Attorney General Bill Barr used the force of his office to instruct prosecutors investigating Hunter Biden not to take any steps that might cause the probe to be publicly revealed in the run-up to the election.
The directive, reported in the Wall Street Journal, was in keeping with existing Justice Department policy against taking investigatory steps close to an election that might interfere with it.
Barr and his team took steps to ‘insulate’ the investigations, according to the report, even as President Donald Trump repeatedly demanded a probe of his political rival’s son.
Those instructions were given orally in ‘conversations with prosecutors,’ according to the Journal, which would appear to suggest there is no paper trail for it. They included asking if staff members involved in the situation could be trusted.
The case reflects the deep pressures being navigated by the Justice Department in the wake of 2016 and Trump’s unprecedented and constant calls to investigate his opponents.
Just days before the 2016 elections, then-FBI Director James Comey informed lawmakers that the bureau was investigating new emails uncovered on former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. The disclosure provided another blow to the Clinton camp, and Hillary Clinton and other aides have cited Comey as helping cause her defeat.
A 2012 policy is intended to keep the Justice Department away from actions that might steer a campaign.
Democrats have blasted Barr throughout his term for several pivotal steps that appear to have benefitted Trump: withholding documents and testimony from Congress during impeachment; the release of a summary of the Mueller probe; and the decision to drop charges against Trump ally Mike Flynn, who the president pardoned after the election.
This is an excerpt from Dailymail