By Washington Examiner. The document that greenlighted the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign has been unveiled, giving the public a look at a key focus of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s inquiry into the Trump-Russia investigators.
An “opening electronic communication,” which was authored by fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, was released through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit brought by conservative government watchdog group Judicial Watch.
Typed up in late July 2016 with the approval of William Priestap, then-assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, the document outlines the reasoning for the bureau’s decision to launch the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. The investigation looked into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia after an Australian diplomat, Alexander Downer, informed the United States that Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos told him he learned Russia had damaging information on Hillary Clinton, President Trump’s Democratic rival in the 2016 presidential election. . .
Attorney General William Barr, who appointed Durham to conduct the inquiry, agreed with his hand-picked prosecutor, saying Horowitz’s report “makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”
The document, which Strzok wrote “opens and assigns” the investigation, is covered in redactions. It does not show Downer’s name, but his presence is made clear by what is already known about the lead-up to the inquiry, saying he provided information “related to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s website/server.” (Read more from “Declassified: Trump-Russia Launch Document Authored by Strzok and Investigated by Durham” HERE)
Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Release of Testimony From Mueller Investigation
By The Guardian. The US supreme court has temporarily prevented the House of Representatives from obtaining secret grand jury testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
The court granted the Trump administration’s request to keep previously undisclosed details from the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election out of the hands of Democratic lawmakers, at least until early summer.
The court will decide then whether to extend its hold and schedule the case for arguments in the fall. If it does, it’s likely the administration will be able to put off the release of any materials until after election day on 3 November. Arguments themselves might not even take place before Americans decide whether to give Donald Trump a second term.
For justices eager to avoid a definitive ruling, the delay could mean never having to decide the case, if either Trump loses or Republicans regain control of the House next year. If Democratic candidate Joe Biden were to win the election against Trump, it’s hard to imagine his administration would object to turning over the Mueller documents, or if Republicans won the House, it would be equally hard to see them continue to press for them. (Read more from “Supreme Court Temporarily Blocks Release of Testimony From Mueller Investigation” HERE)