While the Democrats did not gain any traction in reviving their Russian collusion narrative while Attorney General William Barr was in the hot seat before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Republicans and those actually interested in seeing justice done did get a piece of unexpected news. It seems that there are a number of criminal leak investigations underway at the Department of Justice.
Barr, who was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee, was asked by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, about what he called a “culture of unauthorized media contact” during both the Hillary Clinton email probe and the Russia investigations.
“Leaks undermine the ability of investigators to investigate, further leaks to the papers while Congress’ questions to the department go unanswered is unacceptable,” Grassley said. “What are you doing to investigate unauthorized media contacts by the department and FBI officials during the Russian investigation?”
“We have multiple criminal leak investigations under way,” Barr responded, but did not elaborate.
No elaboration is necessary when it comes to leaks. The reality is that Washington, D.C., is a city that thrives on leaks which leads to gossip and innuendo on any number of subjects. Early in President Donald Trump’s administration, there was any number of staffers shown the door after information leaked from the White House. Once there was a change in Chief of Staff, and General John Kelly was in that position, the leaks stopped.
That there are now criminal investigations ongoing is an interesting turn of events. Barr also indicated that there was quite a bit of spying going on within the Department of Justice on the Trump camp, a word that at least one Senator objected to.
One of the more pleasant exchanges between Barr and a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee happened with Senator Grassley. This does prove that lawmakers can be civilized.