On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department, under Attorney General William Barr, is working to wrap up and release its report on the beginnings of the FBI’s Russia investigation before Thanksgiving.
The report, based on the work of both U.S. Attorney John Durham and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and anticipated eagerly by President Donald Trump’s political allies, is expected to be critical of the process used by investigators — which Trump is likely to use to try to discredit the findings of the Russia probe altogether. Recent reporting has suggested that the DOJ’s probe into the Russia investigation is now also a criminal matter.
A meeting will take place on Wednesday between Barr and Senate Judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about how this report, which is fraught with classification issues, will be released to the public consistent with national security.
Barr’s singular focus on this investigation has opened him to accusations that he is trying to weaponize the DOJ against law enforcement and intelligence officials who criticized Trump. Barr adamantly denies this, claiming that Durham — a longtime career prosecutor — is independent.
The Russia investigation was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller to address the appearance of the president’s political appointees presiding over a case involving him. Ultimately, the investigation did not find hard evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a direct conspiracy with Russia, but documented ten possible instances of the president obstructing justice to stymie the investigation itself.