John Durham, the federal prosecutor investigating the origins of the Russia probe, has been presenting evidence before a grand jury, the Associated Press reported on Friday.
The development could indicate that Durham is considering filing additional criminal charges. Last year, Durham filed against a former FBI lawyer who admitted altering a document related to a Trump campaign aide who was under FBI surveillance. Durham will also be completing a report at some point.
The Wall Street Journal reported earlier Friday that Durham was presenting evidence to a grand jury and considering charging FBI employees and others outside the government.
“Durham has been examining potential criminal charges against several lower-level FBI employees, and people who aren’t in government, according to people familiar with the matter,” the WSJ reported.
“Durham was also expected to deliver a report by the end of this summer, though that target is likely to be pushed back, some of the people said,” the report added.
Republican Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, argued a month ago that he expects Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham to release a “damaging report” on the FBI’s failed investigation into Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
Nunes asserted at the time that prison sentences could fall on a number of former senior Obama officials.
Durham was appointed to the position in 2019 with a mandate to investigate how the FBI and intelligence community approached the investigation of “Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election”. His team interviewed a wide range of officials from the Justice Department and the CIA, including former CIA Director John Brennan.
One area of focus has been the FBI’s reliance on anti-Trump research that was conducted by former British spy Christopher Steele. The Brookings Institution has confirmed that it received a subpoena from Durham last Dec. 31 for records and other information related to a former employee — a Russia analyst who functioned as a source of information for Steele and who was interviewed by the FBI.
Durham is also looking into whether anyone provided the US government with false information about potential connections between Alfa Bank, a privately owned Russian bank, and a Trump campaign server. The FBI investigated but concluded that there were no links, according to the inspector general report.
Last August, Durham announced a plea with Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI lawyer who admitted doctoring an email about Page as the FBI was renewing its applications to eavesdrop on him under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Clinesmith was sentenced to probation.
The length of the investigation has prompted many Trump supporters to lose hope in the DOJ’s ability to prosecute those responsible for the probe if it is proven to have been manufactured as a political attack on Trump without any basis in reality.