NPR

Barr Is Investigating The Investigators: Will He Find Wrongdoing Or Political Fuel?

Attorney General William Barr may reveal what he discovers as he looks into the origins of the Russia investigation, the president says. Democrats complain about information being "weaponized."
President Trump and Attorney General William Barr attend an event at White House on Wednesday. Trump has empowered Barr to investigate the origins of the special counsel probe and reveal his findings. Source: Chip Somodevilla

Updated at 2:08 p.m. ET

President Trump has handed Attorney General William Barr the keys to the vault.

The White House says that will mean he can be freer to reveal wrongdoing if he finds it. Democrats call it a bid to scare up political "weapons."

Trump has authorized Barr to "declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence" related to the origins of the investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential campaign, according to an official order.

The memo signaled not only how much Trump wants Barr to go ahead with the efforts he's discussed to review the early period of the inquiry — and officials' use of the law and their investigative powers — but to get what Barr uncovers out into the open quickly.

Republicans say they got between his campaign and Russia's interference in the election, notwithstanding the contacts it did establish between Trump aides and Russians.

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