Kash’s Corner: Putin’s Sleight of Hand in Ukraine; Durham Probe Forges Ahead
“He’s taking advantage of a weakened United States national security position.”
What is Vladamir Putin’s real goal in escalating threats of war with Ukraine? Is it a sleight of hand?
And what new revelations are in special counsel John Durham’s recent court filing?
We discuss on Kash’s Corner.
Kash Patel: Hey, everybody. And welcome back to Kash’s Corner.
Jan Jekielek: So Kash, some pretty heavy material we’re going to talk about today. First off, I think everybody now knows I’m Polish.
Mr. Patel: Well, I now know.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, and a lot of Pols are very worried right now, frankly. Is there going to be war in Eastern and Central Europe? Is Russia going to war? Or is it just some kind of play by Putin to consolidate some power, get some concessions? I’ve seen some pretty varied takes on this at the moment. But also, just the other day, Durham’s back with the new pleading, and it looks really interesting. We’re going to have to get your take on that too.
Mr. Patel: Everyone knows, obviously, I’m a former federal prosecutor, so I tend to geek out on all things John Durham. Maybe our viewership will give me a pass on that and allow us to delve into it later on in the show.
Mr. Jekielek: Okay. So here’s the thing. Poland, we’re used to being run over by Russia. We’ve been under Soviet occupation for many years prior to 1989. There’s a genuine fear and concern that Russia could be making moves on Ukraine. And if it’s Ukraine, it could be Poland. Anyway, big question. You’ve been out there talking about this a little bit, but let’s dive deeper.
Mr. Patel: Okay, let’s set the table. I think people get a lot of terms thrown out there, NATO and all this stuff, Western European alliances and America. Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
NATO happens to be basically, in essence, the largest conglomeration of Western superpowers that have come together to make a treaty, an agreement in international terms that they will basically defend one another should there be aggression or conflict against one of the NATO partners. There’s also a lot of economic value, trade value, and things that go into NATO, but for our purposes, I just want to set the stage.
The other thing I want to remind people is, people think is Ukraine, Russia, just something that happened last week? They’ve been fighting in one form or another for the last eight years; that is, the Ukraine and the Russians. That’s a long time, especially in modern history, to be in a conflict with another. Two civilized nations are at, literally, I don’t want to say war. But physically fighting, shooting, killing each other for the last eight years. So it’s been an ongoing issue in that region.
Putin has made advancements into the sovereignty of Ukraine before. During the Obama administration, everybody remembers what happened in Crimea, which is that peninsula that sticks out in the Black Sea that’s part of the Ukraine, but Russia thought it was part of Russia. So there was all that.
We won’t get too much into that, except that one difference I want to highlight is that many people in Crimea requested Putin to annex Crimea into Russia. Not all of them, but many did. That’s a little bit of a different situation that we have today with the Ukraine.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, there’s this sizable Russian population in there, that is true. But essentially what happened, you’re right. There’s a lot of nuance; we could talk about the activity. How Russia was involved in creating that situation is certainly the analyses that I’ve read. But I mean, the bottom line is that not too long ago, Putin did take over Crimea, and with essentially no pushback. I mean, no meaningful pushback. It’s become the status quo and unquestioned.
Mr. Patel: No, you’re right. And yes, we’ll leave Crimea off for another day. But I just wanted to set the historical context, that Putin’s been doing something like this. But there is a difference, at least in my mind, and I’ll explain why later. I’m not saying it was right for Putin to go in and take Crimea. I’m just saying a large portion of that populous asked him to do so, which is slightly different from the Ukraine situation we have today.
But in Putin’s mind, and he said this publicly. He, Putin, the head of the Russian Federation, has always thought all of Ukraine should be in Russia. He’s made no bones about keeping that quiet.
So the Ukrainians and the Ukrainian government have, since the fall of the Soviet Union, disagreed with that position. They think, and rightfully so, that they have their own sovereign nation. That is the Ukraine, and it is not subject to Russian ascension or Russian rule. So those are the two sides.
