Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler offering some details about the probe of the Trump collusion investigation launched by AG Barr. From Law & Crime:
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told the House Judiciary Committee that “The Review” would be “broad in scope and multifaceted.” He also said that the purpose of it was to “illuminate open questions regarding the activities of U.S. and foreign intelligence services as well as non-governmental organizations and individuals.”
“The purpose of the Review is to more fully understand the efficacy and propriety of those steps and to answers, to the satisfaction of the Attorney General, those open questions,” Boyd continued.
Notably, nowhere in the letter did Boyd use the word “spying.”
“It is now well established that, in 2016, the U.S. government and others undertook certain intelligence-gathering and investigate steps directed at persons associate with the Trump Campaign,” Boyd said. “As the Attorney General has stated publicly at congressional hearings and elsewhere, there remain open questions relating to the origins of this counter-intelligence investigation and the U.S. and foreign intelligence activities took place prior to and during that investigation.”
Last month Barr appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to carry out the review. The letter points out that Durham will not leave his current job while the review is ongoing. The letter also states that the bulk of the investigation will take place in Washington, DC.
Finally, the letter also attempts to reassure Chairman Nadler that while AG Barr has been granted the authority to declassify documents, the DOJ considers it of “great importance ” to protect classified information.
As Ed noted last month, Rep. Shiff has already expressed his concern, calling Trump’s granting of this power to AG Barr “un-American.” At the Washington Examiner, Byron York pointed out two weeks ago that we heard similar complaints from Democrats when Trump declassified information that was part of the Nunes memo.
In 2018, Rep. Adam Schiff, of the Intelligence Committee, said the Nunes memo “crosses a dangerous line.” Recently, he said the Barr initiative marks “a new and dangerous phase.”
In 2018, former Attorney General Eric Holder called the Nunes memo “unheard of” and “dangerous” and “irresponsible.” Recently, he called the Barr initiative “the height of irresponsibility” and “a dangerous precedent.”
Many others echoed Brennan’s and Schiff’s and Holder’s sentiments. The problem is, they were wrong then, and they are likely wrong again now.
Democrats have a pre-determined objection to revealing the details of this investigation and are in search of a rationale that would justify it. As Assistant AG Boyd’s letter makes clear, they won’t find it in suggestions that AG Barr is about to carelessly reveal sources and methods. They’ll have to come up with another excuse.