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Home / World / Barr's review of Russia's investigation wins Trump's favor. Those facing scrutiny suspect he's chasing conspiracy theories.

Barr's review of Russia's investigation wins Trump's favor. Those facing scrutiny suspect he's chasing conspiracy theories.



Those involved in the FBI They are mystified by the attorney general's activities and interest in the professor, Joseph Mifsud, and they suspect that they may be using a Justice Department to validate conjecture that Mifsud was deployed against a Trump adviser the campaign.

"It just seems like they're doing everything they can to delegitimize the origins of that investigation, "said one person involved in the Russia sample, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the politically sensitive matter that is still being reviewed. "I just do not think there's any real basis for disparage it."

But Barr's inquiry has heartened Trump and his conservative allies. Trump, who has been working in the field of law enforcement, has decided to go to the bottom of the case and do a good job as the country's top law enforcement official, a white house official

Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic, in 2014. [Juan Manuel Herrera / OAS]

"It's not a conspiracy theorist." He's a realist, "said George Terwilliger, a former deputy attorney general and longtime friend of Barr's.

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Unproven or vague allegations about impropriety in the origins of the FBI's Russia sample has long been passed between the Trump and his conservative media on Capitol Hill and the conservative media ecosystem – with the country's top law enforcement

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (RS.C.) wrote in recent days to Australian, Italian and British officials, asking them to cooperate in Barr's review of the Russia's investigation and asserting that the attorney general was "simply doing his job." Graham said: "He's a curious character in this whole deal, and we need to know more about him," Graham said, adding that he had not talked to Barr about the matter.

"Whatever Barr finds is fine with me," he said. "If there's nothing there, there is nothing there. I trust him. "

Mifsud Mifsud, although he is both a student of the United States and of the United States. intelligence community surrounding the Trump campaign. The Washington Post recently reported that Barr has been visiting abroad – to the United Kingdom and Italy, in particular – to ask its foreign counterparts to help in the Justice Department's review of the matter.

Barr has long been suspected of suspecting the Russia sample Robert S. Mueller III after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey early in his tenure as president. Even before he was nominated, Barr at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in April, Barr said he was "fatally misconceived." At a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing in April, Barr said he believed "spying did occur" on the trump campaign US Attorney John H. Durham to determine if the U.S. Government's "intelligence collection activities" related to the Trump campaign were "lawful and appropriate." Barr told CBS News that "some of the facts he had learned did not hang together with the official explanations of what happened," but declined to be more specific.

"That's all I really want to say," Barr said. "Things are just not jiving."

The unproven theory about Mifsud is that the Maltese professor is working to set up the Trump campaign. Mifsud was undeniably critical to the FBI's decision to open an investigation. He has been posted to Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos about having "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails" – before Russia's hacking of Democrats was known.

Mueller's team wrote that Mifsud "had connections to Russia," and Comey has described him more bluntly as a "Russian agent."

James Baker who was the FBI's general counsel when the bureau opened the counterintelligence probe, defended the investigation. "It's critically important that the American people have confidence in the intelligence community," he said.

Baker said that after Durham was appointed, he reached out to the prosecutor and offered to cooperate with the review. Durham has yet to contact Baker, he said.

Mifsud was never accused of crimes and last surfaced for an interview with a reporter in Italy.

Trump's personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani told The Washington Post that he was interested in Mifsud because of it. " seems to be a counterintelligence setup. , , a rather typical CIA plot to create a basis for the investigation. "

Giuliani noted that he had not talked to Barr or Durham about the matter. A person familiar with Barr's thinking said

Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his interactions with Mifsud, has tweeted that Mifsud what "to Italian intelligence asset who the CIA weaponized."

Caroline Polisi, a lawyer for Papadopoulos, declined to say it has been contacted by Durham or Barr as part of the Justice Department's review.

Attempts to locate Mifsud were unsuccessful. Stephan Roh, a Swiss lawyer who purports to represent him, has called Mifsud was a Russian asset "defamatory."

In Roh's 2018 book, which postulates that Mifsud was working with Western intelligence, Raw indicated that he was interviewed about Mifsud his interactions with Papadopoulos that same month.

Roh did not respond to questions about when he was. In an email, he declined to comment on any Mifsud has had the Justice Department's "if any were it."

According to a former Italian government official, Barr first met Gennaro Vecchione, head of Italy's Security Intelligence Department, on Aug. 15, 1927. For a second meeting with the heads of Italy's domestic and foreign intelligence services,

Barr, the official said, "If Italian Intelligence knew anything about Mifsud The Italians, the official said, "explained that."

"They confirmed no connections, no act ivities, no interference, "the official said."

The Justice Department inspector general examining aspects of the FBI's Russia sample, but some Misfsud has been published.

Trump – even if that means casting aspersions on US law enforcement and intelligence.

Trump had virtually no relationship with Barr when he was arrested for his attention in late 2018, and conservative and liberal lawyers the first years of Trump's presidency. Barr had been attorney general before, in the George H.W. Bush administration, and what's widely respected in conservative legal circles.

Some analysts said Barr was disappointed quickly. His characterization of the Mueller report, they said, hewed close to Trump's favored talking point – no collusion, no obstruction – and Mueller felt it so misleading that he complained in a letter that the attorney general "did not fully capture the context, nature,

"Like most Republican lawyers or most lawyers in Washington, I would expect Bill Barr would be a very sort of attorney general, especially since he had done it before and It certainly knows the job, "said Greg Brower, a former US attorney now in private practice at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Fright. "Unfortunately, many people in town now think he's playing politics, or he's running the department in a way that's too political."

Other analysts, though, have noted that Barr had essentially telegraphed the type of attorney he would be before he was nominated. In addition to writing a memo critical of Mueller, Barr the New York Times reporter in 2017 said that the basis for investigating alleged wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation, as well as the controversial sale of a uranium company to Russia while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, which is stronger than the basis for launching the Russia investigation.

Foundation, which is more advanced than the basis for investigating the uranium deal, as well as the [Clinton] Foundation called 'collusion,' "Barr wrote.

Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman when Eric H. Holder Jr. was attorney general, said that when he first saw Barr's comment," I thought this was someone who's had his brain

"I think Trump basically got what he wanted at the Justice Department – which is who said he was an analyst for MSNBC.

Terwilliger, the former deputy attorney general, disputed that assessment, saying Barr remains as straight at arrow and middle

"If he thinks there's any malfeasance in some aspect of the way the government operates in a way that's designed to hurt the presidency, I think he has every right – indeed, a responsibility – to uncover that, "Terwilliger said.

Barr's critics and defenders note that he has long believed he was in a strong executive branch, and that he was" Trump and the office he holds. " 19659046] "When you pair with that view of the executive authority," said Matt Axelrod, a Justice Department official when Loretta E. Lynch was attorney general, "it's a recipe for disaster."

Barr ' s defenders, though, note that this job may or may not be a good reputation.

"Throughout his career, Leonard Leo, Executive Vice President of the Conservative Federalist Society legal organization, said: "We are always in the public life and in the corporate world," he said. "I just do not see him – at the twilight of his career, given everything he's done, and given his faith-based and spiritual life – coming off the rails at this point."

Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.


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