Enter NATO, again, that we talked about earlier. Putin has said he does not want the Ukraine to become a member of NATO. Why is that such a big deal? It is a huge deal for any Western European ally to be a member of NATO. Because once you’re a member of NATO, you are allies and partners with the United States of America by international law. And not just us, but Great Britain, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, these places.
It’s a big deal to get into NATO. And to offer a vignette, I remember when Montenegro—most people don’t even know where Montenegro is in the Balkans—joined NATO. It was during the Trump administration. I was actually over there doing work on the intel side of things. It was a really big celebration because what entering NATO does is it opens up trade and economic value that you can’t get unless you’re in.
But what it also does is, and this is the important kicker, there’s this whole thing called Article Five, NATO. Not to get down into the weeds, but basically it says if a NATO member is attacked by someone else, and they say we are being attacked, all other NATO members, per the agreement, have to come in and defend that country that’s under attack, under NATO. That’s why it’s also critical to a defense of a nation to be a member of NATO.
Putin has said publicly and repeatedly, he does not want the Ukraine to become a member of NATO because then a country could invoke Article Five of NATO, and say, I, the Ukraine, are being attacked. We’re in NATO: America, England, Spain, France, Germany, everybody else. We have to go to war against Putin. So that is setting the field as to where Putin’s coming from on the Ukraine, and his mindset and in terms of NATO.
That has been the negotiation. We’ll get into the diplomatic side of it, I think a little later on. But that’s been the tussle between the West and Putin’s position. He’s saying you, the West, have to agree you will not accept Ukraine into NATO. The West is saying, well, hang on a minute. We might let them into NATO next year or the year after, a year later. So that’s the crux of the tension right now.
Mr. Jekielek: I think the Russian messaging is roughly that the West is making these threatening incursions by expanding NATO, by expanding this front against Russia. How true is that?
Mr. Patel: From a Russian Federation perspective, I don’t agree with it. But from their perspective, everyone that joins and becomes an ally with the US is in their eyes, an enemy of the Russian Federation, by extension. That’s just the way they see the world, right? If we, America, put ourselves on the other side and said, what is Russia doing? Are they partnering with an enemy of America, or are they partnering with an ally of America?
If the Russians do something, for instance, with the Cubans, 90 miles from our shores, and Putin has threatened this in response to our position on the Ukraine. Putin has actually threatened, and he can call the Castro regime down there and go in and put military equipment there; move personnel there because they have a relationship. But the Cuban government is not an ally of the American populace or the American government.
So that’s a loose analogy of what I think Putin’s doing down there. This is the heart of the issue, the propaganda cost and effect here. I believe Putin did a similar operation back in 2015 and 2016, when he spent $40,000 to interfere with the US election apparatus. Now, we’re not going to dive into that, but we found, multiple investigations found no votes were changed.
But what Putin got out of that for a very minimal investment was a propaganda machine to say that the Russian Federation interfered with the election cycle, the presidential election cycle of the United States government. For him, that was a propaganda win that he couldn’t possibly pay enough for. He spent almost no money doing it, and we’re talking about it four or five years later. We’ll get back to it with John Durham at the end of the show.
In his mind, Putin’s a former intelligence officer. He’s thinking, how do I get the most value without expensing the most money? I think he’s doing the same thing that Xi Jinping’s doing for the CCP versus, with Taiwan in the South China Sea. He’s going here and saying, I want all the global attention, I’m putting it on me. So he’s moving troops around the Ukraine. Not in it, but around it, and saying, there might be a threat of a Russian incursion or invasion into the Ukraine. And so what does the whole world do? They stop.
What I think Putin’s doing additionally, and this is what I’ve been talking about lately, he’s taking advantage of a weakened United States national security position. We can go around the world and elaborate why I think that’s so. Everything from Afghanistan, to our positions against China, to Iran, to our southern border and whatnot. Putin’s smart enough to know, okay, this isn’t Donald Trump’s national security apparatus.
