Barr's Obama-era 'unmasking' investigation reportedly ends without charges, public report

Barr's Obama-era 'unmasking' investigation reportedly ends without charges, public report

Trump and his allies have sought to portray the use of the process during the administration of his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama, as a misuse of government authority.

Attorney General Bill Barr is doing his very best to morph the Justice Department into President Donald Trump's personal law firm - but he still hasn't managed to validate Trump's conspiracy theories on "Obama-gate"/"Spy-gate"/"Unmask-gate" or any other "gate" and the President is Not Happy About It.

In a recent Fox Business interview, Trump went off on Barr on a lack of indictments over what he has publicly decried as the "Russia hoax".

Bash resigned from the department this month without a mention of his findings.

Bash's team was focused not just on unmasking, but also on whether Obama-era officials provided information to reporters, according to people familiar with the probe.

It was not immediately clear why a public report about Bash's findings has not been made available by the Justice Department.

The conclusion of Bash's report without any charges is likely to rankle President Trump as well as Republicans on Capitol Hill who had hoped the Justice Department would expose what they believed to be wrongdoing by the Obama administration in unmasking individuals before and after the 2016 election.

The Post reported that the Justice Department did not intend to release the results.

In a statement announcing the investigation in May, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said: "Unmasking inherently isn't wrong, but certainly, the frequency, the motivation and the reasoning behind unmasking can be problematic". Durham's review has not finished.

Barr told some lawmakers not to expect a report before Election Day on November 3 because Durham is focused on prosecutions and he fears a public report could interfere with that goal, according to a Capitol Hill aide familiar with the matter. The effort was initially pushed in part by Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California, though the House Intelligence Committee he chaired at the time also asked United States spy agencies to reveal the names of U.S. individuals or organizations contained in classified intelligence on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) declared in May that Biden had been "caught red-handed" after the list of Obama officials who had requested Flynn's unmasking was released.

Paul said at the time that, "We sort of have the smoking gun because we now have the declassified document with Joe Biden's name on it".

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