Tuesday’s court hearing with Bill Barr was a political failure as Democrats barely let the attorney general speak amid their political denunciations. But Mr Barr made the news when he confirmed amid the uproar that he had appointed a prosecutor to investigate the Obama-era “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials.
Recall that Obama officials used their authority to unmask the names of Americans captured by US intelligence services in legal conversation with foreign officials. Names are supposed to be redacted for privacy reasons, but 39 separate officials unmasked and read Michael Flynn’s private conversations in 2016 and 2017. Mr. Flynn would soon be President Trump’s first national security adviser.
Mr. Barr has tasked John Bash, the US attorney for West Texas, to examine the Obama-era exposures. The unmasks themselves may have been legal, but the classified information in the transcripts was later leaked to the press to harm the Trump administration. Mr Barr said Mr Bash was examining the “high number of unmasks” at the time, including “some that do not appear easily in the course of normal activities”.
This is good news and continues Mr Barr’s examination of the FBI and DOJ intervention in the 2016 election. In May 2019, the GA tasked Connecticut US Attorney John Durham, to examine the origin and legality of the FBI investigation into Trump-Russia collusion. U.S. District Attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jeffrey Jensen, recommended in May that the DOJ drop its case against Flynn, after its three-month review revealed that the FBI had no legitimate basis for the investigation.
Mr. Durham is a 38-year Justice Department veteran who served under Presidents dating back to Reagan. Mr. Jensen spent 20 years as an FBI agent and a career prosecutor. Mr. Bash spent five years as assistant to the solicitor general to Barack Obama. Democrats are working so hard to tarnish Mr. Barr as being politically motivated because they are afraid of what these career prosecutors might find out. Americans still haven’t received a full account of the Clinton campaign’s corruption of the FBI and justice in 2016, and hope these prosecutors provide it.
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Published in the print edition of July 29, 2020 under the name ‘.’