Shortly before Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed his report on the Russian investigation last month, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Lindsey Graham, RS.C., alerted Attorney General Bill Barr to what they described as "selective" use of emails in Mueller court filings – as well as potential "improper political influence, misconduct, and a mismanagement "in the FBI's original Russian probe.
In a March 8 letter, Grassley and Graham referred Barr to a letter sent to Mueller in late 2017 that alleged his investigators had a cherry-picked details from emails to include in court documents, urging him to review the materials. They also informed him that they had asked DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz a year earlier to review the original FBI probe.
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It is unclear if Barr reviewed the senators' letter;
But Fox News has told the lawmakers wanted Barr to have this material before he reviewed the Mueller report, out of concern some emails were selectively quoted to give a "nefarious" impression. [1
In their March letter to Barr, Grassley and Graham pointed specifically to the emails quoted in the Statement of Offense against the former Trump Adviser George Papadopoulos.
That court filing said Papadopoulos emailed another campaign official in May 2016 with the subject line, "Request from Russia to meet Mr. Trump." The document stated that the email stated that Russia "has been eager to meet Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss," adding in a footnote that the official sent the email to another campaign official, asking to discuss: " We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign, so that no signal is sent. "
The senators said media outlets then seized on fragments to report" Campaign official suggested 'low level' staff should go to Russia. " However, they said the full emails – obtained from the Trump campaign – tell a different story.
"In the full context, the emails in question actually show that the Trump Campaign wanted someone" low level "to decline these types of invitations, "Grassley and Graham wrote in the letter to Barr.
The senator added:" The other issue was reported by some news outlets as evidence that the campaign, notably Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis, encouraged staff to meet with the Russians. " This script says that the Campaign Supervisor (later identified as Clovis) told Papadopoulos "I would encourage you" and another adviser to "make the trip" if possible, regarding a meeting with the Russians.
The The senator wrote, however, that "additional context shows that Papadopoulos had conversations with representatives of several governments, not just Russia, and that Clovis had opposed any trip to Russia for Mr. Trump and the campaign. "
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making false statements to FBI agents in October 2017 in connection with the Russian investigation and is currently in a 12-month supervised release from the federal prison. He is now seeking pardon from Trump Graham and Grassley also sent a letter to Horowitz asking for his office to look at "potential improper political influence, misconduct, and mismanagement".
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Meanwhile, in late February of last year, of the counterintelligence and criminal investigations into possible collusions between the Trump Campaign and Russia before Mueller's appointment.
"The referral was based in part on materially inconsistent statements made by Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump filed by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 presidential elections, "their letter to Barr states.
It continues: The documents we have reviewed also raise questions about the role Bruce Ohr, a senior Justice Department official whose wife worked for Fusion GPS, had in passing allegations from Steele and Fusion GPS to the FBI after the FBI had terminated Mr. Steele as a Source. "
The IG's office is reviewing potential surveillance abuses by the FBI, as well as officials who have been released from the bureau and improper gifts received.