A former acting director of national intelligence says he’s becoming more pessimistic about an ongoing special counsel probe into the origins of the Russia-Trump investigation.
“It’s a big question. Let’s start with where do we think it’s going? I just don’t know. I mean, I’m losing hope,” Richard Grenell, who spent time as the top U.S. intelligence official during the Trump administration, said on EpochTV’s “Kash’s Corner” program. (Watch the full episode here.)
“I just think justice is supposed to be swift. And when it’s not swift, it’s not justice. And I’m frustrated that it’s all of these years later, we’ve moved on, on so many other topics,” he added, describing himself as disappointed.
Former U.S. Attorney John Durham is the special counsel in charge of the investigation, which is exploring the flawed counterintelligence probe into Donald Trump’s campaign.
Durham has only brought two charges—one against an FBI lawyer who, despite admitting to fabricating information about former Trump campaign associate Carter Page, avoided jail time; the other was against a Washington-based lawyer who represented Democrats and allegedly lied to the FBI.
The charges as of now may lead people to believe the flawed investigation only involved outside parties, but Grenell said that isn’t true.
“You’re never going to be able to convince me that the phony Russia collusion investigation and narrative was done by some Democratic lawyer on the outside. This was done by DOJ and FBI officials,” he said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) didn’t respond to a request for comment. The FBI declined to comment.
The FBI violated internal rules in its pursuit of Page, including providing “wrong or incomplete information” to the FBI’s Office of Intelligence, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found.
FBI agents obtained warrants to spy on Page, but he was never charged with a crime.
Top officials at the DOJ, meanwhile, were involved in disseminating the later-debunked dossier on then-candidate Trump compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, even though little evidence backed the dossier.
Kash Patel, the host of the EpochTV show and a former congressional investigator who uncovered some of the government wrongdoing in the case, said Grenell knows what he’s talking about because he personally saw documents while serving as director of the U.S. intelligence system.
“You tried to declassify a lot of it,” he said. “I’ll give you a perfect example, when I ran Russiagate on House Intel under then Chairman [Devin] Nunes, I took 60 depositions, 60 interrogations of sworn witnesses, in 2017. And it took until you became the director of national intelligence to declassify those depositions because [Rep.] Adam Schiff stood in the way. And that’s just an example of, I think, why you are so frustrated with the process of holding people accountable,” Patel said.
“You see that the problems are with the political leadership of some of the agencies and they’re good at hiding the ball,” Grenell said. “And I think it’s outrageous that we’re not able to say ‘this person lied, or this person pushed a lie, and knew that it was a lie from the very beginning.'”