“Putin is all about Russia’s interest, which is destabilization,” Andrew McCarthy, a former assistant United States attorney and contributing editor at National Review, a conservative publication, said at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Wednesday. Mr. McCarthy, who was called as a witness for the Republicans, added that it was “a mistake to portray him on one side or another.”
But the Senate Intelligence Committee has endorsed the intelligence community’s full assessment, calling it sound and saying the varying confidence levels among agencies “appropriately represents analytical differences.” And the 448-page report released in April by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, also reinforced the conclusion that Russian officials were trying to benefit Mr. Trump.
And there is ample evidence that Russia intervened to favor Mr. Trump, whether it be hacking Democratic servers and publicly releasing the contents it found or the social media campaign that broadly sowed division by exploiting divisive issues but also included the purchase of advertisements that promoted Mr. Trump and the staging of pro-Trump rallies in the United States.
Justice Department officials have said Mr. Durham’s review is not a criminal inquiry, but if he finds criminal wrongdoing he can pursue it. Mr. Boyd called the review a “collaborative” effort with the intelligence agencies.
Ms. Haspel’s willingness to cooperate — shared by Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence — could be influenced by a perception in the agency that Mr. Durham has treated the C.I.A. fairly in the past. He has previously investigated the C.I.A. and the actions of Ms. Haspel, and twice exonerated agency officials.
In 2010, Mr. Durham concluded an investigation into the destruction of videotapes that depicted the torture of suspected terrorists without bringing any criminal charges, officials have confirmed. His report remains secret. Ms. Haspel was the chief of staff to the C.I.A. official who ordered the destruction of the tapes.
The attorney general at the time, Eric H. Holder Jr., had expanded the inquiry to examine questions about the C.I.A.’s mistreatment of detainees. Mr. Durham focused on the deaths of two terrorism suspects in C.I.A. custody, but ultimately decided no criminal charges were warranted.