It’s a bad day to be Attorney General William Barr. While The New York Times has a blockbuster of a story about how he engineered Donald Trump’s request to Australia’s Prime Minister for help in discrediting the Mueller probe, The Washington Post reports that he’s been overseas trying to get foreign intelligence officials to help, too.
Barr is looking for assistance to bolster a Justice Department investigation that would counter the Mueller report—one that would make Russia not be the bad guys of the 2016 election. That investigation is being conducted by the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham. The Post reports that “Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials, and last week the attorney general traveled to Italy, where he and Durham met senior Italian government officials and Barr asked the Italians to assist Durham, according to one person familiar with the matter.” He’s been in Italy previously on this mission and, as we know from the Times, has pushed the matter with Australia as well.
“Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in re-examining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct,” the Post says. It should. Barr is trying to get other countries’ intelligence agencies to discredit his own country’s intelligence agencies—not to mention sending the message to Russia and anyone else that they are more than welcome to come back and do it again in 2020.