Thursday, November 14, 2019

Russiagate Criminal Investigation Story - DailyKos Version

dailykos |  Attorney General William Barr is racing to complete a new “report” before Thanksgiving. And if Barr’s very poor summary of the Mueller report threw Trump a lifeline by distorting the real findings of the special counsel investigation, this new report looks to be more like an atom bomb, designed to incinerate Washington by putting the whole Justice Department behind a conspiracy theory that rewrites history and declares open warfare on political opponents. And Republicans are already meeting with Barr to plan a “roll out” for this supposedly classified report in order to maximize its impact.

Barr appears to have taken the results of an inspector general report that was expected to end weeks ago, rolled it together with the investigation-into-the-investigation that he launched under the nominal control of prosecutor John Durham, and capped it all with the “findings” of a world tour that included attempts to get the Australian government, the Italian government, and the U.K. government to participate in attacks on U.S. intelligence agencies. What’s going to come out the other end could be a dud, but it could launch an effort to derail the impeachment process—and more.

Barr’s effort to create a comprehensive, all-conspiracy-theories-combined report seems to have delayed delivery of the long-expected findings from Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Republicans were generally thrilled by Horowitz’s earlier report in which he was critical of former FBI director James Comey for his handling of some classified materials. That report had right-wing news outlets clamoring over potential charges against Comey. But despite claims that the findings justified Republican attacks on the entire Russia investigation, the actual complaints were minor and led to nothing.

That seems unlikely to be the case this time. As The Washington Post reports, Barr has subsumed Horowitz’s work because “the inspector general does not have the authority to declassify information” and Barr apparently intends to release information that dips into classified documents at both the FBI and CIA to tell his story of how the Russia investigation was unjustified from the start.