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Ex-CIA Director Brennan questioned for 8 hours in Durham review of Russia probe

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Capitol Police may ask National Guard to stay | Biden's Pentagon policy nominee faces criticism | Naval Academy midshipmen moved to hotels Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Online and frighteningly real: 'A Taste of Armageddon' MORE was questioned for eight hours Friday as part of a criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.

Brennan was told by John DurhamJohn DurhamGarland stresses independence in first speech at DOJ Senate votes to confirm Garland as attorney general Special counsel investigating Russia probe to retire as US attorney MORE — who was selected by Attorney General William BarrBill BarrBoehner: Trump 'stepped all over their loyalty' by lying to followers Dominion: Ex-Michigan state senator 'sowing discord in our democracy' with election fraud claims Hunter Biden says he doesn't know if Delaware laptop was his MORE to lead the review of the 2016 counterintelligence inquiry into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia — that he was neither a subject nor a target of his probe and was there simply to provide information on events he witnessed that are now under review. 

“Brennan welcomed the opportunity to answer Mr. Durham's questions related to a wide range of intelligence-related activities undertaken by CIA before the November 2016 presidential election as well as the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) published in early Jan 2017,” said former Brennan adviser Nick Shapiro.

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“Brennan provided details on the efforts made by the Intelligence Community to understand and disrupt the actions taken by Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election,” Shapiro continued, adding that the former CIA chief “expressed appreciation for the professional manner in which Mr. Durham and his team conducted the interview.”

Brennan, who led the CIA under President Obama, was one of the intelligence officials who approved the intelligence assessment that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help then-candidate Donald Trump. He has since emerged as a top boogeyman for President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump mocks Murkowski, Cheney election chances Race debate grips Congress US reentry to Paris agreement adds momentum to cities' sustainability efforts MORE and other Republicans who allege the intelligence community overstepped in its probe.

Shapiro said Brennan asked Durham why the CIA’s findings were coming under scrutiny, particular after former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE’s investigation and a bipartisan report from the Senate Intelligence Committee corroborated its conclusions. Brennan also expressed alarm that “repeated efforts of Donald Trump & William Barr to politicize Mr. Durham's work” have made it harder for Justice Department officials to objectively do their jobs. 

“It is Brennan's fervent hope that the results of the Durham review will be apolitical and not influenced by personal or partisan agendas,” said Shapiro.

Durham, a longtime Justice Department official who is serving as a U.S. attorney in Connecticut, was tapped in May to lead the Justice Department’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe. He got his first guilty plea Wednesday when a former FBI attorney admitted to changing an email used to request surveillance warrants to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.