Attorney General William Barr and President Trump in the Oval Office of the White House on Nov. 26, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
With the Justice Department’s inspector general report on the origins of the Russia investigation expected to be released in a matter of days, reports of Attorney General Bill Barr’s disagreement with the independent probe’s findings have begun to trickle out. In particular, Barr has reportedly told colleagues at the DOJ that he is not convinced by inspector general Michael Horowitz’s conclusion that the FBI had sufficient evidence during the 2016 presidential campaign to properly and lawfully open an investigation into Russian interference on July 31, 2016. The FBI probe was triggered by then-Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos’s comments that the Russians possessed hacked Hillary Clinton emails.
“The attorney general has privately contended that Horowitz does not have enough information to reach the conclusion the FBI had enough details in hand at the time to justify opening such a probe,” the Washington Post reports. “He argues that other U.S. agencies, such as the CIA, may hold significant information that could alter Horowitz’s conclusion on that point, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.” The inspector general operates independently of the attorney general, so Barr’s misgivings