This time around, Democrats said they’re suspicious of Barr. They said he misrepresented the findings of an earlier investigation, by special counsel Robert Mueller, to benefit President Trump.

In the past year, Barr has told interviewers that the Durham probe has turned up surprising and damaging information. But the Justice Department typically avoids making comment about ongoing investigations.

This week, Fred Wertheimer of the left-leaning group Democracy 21 appealed to Durham directly in the form of an open letter on the blog Just Security. A public release of Durham’s findings, or indictments, will become a campaign issue with political consequences, he said.

“If your investigation is not complete, you should not complete it until after the election,” Wertheimer wrote in the Thursday letter. “If the report is complete, you should publicly oppose any release of your report before the election.”