The Probe into the Russia-Trump Investigation Has Been Going on for Awhile

Earlier in the week, as promised, Attorney General Bill Barr assigned a US attorney to oversee the events and tactics that set into motion the lengthy and politically-explosive federal probe that was eventually inherited and concluded by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Barr has infuriated Democrats by stating that he was planning to do so, inflaming them further by using the word “spying” in reference to certain government surveillance of Trump campaign associates. But as even former DNI James Clapper has admitted, the Obama-era DOJ’s actions met the “dictionary definition” of spying. In any case, we’re learning that the current investigation of the previous investigation has already expanded.

Recall that the Justice Department’s tough and respected Inspector General is on the brink of completing his look at potential FISA abuses, which is rumored to contain very critical assessments of the FBI’s reliance on the infamous (and heavily discredited) Steele Dossier. How many people knew about Steele’s serious credibility problems as they leaned so heavily on his work to obtain warrants? And was the fact that his dodgy (and possibly Russia-planted) opposition research was bought and paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC hidden or obscured from the judges who approved those warrants? These are important questions, but their scope only goes so far — which is why Barr has moved to assign the job of rendering a more comprehensive account to someone else. And boy, does this process, still being presented as a “review,” appear to be escalating:

Attorney General William Barr is working closely with the CIA to review the origins of the Russia investigation and surveillance issues surrounding Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter, broadening an effort that the President has long demanded to involve all major national security agencies. Barr is working in close collaboration with CIA Director Gina Haspel, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and FBI Director Christopher Wray, the source said. There had been speculation as to why Haspel had been spotted at the Justice Department in recent weeks. Wray testified last week he was assisting Barr.

The CIA is in the mix? We’ve also learned that the probe has already been underway for some time:

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