Former NSA Director Michael Rogers Cooperating with Durham Investigation into Trump-Russia Probe

Tobias Hoonhout

Former National Security Agency director and retired Adm. Michael Rogers has met multiple times with U.S. attorney John Durham as part of an ongoing probe into the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign, The Intercept reported Friday.

Rogers, who served as NSA director under Obama and Trump, “has cooperated voluntarily,” according to sources. Durham, who did not agree with DOJ inspector general Mike Horowitz’s report on the predication of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, is also looking into what role former CIA director John Brennan played in the 2017 intelligence community assessment that detailed Russian interference in the election.

The assessment, compiled by the FBI, the CIA, and the NSA, stated that Vladimir Putin “ordered an influence campaign” that “aspired to help” Trump and discredit Clinton. While the FBI and the CIA had high confidence in the conclusion, Rogers’s NSA reported a moderate confidence and was the “lone exception,” as Brennan testified in May 2017.

Rogers, who retired in May 2018, played a central role in addressing FISA abuses of Section 702 — which allows the government to acquire counterintelligence by surveilling foreign persons.

According to a FISA court ruling declassified in April 2017, a Rogers-ordered audit found violations in “approximately eighty-five percent” of Section 702 searches from November 1, 2015, to May 1, 2016. The violations were mainly linked to a practice known as  “upstream” surveillance in which NSA agents use a search tool to collect any communications that mention the target.

After learning of the issue Rogers subsequently shut down the “about query” tool on October 21, 2016, the same day the FBI received a FISA warrant to surveil Trump-campaign adviser Carter Page, and then told the FISC of his findings three days later.

After former DNI James Clapper recommended to Obama that he be removed, Rogers travelled to Trump tower to meet with the president-elect Trump without informing his supervisors on November 17, 2016. Later that day, the Trump transition team announced it was shifting its operations to Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.

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