Attorney General Bill Barr is changing the rules on how the Dept. of Justice and the FBI can open investigations into possible foreign interference in presidential campaigns or counterintelligence investigations of presidential candidates.
The FBI opened the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, including Russia’s interference, with the approval of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
But Attorney General Barr wants to make any future investigations harder to open. On Monday he told reporters that any counterintelligence investigations into presidential campaigns will require his approval, and that of the FBI Director, The Hill reports.
“One of the things that we agreed on is that the opening of a counterintelligence investigation of a presidential campaign would be something that the director of the FBI would have to sign off on and the attorney general,” Barr said.
CNN reports Barr’s decision “is also certain to renew criticism that Barr has undermined the Justice Department’s independence and is injecting politics into a significant and sensitive decision-making process.”
Barr’s announcement came on the same day The New York Times reported Russia hacked Burisma, the Ukraine gas company at the center of the Trump impeachment, meaning Russia is already interfering in the 2020 election.
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