Comments made by Attorney General William Barr about extraordinary arrangements regarding the original handling of the Russia investigation may take on more significance in light of a previous report showing a high and unusual degree of compartmentalization in the Obama-era intelligence community’s initial intel set up of the Russia probe.
In an interview with Fox News that aired Friday, Barr commented that the intelligence community’s early handling of the Russia investigation may raise questions. He noted it was first handled at a “very senior level” and then by a “small group.”
The number of Obama administration officials who were allowed access to the Russia intelligence was also highly limited, The Post reported. At first only four senior officials were involved: Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and then-FBI Director James Comey. Their aides were all barred from attending the initial meetings, The Post stated.
The newspaper continued:
Gradually, the circle widened to include Vice President Biden and others. Agendas sent to Cabinet secretaries — including John F. Kerry at the State Department and Ashton B. Carter at the Pentagon — arrived in envelopes that subordinates were not supposed to open. Sometimes the agendas were withheld until participants had taken their seats in the Situation Room.
Adding another layer of secrecy, the newspaper reported that when the closed Cabinet sessions on Russia began in the White House Situation Room in August, the video feed from the main room was cut off during the meetings.
The feed, which allows only for video and not audio, is usually kept on so that senior aides can see when a meeting takes place. – READ MORE