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President Donald Trump granted Attorney General William Barr broad new powers to investigate the origins and conduct of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign.
“Today, at the request and recommendation of the Attorney General of the United States, President Donald J. Trump directed the intelligence community to quickly and fully cooperate with the Attorney General’s investigation into surveillance activities during the 2016 Presidential election,” Trump tweeted Thursday night.
The memo also gives Barr unique authority to declassify records from the country’s 16 intelligence agencies, including the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency — incredibly broad power that usually rests with the president, not the attorney general.
“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions,” Trump added.
The move effectively secures Barr at the head of an investigation into what Trump and his allies have said was an illegal — and even treasonous — investigation into the president and his campaign by partisans within the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Justice Department, and the Intelligence Community.
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