Durham investigation – Will we finally learn truth behind Russia intel report? (Fox News Opinion, 6/17/20)

Fox News Opinion
June 17, 2020

It’s been three and a half years since the U.S. intelligence community issued one of the most politicized assessments in its history on Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Now there are signs that the truth about this analysis – especially how it may have been politicized by former CIA Director John Brennan – will soon be revealed by U.S. Attorney John Durham’s inquiry into the Russia investigation and possibly by the release of a House Intelligence Committee report.

This controversial intelligence analysis, known as an Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA), was rushed out on Jan. 6, 2017, by the Obama administration just weeks before Donald Trump’s inauguration. It confirmed the widely accepted view that Russia interfered in the presidential election but also included a dubious finding designed to undermine Trump’s presidency – that Russian interference was to help Trump win the election.

From the beginning, the 2017 Russia ICA appeared to have been rigged to reach a pre-ordained political outcome. As a former CIA analyst, I immediately thought the ICA was suspicious because it reached unusually clear judgments on a politically explosive issue with no dissenting views.

Excluding dissenting views from major intelligence assessments is a serious violation of intelligence community procedures that undermines the integrity of the community’s work. I had long heard rumors that dissents were excluded from the Russia ICA but could not confirm this. These dissents were finally confirmed by investigative journalist John Solomon who wrote in a June 15, 2020 article:

“The official said that not all intelligence community analysts felt comfortable with the conclusion [in the ICA] about Russia’s intent to help Trump. ‘There was some dissent and concern that has been hidden all this time,’ the official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity.”

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