New Documents Cast Doubt on 2016 Russia Probe

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The Justice Department released documents casting fresh doubt on the judgment of senior officials who investigated possible links between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016. They show that an FBI agent thought prosecutors were out to “get Trump” and that a key source of allegations against the president had been previously investigated as a possible Russian asset, the Washington Post reports. Attorney General William Barr told Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that the person whose information was used to assemble much of a dossier of allegations against the Trump campaign had been the subject of a national security investigation between 2009 and 2011, because FBI agents suspected he might be working for Russia. He is Igor Danchenko, a lawyer born in Ukraine who worked at a Washington think tank when he came under suspicion by the FBI for his Russian contacts.

Republicans seized on the details of the FBI’s old suspicions of Danchenko. In a statement, Graham said the “failure of the FBI to inform the court” that Danchenko was  suspected of being a Russian agent is a breach of every duty owed by law enforcement to the judicial system” and a “small group of individuals” in DOJ should be held accountable for their handling of the case. This was an apparent reference to former FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe. Separately, the Justice Department filed a new document in the fight over the conviction of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. A summary of a new interview with FBI agent William Barnett said the agent assigned to the Flynn case and the office of special counsel Robert Mueller criticized a “get Trump” attitude by some on Mueller’s team.

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