Questions about handling the allegations of those who have signaled to President Donald Trump are pushing the Office and Attorney General William Bar back in defense, explaining their process and addressing sensitive political investigations.
This time, among questions to Barr and the Department of Justice: why the preliminary investigation by the Department of Complaints with violators was closely focused only on potential violations of campaign finance when the complaint raised concerns about broader potential legal violations.
Democrats, still unhappy with the way Barr handles the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report earlier this year, are seeking the attorney general as they begin impeachment proceedings.
Barr "went rogue," Cabinet Chairman Nancy Pelosi said on Friday.
"Ever since (Barr) was mentioned in all this," Pelosi said, referring to Trump's mention of his attorney general during a July 25 conversation with President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky "It's curious that he will take decisions on how the complaint will be handled. "
The Justice Department retreats.
" If "Perossey's spokesman" means that the Justice Department follows the law and procedures, then it is correct, "said Justice spokesman Kerry Kupets.
On Friday, a new timetable was issued by administration officials on how the concerns of the whistleblowers became known.
] At the end of July, reported For the first time, anonymously raised concerns about calling the president with a top intelligence agency where the whistleblower worked, according to two people briefed on the matter. The intelligence agency's lawyer spoke to John Eisenberg, White House deputy adviser on national security.
The signalman filed a formal complaint on August 1
Justice Department lawyers were first notified of concerns raised by people reporting a violation of Trump's call on Aug. 14, more than a week before the Inspector General officially referred the complaint to the department as a possible criminal matter, officials said. CNN. The announcement came during a week-long call that included John Demers, the Justice Department's top lawyer, Eisenberg, and the intelligence agency's senior lawyer.
Demers went to the White House to review the mural of the August 15 conversation. His service then alerted other senior justice officials that Bar was mentioned on the call.
What is happening in the next 12 days is still cloudy. Justice officials and the intelligence agency discussed whether the agency was making a criminal referral for an investigation by the Justice Department. Justice officials said it was not entirely clear to the agency. Inside the Justice Office, officials also discussed what to do in the event of concerns.
It would take more than a week before the Inspector General of the intelligence community formally referred the matter to the Department of Justice, following a formal complaint.
Since then, the Justice Department has considered the allegations closely – focusing almost entirely on whether the president violates a campaign finance law that bans foreign contributions to US elections.
The narrow approach and the decision to close the probe within three weeks without much follow-up makes the issue much more akin to a day-to-day investigation by the department rather than by a leading political figure or president in the center.  It also contradicts the way the department and the FBI handled a 2015 referral from the same inspector general's office related to Hillary Clinton's handling of classified material on her private email server.
The intruder's letter alleges that Trump has abused his official powers to "seek interference" by Zelensky in the upcoming 2020 elections and the White House has taken steps to cover it up. A reconstructed rough transcript of a July telephone conversation published by the White House on Wednesday shows that Trump repeatedly urges Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. There is no evidence of wrongdoing by either Joe or Hunter Biden.
Scope of the Inquiry
The Inspector General of the Intelligence Community identified the possibility of a campaign to fund crime by referring to criminal law in his letter to the Ministry of Justice But he also raised a number of other potential breaches and national security issues of the offender's allegations.
The intruder complaint describes a possible risk of counterintelligence from foreign intelligence agencies who may be familiar with the behavior, and how White House officials move the transcript. in a highly classified system.
The abuser claims that White House officials tried to "lock in" a transcript of calls of political concern.
The Inspector General also notes that the person of the person raising the issue of greater efforts to pressure the Ukrainian leadership, including by suspending US aid to the country or restricting Zelensky's access to Trump, sometimes using the personal lawyer of Trump's Rudy Giuliani as a guide in ways that may have diverged from the official US approach.
Senior Justice Department officials said Wednesday that department prosecutors did not seek military funding as part of their investigation and declined to comment on other incidents they may have considered citing classification problems.
"The Inspector General's letter cites a conversation between the president and Ukrainian President Zelensky as a potential violation of the federal finance law campaign," Kupek, a spokesman for the Justice Department, said in a statement Wednesday.
Similarly, the FBI received a separate referral from the intelligence inspector general did not open an investigation Following the allegations of campaign finance violations, the FBI consulted public prosecutors for corruption in the Department of Justice and addressed the Justice Department officials said. The FBI did not respond to questions Friday regarding the handling of the complaint.
Former intelligence officials expressed fears that the department had not done enough.
"I would think the department looked at every possibility of criminal liability before deciding there was nothing to investigate here, "says Robert Leath
Mary McCord, a senior national security officer at Obama's justice department, said he believed there was "A lot of investigating and steps should be taken "
Even in the summary of Call of Trump-Zelenski White House delivered Wednesday," There are indications of potential multiple crimes there. I find it really hard to believe that (the DOJ prosecutors) believe that it was not worth the further investigation, "McCord said.
Contrast with the processing of other data by Clinton, Russia
Just four years ago, a community watchdog and federal investigators encountered a similar set of explosive allegations targeting a political leader, a case involving former Secretary of State and alleged Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
And in the early days of the probe in Russia, federal investigators examined possible criminal misconduct and also opened a counter-intelligence study on whether US officials, including Trump, could be exploited by the Russians, which eventually led to an investigation into the special Attorney Robert Mueller as to whether Trump is obstructing justice and how the Russians are trying to interfere in the election.Mueller, after completing his investigation, did not make any counterintelligence conclusions in writing, but instead The FBI's counterintelligence process has been shut down, he told Congress in July.
In the situation of Trump-Zelensky violators, the FBI has forwarded its criminal referral to the Department of Justice's enforcement department, which officials say is required by the Justice Department's guidelines for alleged corruption in the election.
In the Clinton study that began in 2015, Inspector General of the Intelligence Community Charles McCollough did not ask questions about Clinton about any alleged crime. Rather, he advised the FBI that classified information could be disclosed in an unauthorized manner to a foreign authority.
Four days after receiving the referral, the FBI opened a criminal investigation that predicted "a possible compromise" of highly sensitive information on Clinton's Personal Email Server, according to a 2018 report by the Department of Justice's Inspector General.
Müller, for his part, had examined and ultimately charged the American defendants with crimes ranging from financial fraud to lying to investigators. He additionally addressed several other potential violations by Trump's advisers, including in the campaign finance and conspiracy law with the Russians, but did not raise those allegations.