Donald Trump on Thursday issued a memo that gave Attorney General William Barr the complete authority to unilaterally declassify any information in the Russia probe, no matter how sensitive. Barr’s protection of Trump in the Russia collusion probe has been so fierce that some commentators, such as in The Los Angeles Times, have described him as Trump’s personal lawyer rather than the legal representative of the American people.
But according to a blockbuster report published Friday by The New York Times, Barr may declassify information on a top Russian spy for the U.S., who provided crucial information in the Russia investigation.
Barr is purporting to lead an investigation into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Mueller’s report of his findings, available online via The New York Times, reveals that the FBI initiated the investigation in July of 2016, after learning that a young Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, had been told by a person connected to Russia that the Russian government possessed “dirt” on Democrat Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands” of emails.
The FBI opened the probe just days after the document-dumping site WikiLeaks released thousands of Clinton-related emails stolen by Russian hackers from the Democratic National Committee, at the time throwing the Democratic 2016 Convention into chaos, as The Inquisitr reported.
But Barr is leading multiple investigations into the origins of the Russia probe anyway, apparently seeking to “politicize” the intelligence information he turns up, according to The Washington Post.
Barr may be attempting to portray the investigation as a conspiracy to stage a “coup” against Trump, as Trump himself has claimed, despite having no evidence to support that assertion, as CNN reported.
The real danger of Barr’s investigation with his newly acquired power to declassify any information he chooses — a power normally belonging to the president — according to the NYT report, is that he could expose the name of a top mole inside the Kremlin, “a person close to Mr. Putin who provided information about his involvement,” NYT reported.
The top Russian source provided evidence to the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama, showing that Putin himself ordered the Russian election tampering operation designed to put Trump in office, according to NYT.
According to intelligence experts, if Barr were to expose the source, he and Trump would be providing a significant favor to Putin, and endangering the safety of the source.
“If Barr discloses intelligence sources who provided information on 2016 Russia attack then he is doing it deliberately & under orders from Trump to Destroy CIA/FBI capability in Russia,” wrote intelligence expert Malcolm Nance, via Twitter.
Asha Rangappa, a former FBI agent, who is now a CNN political analyst, added on her own Twitter feed that not only would Barr endanger the top Russian source, “he is disabling our intelligence capacities to Russia’s advantage,” because future sources would no longer trust U.S. intelligence agencies to protect their identities.