Bill Barr Buries Report That Exonerates Obama

Shane T. Mccoy via ZUMA

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In the pantheon of Republican pseudo-scandals, “unmasking” has always been one of the dumbest. National security officials routinely ask the intelligence community to “unmask” names that have been redacted in raw reports so they can get a better idea of who’s doing what to whom, and the Obama administration did this just like every other administration. Republicans, however, have insisted for years that Susan Rice and others used unmasking requests as cover for a campaign against Michael Flynn, and naturally they demanded an investigation. Just as naturally, Bill Barr gave them what they wanted.

Sadly for Republicans, the investigation turned up nothing. That’s not surprising, and neither is this:

Bash’s team was focused not just on unmasking, but also on whether Obama-era officials provided information to reporters, according to people familiar with the probe, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation. But the findings ultimately turned over to Barr fell short of what Trump and others might have hoped, and the attorney general’s office elected not to release them publicly, the people familiar with the matter said. The Washington Post was unable to review the full results of what Bash found.

The investigation basically exonerated the Obama team and probably would have hurt Donald Trump’s reelection, so Barr decided to keep it under wraps. This is how the Justice Department works these days: it’s a PR shop for Donald Trump, not an independent agency serving the best interests of the American public. Hopefully that will change in a few months.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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