Under explicit pressure from President Trump to make a pre-election announcement attacking the legitimacy of the Russia investigation’s origins, Attorney General William Barr said he very well might accommodate the president and that one announcement is imminent, showing “that things are moving along” in the Justice Department’s investigation of the investigators, The Wall Street Journal reports. (On Friday morning, The New York Times reported its sources said FBI agent Kevin Clinesmith will plead guilty to falsifying a document in the investigation.) Barr’s appointee to head the internal probe, prosecutor John Durham, “is moving along purposefully, and we certainly are aware of the calendar.”
In an interview on Fox News on Thursday, the president expressed impatience, saying, “Bill Barr has the chance to be the greatest of all time. But if he wants to be politically correct, he’ll be just another guy because he knows all the answers, he knows what they have.” Republicans are eager to learn whether Durham’s review supports their longstanding criticisms of the Russia investigation. Democrats worry Barr is readying an “October surprise” to try to sway voters with a last-minute announcement. Barr has been a vocal critic of the Russia investigation, which led to the convictions of five Trump advisers and the indictment of two dozen Russians, including Russian intelligence officers. The probe didn’t establish that President Trump and his campaign conspired with Moscow and didn’t draw a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice during the investigation. “If someone in the course of this did something that was a crime, they will be held accountable,” Barr said.