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 HaspelEnhanced interrogation — better known as torture — took America to the dark side Trump administration, military officials at odds over CIA's Afghanistan role: report Trump meets with national security team on Afghanistan peace plan 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 BarrWilliam Pelham BarrHillicon Valley: Pelosi works to remove legal protections for tech companies from USMCA | Treasury sanctions Russian group over 0 million hack | Facebook sues Chinese individuals for ad fraud | Huawei takes legal action against FCC Biden gets in testy exchange in Iowa: 'You're a damn liar' Huawei to sue US over new FCC restrictions 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: Trump leaves door open to possible troop increase in Middle East | Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Putin offers immediate extension of key nuclear treaty Trump's antics shouldn't overshadow what he has accomplished in NATO MORE ordered Russian operatives to aid President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrumps light 97th annual National Christmas Tree Trump to hold campaign rally in Michigan 'Don't mess with Mama': Pelosi's daughter tweets support following press conference comments MORE’s 2016 campaign and damage that of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump to hold campaign rally in Michigan Saagar Enjeti ponders Hillary Clinton's 2020 plans Political ad spending set to explode in 2020 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.