Dec 3, 2019

WashPost: Barr opposes key Russia probe finding by inspector general

Attorney General William Barr speaks as President Trump looks on during a July statement at the White House. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr opposes a finding in the Department of Justice inspector general's Russia probe report that the FBI had enough information in 2016 to begin investigating Trump campaign members, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Why it matters: DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is due to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 11 on his highly anticipated report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the Russia investigation.

  • Per Axios' Zachary Basu, the report by Horowitz, whose work is independent of DOJ leadership, is expected to explore issues such as "whether the FBI's court-ordered surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page was properly handled."
  • "Trump allies hope that Horowitz's report, as well as a separate investigation into intelligence collecting led by prosecutor John Durham, will undermine the findings of the Russia investigation," Basu notes.

What they're saying: Barr disagrees with the key finding by Horowitz that the FBI "had sufficient basis to open an investigation on July 31, 2016," people familiar with the matter told WashPost.

  • The attorney general "argues that other U.S. agencies, such as the CIA, may hold significant information that could alter Horowitz’s conclusion on that point," WashPost reports, citing its sources.
  • DOJ spokesperson Kerri Kupec tweeted a statement praising Horowitz after WashPost published the report.

Go deeper: Investigation into Trump-Russia probe said to become criminal inquiry

Go deeper

Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

George Floyd protests: Unrest continues for 6th night across U.S.

A protest near the White House on Sunday night. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Most external White House lights were turned off late Sunday as the D.C. National Guard was deployed to assist and authorities fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters nearby, per the New York Times.

What's happening: It's one of several tense, late-night standoffs between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Journalists get caught in the crosshairs as protests unfold

A man waves a Black Lives Matter flag atop the CNN logo outside the CNN Center during a protest in response to the police killing of George Floyd, Atlanta, Georgia, May 29. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Dozens of journalists across the country tweeted videos Saturday night of themselves and their crews getting arrested, being shot at by police with rubber bullets, targeted with tear gas by authorities or assaulted by protesters.

Driving the news: The violence got so bad over the weekend that on Sunday the Cleveland police said the media was not allowed downtown unless "they are inside their place of business" — drawing ire from news outlets around the country, who argued that such access is a critical part of adequately covering protests.

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck plows into Minneapolis protesters

The tanker after plowing into protesters on the shut-down bridge in Minneapolis on Sunday evening. Authorities said it appeared protesters escaped injury. Photo: Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune via Getty Images

Minnesota authorities said in a statement they're investigating as a criminal matter what happened with a truck that "drove into demonstrators" on a Minneapolis bridge Sunday evening while the eight-lane road was closed for a protest.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn't appear any protesters were hit by the truck."