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Gina Haspel warned Durham inquiry would be a 'nightmare' for CIA: Woodward book

CIA Director Gina Haspel and former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

(AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

CIA Director Gina Haspel lamented how the Justice Department's review of the Russia investigation would be a "nightmare" for her agency, according to veteran journalist Bob Woodward's new book.

Haspel and then-Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats made an appointment with Attorney General William Barr after he announced the investigation in May 2019, which would look, in part, into alleged spying into President Trump's 2016 campaign, possibly by law enforcement and intelligence agency officials.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, Woodward wrote in Rage, "had already torn inconclusively through the intelligence agencies, they said. Why did this need to be done? It will be very disruptive to the agencies." Barr told the pair there was more out there that had not been investigated in the review that was being taken up by U.S. Attorney John Durham.

Haspel said such an investigation would have a negative effect on morale at the CIA, and some of her people were wondering if they needed to get an attorney, Woodward wrote.

Although Barr insisted that the investigation would not be disruptive, Haspel disagreed. According to Woodward, she said it was like Mueller 2.0 and a "nightmare" for the CIA.

Still, Coats and Haspel said they would provide the Justice Department with any documents that were needed because of a presidential order. They also urged Barr not to pull any fast ones.

"I hope you can do this in a way that it's not going to cause a lot of problems," Haspel said, according to the book. "And can we stay informed in terms of what you plan to do and make sure we know what's happening?"

Barr told them not to worry and that he would keep them apprised of any developments. "Your people won't need to be concerned," he said.

"Don't worry, don't worry," Barr added. "This is not a witch hunt. There's more out there and we just need to know what it is."

The CIA declined to comment to the Washington Examiner. Coats left the government in August.

Woodward's book, a sequel to 2018's Fear, hit bookshelves on Tuesday. The Watergate sleuth conducted recorded 18 interviews with Trump for the boo, and also wrote that his information came "primarily from my deep background interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses."

Durham's review was later upgraded into a criminal inquiry, which has resulted in one guilty plea over the past year and a half. Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guiltylast month to a false statements charge for fraudulently altering a CIA email to obtain surveillance against a former Trump campaign associate.

Former CIA Director John Brennan participated in an eight-hour interview with Durham's team last month at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, after which a longtime aide said Brennan was told he is not a "subject or a target" of a criminal investigation.

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