Politics

Release of Durham Findings Before Election

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A highly anticipated forthcoming report from U.S. Attorney John Durham on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation won’t trigger a Justice Department policy against interference in the 2020 presidential race, so the review could be released in the weeks leading up to the November election, Attorney General William Barr indicated to Congress Tuesday.

“I will be very careful. I know what Justice Department policy is,” Barr said during a long-awaited appearance before the House Judiciary Committee. “Any report will be, in my judgment, not one that is covered by the policy and would disrupt the election.”

When asked directly by Rep. Debbie Murcasel-Powell (D-Fla.) whether he would commit to not releasing a report from Durham between now and November, the attorney general flatly declined.

“No,” Barr replied.

The Justice Department has historically sought to avoid taking overt investigative steps that could roil an election in the 60 days before Election Day. However, the policy has largely been an informal one, marked by generalized warnings not to take steps that could have political fallout, but no outright ban.

Just weeks before Election Day in 2016, for instance, then FBI director James Comey informed Congress that the bureau was reviewing a newly discovered batch of emails from Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee. Though the review did not ultimately alter the FBI’s view that Clinton should not be prosecuted, Democrats widely blame Comey for re-injecting the email issue into the final stretch of the campaign in contravention of DOJ policy.

You know the Democrats are worried as they once again try to delay AG Bill Barr.

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