This is Joe Biden’s. He’s testing it. I think he’s testing it to his benefit because he’s dictating to the West. He’s saying, you, the West, better not allow the Ukraine to join NATO. That’s not a decision that should be dictated by the head of the Russian Federation. It should be by NATO members and the Ukrainian government, a decision made amongst them to see if they want to and should join NATO.
I think it’s troubling that that’s the demand that’s been placed. We just saw Secretary Blinken at the State Department send over a written correspondence that was delivered to the Russian Federation just within the last 12 hours here.
The content of that letter has not been publicly revealed, but they say they are entering into a strategic diplomatic dialogue with the Russians on everything related to the Ukraine, vis-a-vis the NATO and whether or not they’re going to join. So I don’t know the position that this government, our government has taken yet.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, I’m going to read a couple of things. Here’s part of this play. What the [Russian] Foreign Minister Lavrov is saying, “If we do not receive a constructive answer from the West on our security demands, Moscow will take appropriate measures.” So, very ambiguous. Basically, if you don’t give us what we want, we can do anything. I mean, that sounds like the message, right?
Mr. Patel: Look, that’s the Russian propaganda machine at its finest, right? They’re basically saying, we’ve dictated to you the terms. We are now dictating to you the parameters of those terms. If you don’t put that in writing and send it back to us the way we want it, we’re going to do whatever we want. The difference between the United States and the NATO allies such as Great Britain or France or what have you, and Russia is, Russia doesn’t play by the rules.
They don’t have a leadership structure in place that is, “we have to do everything by the law,” like the United States. They have Putin in charge, and he can break the rules whenever he wants. He’s now going to be the head of the Russian Federation for as long as he wants. He literally had that change made in their Constitution or their governing documents, as just an example.
He wants to stay in power forever. I think this is another way that he gains popularity at home because he’s strengthening, from their perspective, the Russian position at the expense of an American ally and America. To him, again, in the propaganda world, that’s a huge win. That’s something he couldn’t buy if he actually went to war.
I know you asked me the at the onset of the show and I should have answered it. I do not believe Putin is going to invade the Ukraine. I just don’t believe that at all, for a number of reasons. One, the sheer cost, the physical cost of him starting an actual war, he’s aware would be monumental, just on the Russian side.
I don’t think he’s dumb enough to make that ploy. I think he’s smart enough to take that all the way to the one yard line, the one inch line, and then pull back after he’s gotten what he wants. Which are conciliations from the West on diplomatic relations, on whether or not Ukraine joins NATO, and on other things. Look, he’s already won in the national security arena against Western Europe with Nord Stream Two.
I know we’ve talked about that before, right? The Trump administration came in and said, you’re not building that pipeline. My good friend, Rick Grenell, was an ambassador to Germany who led the charge to make sure that the Russians did not power Germany and Europe with their gas infrastructure.
We changed administrations, and the Biden administration lifted the sanctions against the individuals and companies who were building Nord Stream Two, and now Nord Stream Two is almost complete. That’s the difference, to put it in a security perspective, from one administration to another. So he already won that fight.
Now he’s saying, going back to, what else do I want? I want the Ukraine. How do I win that fight? I don’t think he invades, but I think he cares about the Russian position, how it looks. And something we haven’t talked about is oil and gas.
Mr. Jekielek: Here’s another thing that I noticed. I’m sure others have noticed this, but Germany is not in this unanimous …
Mr. Patel: Yes, where are they?
Mr. Jekielek: … position versus Russia? I think there was this idea to move weapons and to support the Ukrainians with weapons. Germany said, sorry, we’re not going to participate in this. I mean, is this a attempt to test the NATO Alliance? Are these countries actually together? Is it actually, and this is presumably going to fray some relationships.
This is like a request from the US, and another country, Germany, saying, “No, I’m not going to do it.” Meanwhile, of course, they’re doing Nord Stream themselves.
Mr. Patel: And that’s the thing, right? So from a German perspective, they’ve just got or are about to get an infusion of one of the biggest pipelines in the world for energy, directly from Russia. And they’re going to be buying it just from Russia. So now that that pipeline is near completion, the Germans don’t want to tick off the Russians because they’re getting their gas from them for a substantial discount versus how they would’ve normally got it.
