The first investigation, relentlessly promoted by Democrats and the media, was, of course, the Mueller probe. While the report contained some damaging information about the actions of the Trump team, the bottom line was beyond dispute: no criminal charges recommended.
The new probe, long pushed by Donald Trump, Republicans and the conservative media, aims at investigating the investigators.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday ordered the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s review of the events surrounding the 2016 Presidential campaign.
In a memo released by the White House, Trump demands that the heads of the intelligence community and the heads of each department that includes an element of the intelligence community ‘shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review.’
The order also allows Barr to declassify any information he sees fit during his review.
‘Before exercising this authority, the Attorney General should, to the extent he deems it practicable, consult with the head of the originating intelligence community element or department,’ the memo states.
‘Today, at the request and recommendation of the attorney general of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the attorney general’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 presidential election,’ White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after Trump issued the directive.
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.
Last month, Barr said at a Senate hearing that ‘spying’ on Trump’s campaign was carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, though he later referred to his concerns as focused on ‘unauthorized surveillance.’
Barr has assigned a top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to probe the origins of the Russia investigation in what is the third known inquiry into the opening of the FBI probe.
Trump harbors suspicions that the Democratic Obama administration ordered him investigated during the 2016 campaign to try to undermine his candidacy, and he wants payback against those he believes were responsible.
Of specific interest to Trump are the warrants that emanated from a secretive court that authorizes surveillance on foreign powers and their agents. Trump supporters believe the warrants will identify those responsible for the Russia probe that is still roiling Washington.