Barr Opens Criminal Investigation Into His Own DOJ’S Russia Investigation

Ken AshfordCourts/Law, Trump & Administration, Trump ImpeachmentLeave a Comment

Attorney General William Barr made it clear again on Thursday evening that he is the most dangerous man in America. The Department of Justice has reportedly moved beyond conducting an internal review of the origins of the Russia investigation and instead moved into a criminal investigation. A person familiar with the matter said the time span covered by the inquiry had expanded to examine U.S. intelligence gathering from before the FBI formally opened its investigation in July 2016 to early spring of 2017. Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017.

This opens the door for prosecutor John Durham, who was hand-selected for the task by Barr, to convene a grand jury, compel testimony, and file indictments.

At the Federalist, Margot Cleveland summarized the message to the world of right wing conspiracy theorists.

The evidence suggests, however, that Brennan’s CIA and the intelligence community did much more than merely pass on details about “contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign” to the FBI. The evidence suggests that the CIA and intelligence community—including potentially the intelligence communities of the UK, Italy, and Australia—created the contacts and interactions that they then reported to the FBI as suspicious.

These are the questions Barr and Durham should be asking themselves to arrive at the bottom line: Were the Russia connections contrived by the CIA, and was Brennan the plotter-in-chief hoping to prevent a President Trump—or to destroy him later?

As the story goes, the issue isn’t that, in the summer of 2016, the CIA was noticing that there were a host of suspicious contacts between Russian agents and the Trump campaign. All of those were actually contrived by Brennan in order to frame the president. Furthermore, the CIA colluded with the intelligence services of some of our allies in order to implement their nefarious plot.

What Cleveland doesn’t want her readers to know is that just this week Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte blew a hole in that story when he told reporters that Italy did not play a role in the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. So did Barr’s witch hunt become a criminal investigation before or after that piece of the puzzle was completely debunked?

The idea that all of this is now a criminal investigation being conducted by the Justice Department is reverberating through right wing media—giving them the opportunity to reinvigorate their conspiracy theories. Julie Kelly, at American Greatness, captured what it means to Trump’s enablers by reminding readers that Attorney General Barr once compared the “deep state” to the Praetorian Guard of the Roman empire.

The race is on to see who will survive—the duly-elected president of the United States or a modern-day Praetorian Guard comprised of former law enforcement and intelligence officials tasked with taking down that president.

As Barr gets closer to the key people involved in concocting the phony Trump-Russia collusion hoax—which included the use of powerful surveillance tools and government informants—House Democrats are escalating efforts in their attempt to impeach Trump before Barr’s department starts issuing indictments.

That is the story Trump and his enablers wanted to tell before the president’s abuse of power became obvious. They promoted the idea that the entire impeachment effort was launched because the deep state was on the verge of being exposed. As you can see, the announcement about Barr’s investigation becoming a criminal probe has allowed them to renew that argument.

It is worth examining whether the story in the New York Times is the bombshell everyone assumes it to be. Perhaps the most important qualifier comes with this statement: “It was not clear what potential crime Mr. Durham is investigating, nor when the criminal investigation was prompted.” The source of the story is “two people familiar with the matter,” which indicates that they are either part of the investigation or are privy to the details of what is happening. And yet, the only thing those sources gave the Times is that the “administrative review” has become a “criminal probe.” They wouldn’t even say when that development occurred, much less what prompted the change.

Why did these sources leaked this information at this particular moment? While we don’t know the answer to that question, it is important to keep in mind that this has been a terrible week for the Trump administration as everyone scrambles in search of a defense for the president’s behavior. What they needed more than anything is a story to distract the media and change the narrative to something more favorable to Trump. I would postulate that Barr sent a couple of his minions to the New York Times to give them just that.

Most likely, if there is any legal truth to this move, it is a way to compel testimony from people unwilling to cooperate with Durham to date. I don’t think this is the beginning of the end for the so-called “Deep State” that the right is hoping for. It’s not going to end up that Trump-Russia was a hoax. It’ll probably be just about leaks or FISA applications.

And as I type that, I see there is some evidence emerging to support my theory:

UPDATE: These guys are the Keystone criminals

We’re also learning that lawyers for former national security advisor John Bolton reportedly have been in touch with officials working on House committees conducting an impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

And another loss for Team Trump:


Federal prosecutors in New York have subpoenaed the brother of one of the recently indicted associates of Rudy Giuliani, according to two people familiar with the matter, as they escalate their investigation in the campaign-finance case.

The subpoena to Steven Fruman is the latest indication of prosecutors’ actions since the rushed arrest two weeks ago of his brother, Igor Fruman, and another defendant, Lev Parnas, at a Washington-area airport. Since then, investigators have doled out multiple subpoenas and conducted several property searches, in one case blowing the door off a safe to access the contents, sources tell CNN.