Barr is about to undercut a report on the origins of the Trump-Kremlin investigation
TERRY H. SCHWADRON
DECEMBER 11, 2019 8:00AM (UTC)
Here we go again. A respected Justice official has spent months in an investigation into possible wrongdoing at the start of what became the special counsel’s probe, only to have Atty. Gen. William P. Barr moving to counter the results even before they are published.
The official this time is the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, but according to news reports, Barr is maneuvering behind the scenes to counter central conclusions that there was nothing major amiss in the start of the investigation of all-things-Russia.
Yes, from the bits and pieces that have emerged, a lower-level lawyer changed an email after the fact to bolster a particular argument towards getting approval from the secret FISA investigatory court, but the report concludes that it did not alter the outcome. Overall, Horowitz is expected to say in the report, while one could question judgments made along the way by top brass at the FBI, the call to launch an investigation was totally kosher. In other words, no “witch hunt,” as charged by Donald Trump and his team of defenders.
But Barr, who undercut the force of the Mueller Report before it came out last spring, apparently is telling associates within Justice that he personally disagrees with that conclusion. Barr is heavily invested in finding fault with the origins of the report, having separately hired Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to find evidence of wrongdoing, even criminal wrongdoing.