Attorney General Bill Barr has made a disappointing announcement about the Justice Department’s review into the origins of the Russia investigation.
A senior White House official and a congressional aide have told Axios that Attorney General Barr has informed top Republicans that the comprehensive review of the Russia investigation will not be released before the November election.
Many Republicans have hoped that the bombshell Durham report would be released prior to the election, showing evidence of bias and corruption within the Russia investigation. Many also believe that the report will contain evidence that former President Obama, former Vice President Joe Biden, and other top Obama administration officials were directly involved in the corruption.
Republicans wanted the report to be released before the election to destroy the ‘Russia collusion’ narrative and alleviate concerns of undecided voters, vindicating President Trump.
“This is the nightmare scenario. Essentially, the year and a half of arguably the number one issue for the Republican base is virtually meaningless if this doesn’t happen before the election,” a Republican congressional aide told Axios.
According to Axios, AG Barr has informed top Republicans that they should not expect a full report or further indictments before November 3.
The Justice Department has declined to comment on the issue, while the White House has not responded to requests for comment.
Attorney General Barr has reportedly said that Durham is working deliberately and taking the investigation seriously, focusing on winning prosecutions rather than releasing the report at a convenient time.
“It comes with the territory of a sprawling investigation that every stone you turn over needs to be fully scrutinized,” a former DOJ official said.
President Trump has publicly shown his frustration with the lack of action from Barr and John Durham. In an interview with Fox Business on Thursday, Trump said, “To be honest, Bill Barr is going to go down as either the greatest attorney general in the history of the country or he’s going to go down as, you know, a very sad situation.”
The president believes that the probe has produced enough evidence to prove his case, and that it is not necessary to continue to investigate before releasing results. “He’s got all the information he needs. They want to get more, more, more. They keep getting more. I said, ‘you don’t need any more,'” Trump said in the Fox Business interview.
Politico also reported on the Durham probe, stating that “U.S. Attorney John Durham, — tasked by Attorney General William Barr to review the 2016-era Russia investigation — is not expected to release information related to the probe before Election Day, according to sources on and off the Hill. Senate Republicans running similar investigations were told of the intention within the last week — and it’s why they’ve been stepping up their releases of declassified documents.”
Senate Republicans have also been conducting investigations. In mid-September, a Senate committee released a list of subpoenas for individuals related to the Russia investigation which included former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough, former FBI counsel Lisa Page, former FBI agent Joe Pientka, former FBI director of counterintelligence Bill Priestap, former White House national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, and former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith.
Other information has already been declassified, including a binder full of documents released by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, reportedly intended to assist the Department of Justice’s review of the Durham probe.
Republicans are still requesting that more documents be declassified, as the American people have the right to know the details of the FBI’s Russia investigation. “Bill Barr should follow the instructions of the president to declassify and release all the documents the FBI are sitting on. There’s no good reason for him to withhold this information,” a senior White House official said.