The interview plans are the latest indication that the Justice Department will take a critical look at the CIA’s work on Russia’s alleged election interference. Investigators want to talk with at least one senior counter-intelligence official and a senior CIA analyst, people familiar with the matter told the New York Times.
While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, senior agency officials have questioned why the CIA’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny. Attorney General William P. Barr, who is overseeing the review, assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to conduct the investigation. According to the Times, The Justice Department has not submitted formal written requests to talk to the CIA officers, but law enforcement officials have told intelligence officials that Durham will seek the interviews.
The Senate Intelligence Committee has previously interviewed several of the CIA officers the Justice Department is seeking to talk to, according to a person familiar with the matter. The committee found no problems with their work or the origins of the Russia inquiry. The CIA director, Gina Haspel, has indicated that her agency will cooperate — but will still work to protect critical pieces of intelligence whose disclosure could jeopardize sources, reveal collection methods or disclose information provided by allies, according to current and former American officials.
Special counsellor Robert Mueller released his report earlier in April of this year. In his report, he says he found no basis for accusing President Trump of collusion with Russia during his 2016 campaign. However, extensive redactions in the publicly released version of the report give Trump's opponents hope that the document may contain something that they can use to support their allegations of a wrongful victory in the presidential race. Both Russia and the White House have repeatedly denied all allegations of collusion.