Trump Gives Bill Barr Broad Powers In "Spying" Probe


"President Donald Trump on Thursday granted Attorney General William Barr new powers to review and potentially release classified information related to the origins of the Russian Federation investigation, a move aimed at accelerating Barr's inquiry into whether US officials improperly surveilled Trump's 2016 campaign", reports the Associated Press. But the move could also serve as a prelude to a larger declassification effort Trump has floated since last fall as he's battled his own intelligence agencies and accused former officials, without evidence, of conspiring against him.

A redacted version of Mueller's report was released publicly in April.

Several Trump associates were found to have lied to investigators, with prison sentences for various offences resulting for his campaign chair Paul Manafort, personal lawyer Michael Cohen and foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos.

The order drew fire from Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Attorney General William Barr questioned the DOJ's use of the infamous "Steele Dossier" to obtain FISA warrants against the Trump campaign this week; saying the document has a "number of clear mistakes". "The coverup has entered a new and risky phase", Schiff tweeted.

Democratic Congressman Don Beyer of Virginia concurred. "And so I'm not saying that happened, but I'm saying that we have to look at that".

He wrote: "Intelligence Agencies were used against an American President".

United States charges WikiLeaks founder with publishing classified info
Manning was convicted in 2013 and sentenced to 35 years in prison before her sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama . Those charges including unlawfully obtaining and disclosing classified documents, the Justice Department said Thursday.

Nadler, a Democrat, told Maddow that if Mueller did testify behind closed doors, the public would get a written transcript of the testimony.

But Trump railed on Twitter early Friday against the investigation, and said that the investigation was politically motivated.

Allies of the president have urged him to declassify the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used when they first started to surveil the Trump campaign.

Included in the memo were the Secretary of State, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Defense, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Energy, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of National Intelligence and the Director of the CIA.

He then went on to make his case that Trump had criminally obstructed justice during the Mueller probe in ways that would have gotten any other official who was not the sitting president of the United States charged with a felony.

President Donald Trump has ordered that the information and underlying evidence that led to the Russian Federation investigation be declassified in a move that could alter the political landscape surrounding Democrats' moves to potentially impeach him.

They allege he mischaracterised the findings of the Mueller report, and he has also been held in contempt of Congress for failing to provide them an unredacted version.