Attorney General William Barr has reportedly formed a team to review long-standing allegations that the FBI and Justice Department investigation into collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia was biased from the start.
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr told a House Appropriations subcommittee panel on Tuesday. A source familiar with the matter told Bloomberg Barr will be examining the conduct of both the FBI and the Department of Justice for the possibility their “collusion” investigations were motivated by “anti-Trump bias.”
Barr’s new probe is separate from an existing investigation by the Office of the Inspector General into how a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page was obtained, the source said, while Barr told the House panel that the OIG investigation would be finished within the next few months.
Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, announced last week he was sending eight criminal referrals to Barr regarding abuses committed by the FBI and DoJ during the Russiagate investigation – including three that involve efforts to mislead and abuse the FISA courts. Nunes’ committee has been looking into FBI and DoJ malfeasance in the Trump probe since 2017.
Trump and his Republican allies have long insisted the various probes into his campaign were launched in bad faith, particularly the sprawling Russian collusion investigation, which concluded last month with little more than a whimper as special counsel Robert Mueller turned in his report without recommending further indictments.
Barr reminded Tuesday’s House panel he plans to release Mueller’s report “within a week,” a fact that has little hope of silencing the mounting accusations of a cover-up that have issued from the anti-Trump “Resistance” ever since the AG released a three-page summary of the report which appeared to exonerate the president of collusion charges without making a clear statement about his guilt on obstruction charges. Trump has also publicly stated that he wants the report made public. One side will presumably be disappointed by the big reveal.
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