Attorney General William Barr made real news in his Senate hearing. The press didn’t notice, writes Kimberley A. Strassel in the WSJ. But Democrats did.
Do not underestimate how many powerful people in Washington have something to lose from Mr. Barr’s probe. Among them: Former and current leaders of the law-enforcement and intelligence communities. The Democratic Party pooh-bahs who paid a foreign national (Mr. Steele) to collect information from Russians and deliver it to the FBI. The government officials who misused their positions to target a presidential campaign. The leakers. The media. More than reputations are at risk. Revelations could lead to lawsuits, formal disciplinary actions, lost jobs, even criminal prosecution.
Barr’s Probe Endangers the Powerful
The attorney general said he’d already assigned people at the Justice Department to assist his investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. Here’s what Barr is investigating:
- A far-reaching review to obtain details from congressional investigations, from the ongoing probe by the department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and even from Mr. Mueller’s work.
- Focusing not only on the fall 2016 justifications for secret surveillance warrants against Trump team members, but going back months earlier.
- The infamous “dossier” concocted by opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and British former spy Christopher Steele, on which the FBI relied so heavily in its probe.
- The dossier itself could be Russian disinformation, a possibility he described as not “entirely speculative.”
- The department has “multiple criminal leak investigations under way” into the disclosure of classified details about the Trump-Russia investigation.
Using Criminal Justice as a Political Weapon
“We have to stop using the criminal-justice process as a political weapon,” Mr. Barr said Wednesday. And as Ms. Strassel points out, “The line didn’t get much notice, but that worthy goal increasingly looks to be a reason Mr. Barr accepted this unpleasant job.”
Stopping this abuse requires understanding how it started. The liberal establishment, including journalists friendly with it, doesn’t want that to happen, and so has made it a mission to destroy Mr. Barr. The attorney general seems to know what he’s up against, and remains undeterred.
That’s the sort of steely will necessary to right the ship at the Justice Department and the FBI.
Read more here.