I think it’s not good for the United States to have a Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe, to go in and basically say, “Well, we understand what you guys want to do; you, the US, but we’re going to stay out of it for now.” That’s not good.
Not to mention, I want to remind the fact that in terms of military posturing around the world, as a former chief of staff at DoD, I’m very well aware of the fact that Germany houses over 55,000 US troops on any given day in the year, on German soil. Why is that important? Because we, America, prop up 5 percent of Germany’s GDP with that troop presence.
Think about how much money we are giving the German government to allow our troops to be positioned there. That’s just one place in the world we’re doing it. And we tried to change that and drastically reduce those numbers, and to an effect we were successful. But with the new administration, I think they’ve let it go back the other way.
So we’re basically paying a government 5 percent of their GDP, which is billions and billions of dollars. And that government is saying to America in this time of tension, “We’re going to sit this one out.” Not to mention the fact that they are going to capitalize on the Nord Stream Two pipeline with the Russians at the expense of Western energy. And who’s going to make money? Russia.
And while we’re on the oil and gas thing, look, I’m not your economic expert. But another reason I think Putin is taking this posture with the Ukraine is because what most people forget is that Russia is one of the world’s largest oil and gas producers on the planet.
Now, they’ll tell you their big companies, Rosneft and Gazprom are all privately owned enterprises. But you and I know, Jan, and our viewership knows that that’s just window dressing. Putin has a substantial stake, personally, in each of these companies. And the guys that run these companies have been friends with Putin for 20 plus years.
These are 50 billion, with a B plus, US dollar companies. So what he’s doing is he’s putting the global oil and gas prices on display with his flex over the Ukraine, because he controls a bunch of that production and where it goes. We were talking about Germany. It’s just one example, but that’s not the only place they sell Russian oil and gas.
What that does is, to our readers; our viewers, excuse me, go to the gas pump. It’s already getting four or five bucks a gallon. He can control and fluctuate the amount of oil and gas prices around the rest of the world based on his posturing with the Ukraine. And he’s doing that and he’s making money.
Mr. Jekielek: I want to talk a little bit about the Russia, China relationship in all of this, because you mentioned it a little bit earlier. I actually just remembered, there’s a poll that was done; it was Trafalgar, Convention of States poll. They were just looking at what Americans think about, for example, the US getting involved in Ukraine, Russia; if there was some sort of military conflict.
Americans, according to that poll, are saying, we’re actually not really interested in being involved in that. On the other hand, the same poll, they looked at China and Taiwan, and the result was the opposite. Americans were quite interested in seeing this.
I don’t have a particular explanation. I thought that was really interesting. But at the same time, I actually, I took some notes here. Again, this is Xi and Putin reportedly talking to each other. Basically Putin is saying, a new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries on such principles as non-interference and internal affairs, respect for each other’s interests, and so forth.
But meanwhile, Xinhua, which is the propaganda mouthpiece for the China Communist Party, quotes Xi as saying, “At present, certain international forces under the guise of democracy and human rights, are interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia, brutally trampling on international law and recognized norms of international relations.” That’s kind of interesting, what they’re using here.
Mr. Patel: Well, I think you and I have been saying it for some time. Xi Jinping of the CCP, and Putin of the Russian Federation operate on a very similar playbook. What is good for them and their own country, and for their ability to stay in power as the head of said country.
They share that belief. They share their dislike for the United States of America. They also want to prop up their own countries at the expense of the US and our allies whenever they can. Taiwan is, I believe, Xi Jinping’s version of the Ukraine. It’s not directly analogous, but I think he’s been increasing the Chinese and the CCP position at the expense of Taiwan. And Putin’s doing the same thing with the Ukraine.
And look, Afghanistan is just one example of where they actually, literally combined forces when America withdrew. And now Afghan, excuse me; Chinese and Russians are in Afghanistan, already exploiting the mineral wealth of Afghanistan for whose benefit? China and Russia. And who loses? America because we were driven out of Afghanistan with an exit plan that I completely disagree with.
