morning Report - An inauguration like no other MORE has assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to seek the interviews, according to the Times.

Haspel does not plan to block the interviews and has told officers it will be possible to talk with Durham without risking agency secrets.

Barr is reportedly seeking further information on how the agency concluded Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinOvernight Defense: House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee | Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia | Two more US service members killed by COVID-19 Biden to seek five-year extension of key arms control pact with Russia The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' MORE ordered Russian operatives to aid President TrumpDonald TrumpIran's leader vows 'revenge,' posting an image resembling Trump Former Sanders spokesperson: Biden 'backing away' from 'populist offerings' Justice Dept. to probe sudden departure of US attorney in Atlanta after Trump criticism MORE’s 2016 campaign and damage that of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSamantha Power's Herculean task: Turning a screw with a rubber screwdriver Beau Biden Foundation to deny lobbyist donations, make major donors public Whoopi Goldberg wears 'my vice president' shirt day after inauguration MORE, according to the Times, citing current and former officials.

Specifically, Barr wants more information about the CIA sources the agency relied on in analyzing Russian interference as well as the intelligence pathways between the CIA and the FBI in the summer of 2016, according to the newspaper.

One senior analyst Barr is seeking to question was involved in agency assessments of Russian activities in 2016, according to the Times, citing people familiar with the inquiry.

Durham’s inquiry is not criminal in nature, but he will have the authority to investigate criminal wrongdoing if he finds any, according to the Times.

Durham has investigated the CIA and Haspel specifically before and has twice concluded probes by exonerating agency officials.

The FBI and CIA did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.