With Mr. Benvenuto joining the leaked interrogation, the FBI interrogated Michael Bahar, a former House Intelligence Committee staff member who went into private practice in May 2017. Interviews conducted in late spring of 2020 found no evidence that led to this. Fee.
Prosecutors also doubled down on efforts to find that Mr Trump’s first national security adviser Michael T. Who leaked the material related to Flynn. Details about talks he had with then-Russian ambassador Sergei I. Kislyak in late 2016, appeared in news reports in early 2017 and ultimately helped inspire both his expulsion and federal charges against him. The discussions were also considered highly classified as the FBI used court-authorized secret wiretaps of Mr. Kislyak to monitor them.
But John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence and a close ally of Mr Trump, appeared to be damaging the leaked investigation in May 2020, when he made the transcripts of the calls public. Authorized disclosure would have made it more difficult for prosecutors to argue that the news had hurt national security.
Separately, one of the prosecutors whom Mr Barr directed to re-examine the FBI’s criminal case against Flynn interviewed at least one law enforcement officer in the leaked investigation after the tapes were declassified. Taken, a move that was taken by a person familiar with the matter. politically loaded.
The biweekly update on the investigation into the leaks among top officials continued. Julie Edelstein, Deputy Chief of Counter Intelligence and Export Control, and Matt Blue, head of the Department’s Counter Terrorism Section, John C. Demers, chief of the National Security Division, and Seth Ducharm, an official in the deputy attorney general’s office. , on their progress. Mr. Benvenuto attended the briefing with Mr. Barr.
Mr Demers, Ms Edelstein, Mr Blue and Mr Benvenuto are still in the Justice Department, ensuring Mr Biden’s appointment, including Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, will have a full understanding of the investigation.
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