We’ve talked about in the past, why. But it makes us look bad. It makes them look good. It makes Russia wealthier, it makes China wealthier. I’m not saying Putin, Xi Jinping are going to be best friends. But they’re smart enough to know that if they can get together and work against a United States of America, they’re going to do it.
Mr. Jekielek: And here’s the kicker, right? Apparently they’re going to have a meeting at the Olympics.
Mr. Patel: I didn’t know that. Putin’s going to Beijing? That’s unbelievable. No, I mean, just think about it.
The leader of the CCP who allows genocide on multiple forms in his country, and a Putin who does some pretty horrific things, i.e., Navalny—we haven’t heard where that guy is since he got sent to Siberia in some time—are getting together, violating human rights on a gross scale. Now they’re going to get together in China on, literally, the world’s largest stage—the Winter Olympics—and do what? I don’t know, but it can’t be good for America.
Mr. Jekielek: I mean, bottom line is, you don’t believe that Russia is going to invade Ukraine. You believe it’s going to go to the one yard or one inch line, and just see how much benefit Putin can get out of it before he steps back. But at the same time, can the West afford to take that chance?
Mr. Patel: That’s actually, probably the toughest question I’ve been asked on it. If Russia were to invade Ukraine, can the West take that chance? Probably not. But it touches on what you brought up earlier, the American appetite to get into yet another war overseas. At least as it goes with Russia and the Ukraine, I don’t think the American populace supports that.
I don’t think—especially after Afghanistan, and I can certainly understand why—the American public wants to enter into a war of any kind; a conflict, whatever word you want to use. Boots on the ground, aerial bombs strikes, what have you. Against another sovereign nation and cause more American soldiers to be killed overseas. So that’s the difficult decision.
I personally would prefer us not to engage in that conflict. Find a diplomatic resolution. But I’m not sure we get everything we want in this landscape. I think, unfortunately, Putin’s probably going to win the day because he set up the chess table to his liking, with his positions of strength, and we just are reacting. We, the Americans, and the West are continuously reacting. They make demands, and then we send a letter. We America; this is just another vignette, and we can leave this.
But our State Department actually told our embassy in the Ukraine to send all non-essential personnel home, which I found tremendously offensive. That’s the last thing we’re supposed to do as a government, is pull back our emissaries; pull back our diplomatic and our State Department officials, and other officials that are serving in the embassy. It’s not the first thing we should do; to me, that knee jerk reaction.
We’re giving Putin the upper hand by saying, look, the US is leaving Ukraine. So in his head he’s thinking, more good propaganda for me. I’ve kicked the Americans out. That’s not exactly true, but that’s the position our government has taken in Ukraine. Step one, take the diplomats out. That’s the last thing you do.
So I don’t know what’s next. I just don’t believe that Putin will end up invading, in a war fashion, the Ukraine. I think he’s getting a lot of what he wants, and it’s going to be a really interesting next couple of weeks to see where it lands.
Mr. Jekielek: Well, okay. So speaking of reacting, we have John Durham reacting, in a really interesting way, I think, to the defense. So he’s got this pleading. Why don’t you lay it out for us? It’s just, I have to use my favorite word. It’s so fascinating.
Mr. Patel: I agree.
Mr. Jekielek: To watch this guy operate, isn’t it?
Mr. Patel: Yes. You and I have talked about [it] on our show a number of times in the past, he’s doing his work extremely methodically. Also, he doesn’t leak. So on the rare instance when John Durham files something that’s publicly available, you and I jump at it. I think many of our viewers do too. But he just doesn’t publicize it.
The 25th of this month, John Durham issued a 20-page pleading in the Michael Sussmann case, which is a criminal indictment where he has brought charges against Michael Sussmann who—the former head lawyer for the DNC and Hillary campaign—is charged with lying to the FBI. In that case, basically what happens is, there’s been no public anything of any kind since he’s been indicted.
