Even as they fundraise off the Impeachment Inquiry, chaos reigns in the WH.
- The White House is “paralyzed” and “teetering on the edge of a cliff” in the wake of an explosive whistleblower complaint about President Donald Trump's phone call with the Ukrainian president, a White House official told Insider.
- A senior US official backed up that characterization, describing the mood within the White House as “a category 5 storm.”
- Complicating things is the outsize role Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, is playing in the controversy, as well as Trump's public comments on the matter. “We're just waiting for Hurricane Rudy to stop obliterating everything in its path,” the White House official told Insider.
Trump needs a “defense that doesn't look like it was put together by a bunch of pissed off pre-schoolers,” said a former White House official. “You can't go around screaming 'fake news' and 'witch hunt' when you yourself put the evidence out there. It doesn't work that way.”
— Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 30, 2019
The attorney general’s active role also underscores the degree to which a nearly three-year-old election still consumes significant resources and attention inside the federal government. Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in reexamining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct.
Separately, John Durham is taking a broader look at the actions of intelligence agencies overseas and domestically. Durham has a long record of being tasked with difficult investigations that involve the CIA or other intelligence agencies. His past investigations have often lasted years, so it’s unclear when Durham’s review might wrap up, but it is unlikely to be soon, said people familiar with the matter who like others spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive issue.
Before Durham’s appointment, another U.S. attorney was tasked with reviewing the Clinton email investigation, but the results of that work are still unknown. The multiple investigations show just how much the political conflict of 2016 continues to be an obsession within the government.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that State Department security officials were reexamining aspects of the Clinton email investigation, in which State Department business was conducted on Clinton’s private server when she was secretary of state.
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) October 1, 2019
— Bryce Tache Ã°ÂÂÂºÃ°ÂÂÂ¸ (@brycetache) October 1, 2019
— Mimi Rocah (@Mimirocah1) October 1, 2019
— Zara Rahim (@ZaraRahim) October 1, 2019
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 1, 2019
— Shannon Pettypiece (@spettypi) October 1, 2019
— Auriandra (@Auriandra) October 1, 2019