Attorney General William Barr has reportedly told top Republican officials that the Justice Department’s report on the origins of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election will not be released prior to Election Day, according to Axios.
A senior White House official and a congressional aide informed Axios of the remarks, with one source saying that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading the report, is not concerned with adhering to political pressure to complete the study by a certain deadline, adding that Durham is working deliberately and in a calculated manner.
This news comes as many Republicans hoped the report would reveal abuses by the Obama administration and intelligence community that could give the party a boost on Nov. 3.
“This is the nightmare scenario. Essentially, the year and a half of arguably the number one issue for the Republican base is virtually meaningless if this doesn’t happen before the election,” a GOP congressional aide reportedly the publication.
Both the Justice Department and the White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
The report comes as President Trump on Thursday took aim at Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Attorney General William Barr, as well as FBI Director Christopher Wray, during an interview on Fox Business, with the president arguing that the three officials have not moved fast enough in their findings on his political opponents.
Trump referred specifically to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s lack of consequences for using a private email server, as well as the Obama administration’s involvement in the Russia investigation.
“To be honest, Bill Barr is going to go down as either the greatest attorney general in the history of the country or he’s going to go down as, you know, a very sad situation,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo. “I’ll be honest with you. He’s got all the information he needs. They want to get more, more, more. They keep getting more. I said, ‘You don’t need any more.’ “
Trump also scolded Pompeo, one of the president’s most fervent supporters, for not working to find and release Clinton’s deleted emails, a subject of fascination for the president and his supporters throughout his first term.
“They’re in the State Department, but Mike Pompeo has been unable to get them out, which is very sad, actually,” Trump said. “I’m not happy about him for that reason. He was unable to get them out. I don’t know why. You’re running the State Department, you get them out.”
The president on Thursday also claimed Wray has “been disappointing” and slow-moving in efforts to find wrongdoing by the Obama administration.