We talked about that earlier, the conflict counsel case in the Danchenko matter, that’s really been the only public pleadings that John Durham has filed in either of the ongoing criminal prosecutions he’s bringing related to Russia stuff. So what happened here? Basically, what happens once a defendant is charged is he’s entitled to all this stuff called discovery, fancy for evidence.
The US Constitution in due process mandates that everything that the government has in its possession must be turned over to the defense as it relates to the charged offense, so that the defendant can decide—do I want to plead guilty, do I want to go to trial? What kind of defense do I want to put up at trial? What witnesses do I need? What evidence do I need to look at? What experts do I need to hire? A whole host of things.
But the defense can’t do that, and rightly so, unless they’re provided with all the ammunition: information that the government has. The government’s saying, you did X conduct, we think this is why you did it. Here’s all the information related to that. So it’s just called discovery and it’s an ongoing process.
The complication here with this Michael Sussmann indictment are a couple of fold. One, 99 percent of federal prosecutions don’t delve into the classified information realm. They just don’t have to, right? Bank robberies, fraud cases, civil cases—they have nothing to do with classified information.
This case, the Sussmann case, is heavily involved in classified information. So John Durham has to take extensive measures to split the classified and unclassified discovery; then go through extensive measures to allow that to be delivered to defense counsel in the lawful, appropriate fashion. And that is a monumental lift.
I used to do that a lot as a terrorism prosecutor. We would have to bring a lot of classified information into federal court, and you can’t do that unless you’ve had it declassified. So that’s a problem.
What the defense council did was, and I think on this one, I think they overreached. They issued offensive pleadings themselves; the defense counsel. That is to say, “we’re not getting everything in discovery from you, John Durham in special counsel land. We want X, we want Y, we want Z.” So normally what happens is there’s an exchange between defense attorneys and prosecutors, and they come to some sort of agreement.
If they can’t, they go to the court to have the court decide. What John Durham smartly did was, again, he issued a 20-page pleading where he laid out his entire criminal case against Sussmann. And he also put the world on notice that Michael Sussmann is still under criminal investigation outside of this indictment, which I thought was the most intriguing piece of this; one of the most intriguing pieces of this pleading.
So he’s telling the world, he’s like, well, just because you’re charged with one count of lying doesn’t mean I, John Durham, am done investigating you. You, the defense have now asked for X, Y, Z, and all these other things. Well, he, John Durham, told the court, I can’t meet the deadline set by the court because the defense keeps asking me for this stuff. More and more information, more and more information. So he, John Durham, has to go back out and look for it.
And rightly so. What I think is going to happen is there’s going to be an extension of this discovery timeline. And I think they’re going to produce more information than the defense actually ever would want to have seen.
What I also found fascinating was—and I encourage people to go look at the pleading, it’s public—who John Durham has interviewed and put in the grand jury has finally been made public in this pleading.
He has interviewed some of the most senior individuals in a grand jury, at the FBI. He has interviewed former general counsel of the FBI. He has interviewed the chairman of the law firm that represented the Hillary Clinton and DNC campaigns. He has interviewed a number of tech individuals that are related to the whole Alpha Bank server stuff which we’ve talked about, which is a crux of the Michael Sussmann indictment.
I didn’t know; I figured and assumed he was interviewing some of these folks. But the expansive list of individuals he’s interviewed creates; what does it do? It creates more discovery, okay? Because there’s these things called the Jencks Act, and other types of discovery.
And all that means is if you, Jan, are on trial, and the government brings in a witness. And the witness testifies for six hours, the Jencks Act requires the government, once that individual’s done testifying, to produce every statement the government has of that individual to the defense. So they’ve got to produce all this additional testimony.
Or even if it’s an informal interview that was done by law enforcement outside of the grand jury, all of these statements that are in the government’s possession from said witnesses have to be turned over. And by my estimation, John Durham has interviewed some 24 to 36 individuals in the Sussmann indictment alone.
I think that’s not just because he’s prosecuting Michael Sussmann for one kind of lying. I think it goes to the most important part of the pleading which he told the judge, “I’m still investigating this defendant for other conduct, other criminal conduct,” which I just think is a huge revelation in the John Durham investigation. And leads me to believe that you and I were right all along, that he’s working methodically, he doesn’t leak, and this stuff just takes time.
