(CNSNews.com) - Attempts to discredit Attorney General William Barr are gaining traction, after his name was mentioned several times in a whistleblower complaint about Donald Trump.
Barr has directed Connecticut Attorney General John Durham, who has prosecutorial power, to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, which may back up Trump's claims of a "witch hunt."
Barr already has infuriated Democrats by releasing a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's findings, before the full Mueller report was redacted and released. Democrats accused Barr of misrepresenting and/or downplaying the conclusions of the Mueller report, which did not indict the president, but nevertheless laid out evidence of potential obstruction, which Democrats have eagerly pursued as one possible pathway to impeachment.
"Let me ask you about the attorney general," MSNBC's Joe Scarborough said to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday morning.
"He's gone rogue," Pelosi said, before Scarborough could even ask the question.
If Barr has “gone rogue,” Scarborough wondered, where do other potential White House whistleblowers go -- the ones who may have misclassified information for political purposes -- where do they go "when the attorney general himself is mentioned in the whistleblower complaint at the top and buried it (the complaint.)"
Pelosi responded: "Well, I think where they're going is a cover-up of the cover-up. And that's really very sad for them to have a Justice Department go so rogue. Well, they have been for a while. And now it just makes matters worse, that the Attorney General was mentioned, that the president was mentioned, that the Justice Department directed the Director of National Intelligence to take this to the White House."
In the second paragraph of the complaint, which is based on second-hand information, the whistleblower tries to implicate Barr, as follows:
In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well" (emphasis added).
The complaint says Trump "pressured Zelenskyy to...meet or speak with...his personal envoys...Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem."
But a Justice Department spokesman issued a statement saying, "The Attorney General was first notified of the President's conversation with Ukrainian President Zelensky several weeks after the call took place, when the Department of Justice learned of a potential referral. The President has not spoken with the Attorney General about having Ukraine investigate anything relating to former Vice President Biden or his son."
A footnote in the whistleblower complaint mentions that Attorney General Barr, in May, “announced that he was initiating a probe into the ‘origins’ of the Russia investigation. The footnote says that associates of Rudy Giuliani “claimed to be working with Ukrainian officials to uncover information that would become part of this inquiry.”
The footnote also says Giuliani told Fox News in August that John Durham was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.” The whistleblower wrote, “I do not know the extent to which, if at all, Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney General Barr or Mr. Durham.”
As Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) told the House intelligence committee on Thursday: "The United States is allowed to solicit help from a foreign government in an ongoing criminal investigation, which is exactly what president Trump did in that conversation."