An investigation ordered by Attorney General Bill Barr into the “unmasking” of Trump campaign officials in the Russia probe ended without finding any wrongdoing, The Washington Post reports.
Departing US Attorney John Bash, who was appointed by Barr to review whether Obama administration officials improperly sought the identities of individuals whose names were redacted in intelligence documents, wrapped up his probe without any criminal charges of a public report.
“Though ‘unmasking’ is common and appropriate because it allows government officials to better understand a document they are reading, Trump and others suggested the list of requests that ultimately revealed [Michael] Flynn’s name showed wrongdoing,” The Post reported.
The Justice Department has declined to release any results from Bash’s probe but sources familiar with the review told the Post that the findings would “likely disappoint conservatives.”
The Justice Department has repeatedly ordered US attorneys to investigate the Obama administration’s actions in the Russia probe and has thus far come up empty.
Bash did not find wrongdoing:
Bash reviewed the unmasking and whether Obama administration officials leaked information to the media but the findings turned over to Barr “fell short of what Trump and others might have hoped,” sources told the Post.
Bash abruptly announced he would leave the DOJ last week, which surprised many in the department, according to the report.
Bash previously worked as an associate counsel to Trump and in the Solicitor General’s office.
DOJ not releasing findings:
It is not clear why the DOJ is not releasing Bash’s findings.
The DOJ has said that US Attorney John Durham, who was also tapped by Barr to investigate the Russia investigation, also looked at the unmasking issue.
Barr recently told some Republican members of Congress that there would not be a Durham report in time for the election, though that probe is said to be ongoing.
Senate Republicans similarly investigated Obama administration officials but found no new information.