Mr. Jekielek: But why is it such a huge revelation? I guess that’s the crux of the question as we finish up. Why is it such a revelation that he has this other criminal investigation against Sussmann going?
Mr. Patel: Because I think, at least for our viewers—I think most people were asking—what’s John Durham doing? Well, now I know. I can tell you guys, John Durham’s put 26, seven, eight, nine, 30 people in a grand jury. Step one, John Durham is—and you can read the details—he’s about to turn over 500,000 pages of classified and unclassified discovery. That is a massive amount of pleadings; paperwork for a one-count lying to the FBI case.
What is John Durham doing? He’s also informed us, he’s not done. He said, “I’m not only not done with Michael Sussmann in terms of criminal culpability and other charges, I’m looking at all these other people. And during my investigation of all these other people, and coupled with the defenses, all in pleading for more discovery, I got to keep going, Judge. I need more time.”
So it’s a tactical move I think the defense has to make to a certain degree, to make sure they get all their discovery obligations. But I also think it’s a tactical blunder because it allowed John Durham to come in and say, okay, I now have to tell the world what I’m doing. And he did, in no uncertain terms.
Now, I don’t know where exactly that’s going to go. But what that tells me as a former federal prosecutor, is that’s all work he did from months and months ago, up until just the date of this pleading. That doesn’t tell me all the other work he’s doing on the Danchenko case as a result of the Clinesmith prosecution. Doesn’t tell me what he’s doing there.
The other revealing fact was, and I didn’t even know this myself. The FBI has this group called the investigative division, or whatever it’s called. They have been conducting their own internal investigation of the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, and John Durham told the world that A, that’s happening. And B, the FBI’s own internal investigation has not been completed yet.
So he might have more discovery obligations as a result of the FBI’s own interviews of the James Comeys, Lisa Pages, Peter Strzoks of the world. So, [a] totally separate investigation I didn’t know about, John Durham might use in his prosecution. So there’s a lot to dig into there. And I really encourage people to go read this 19, 20-page pleading.
I do want to get one thing in, though, about this. Horowitz—everyone remembers Horowitz was the Office of the Inspector General—did the big report that showed that the FBI basically committed 17 errors in the FISA applications, and a whole host of other abuses of power. Turns out, as a result of the defense informing John Durham in this case about certain meetings, they, the defense had with the Office of the Inspector General, John Durham had to go back to the Inspector General and find out information he wasn’t privy to. He put that in his pleading.
So even John Durham is finding out new information from the Inspector General, whose report was completed almost two years, a year and a half ago or so. And now he, John Durham, is going back to the Inspector General, and interviewing people in the Office of the Inspector General, as to the origins of the Russia probe. And to see if there’s any more criminal culpability from that branch of the investigation. So I just think it’s fascinating.
Mr. Jekielek: So this is really, leave no stone unturned. Basically, any little opening he gets, he starts digging. I mean, that’s what’s happening, right?
Mr. Patel: I think that’s what you, as long as it’s lawful and ethical, that’s what you would want a prosecutor to do. I think he’s doing it in that fashion. I don’t think many people are going to be covering it because they don’t like the fact that John Durham has just listed so many counsels for the DNC and Hillary campaign; the former general counsel to the FBI, FBI officials who are assistant directors, deputy directors, and all these other folks.
He also listed individuals from other government agencies that he’s interviewed under oath. Why is he doing that? Why is he involving the intelligence community? This is just fascinating to me. I’m stealing your word because it’s the best one.
Mr. Jekielek: More to come, absolutely. And we’ll see what else comes out, and we’ll be digging in further. So I think it’s time for our shoutout.
Mr. Patel: This week’s shoutout goes to Joan Sadler. Thanks so much for your support of Kash’s Corner. We appreciate yours and everybody else’s commentary. Jan and I read through it every week with the team, and we adjust our programming based on it. So we thank you for your continued support of the show. And of course, we’ll see you next time, on Kash’s Corner.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.