President Donald Trump, just after or coincident with his acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial, doubled down on Wednesday, February 5, 2020,
strengthening his Praetorian Guard to protect against FBI investigations of illegal foreign contributions to his reelection campaign–or to congressional campaigns.
Marty Johnson, “Barr directs FBI to get his approval before investigating 2020 presidential candidates: report,” The Hill, February 6, 2020 (09:23 AM EST).
The Hill reports,
Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday reportedly released a new set of restrictions covering FBI investigations of political candidates.
Under the new guidelines, the FBI must get Barr’s approval before investigating any 2020 presidential candidates or their senior staff, the Times reports.
Agents must first talk with relevant officials and the Justice Department before opening any probe into “illegal contributions, donations or expenditures by foreign nationals to a presidential or congressional campaign.”
Barr has also overseen the federal prosecution of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, business associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on campaign finance charges.
Barr has proven himself to be unswervingly loyal to Trump, and presumably can be relied on to deflect any investigations into the “presidential or congressional” campaigns in 2020. The fact that he is “overseeing” the “federal prosecution of Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, business associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, on campaign finance charges,” is highly revealing, and tends to suggest why we haven’t heard any more about these cases.
What this means is that if any foreign nationals are caught funneling foreign money to congressional campaigns or the presidential campaign in 2020, this information is likely to be bottled up by Barr in the Justice Department, and we’ll never hear about it until long after the elections–if ever. Presumably this would include foreign nationals funneling money through U.S. citizens such as Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman.
This is a bold move in the continuing subordination of the Justice Department and the Rule of Law to the will of an increasingly authoritarian Leader, President Trump.
The Trenchant Observer