A federal prosecutor elected by Attorney General William Barr to investigate whether Obama administration officials misbehaved with classified intelligence related to the Russian investigation has completed its work without finding wrongdoing or considering charges, according to the Washington Post.
The conclusion of an investigation by US attorney John Bash into so-called “disclosure”
“It’s not surprising. What a politically oriented loss of [justice department] resources, ”tweeted Sam Vinograd, a National Security Council adviser to Barack Obama.
A second federal investigation, launched by Barr into the Obama-era investigation into election fraud in Russia, in this case, led by US attorney John Durham of Connecticut, also failed to bear political fruit before the presidential election.
Durham continues to investigate the origins of Russian election interference investigations and Trump’s campaign contacts with Russian operatives. Trump says the investigation between Trump and Russia was a politically charged affair.
But Russia’s investigation, led by special lawyer Robert Mueller, has led to charges against 34 people and criminal charges against half a dozen Trump aides, including numerous guilty pleas.
Barr told a group of Republicans earlier this year that Durham would not file a report – let alone any charges – before the presidential election, dispelling growing hopes in the Trump administration for a Biden scandal.
Executive officials routinely “unmasked” names in classified intelligence documents to better understand the documents, the Post reported.
The “unmasking” of the Obama administration revealed that former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a key figure in Trump’s 2016 campaign, was in the middle of a Russian investigation that established contacts between Flynn and Russian operatives, which Flynn later lied about.
This revelation turned out to be politically harmful for Trump. The emergence of Flynn’s deep ties to Russian operatives, which he later admitted to falsely denied, led to his resignation as national security adviser and was an early blow to the Trump administration.
At the time, Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to “calm down” with Flynn in a scene that would become central evidence against Trump in Mueller’s investigation into a possible obstruction of justice by the president.
This investigation, in turn, will fuel demands for Trump’s impeachment after it was revealed that the US president was pressuring the Ukrainian president to generate negative headlines about Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
Trump was impeachment in December 2019 and acquitted by the Senate in early 2020, but key players in the scheme that led to his impeachment continued to try to fabricate a scandal involving Biden’s son before the election.