- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 18, 2019

Former FBI director James Comey on Friday accused Attorney General William P. Barr of “sliming” the Department of Justice and effectively serving as President Trump’s spokesman.

Mr. Comey criticized the attorney general on Twitter after Mr. Barr raised concerns this week about the origins of the government’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election — a probe led by the former FBI director prior to his firing by Mr. Trump in May 2017.

“The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found. An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople,” Mr. Comey tweeted.

Mr. Comey had led the FBI for nearly four years when he was fired by Mr. Trump weeks after revealing that the bureau was investigating possible coordination between the president’s election campaign and Russia. Robert Mueller, the head of the FBI prior to Mr. Comey, was subsequently appointed special counsel and tasked with assuming control of the probe, which culminated last month in the release of a lengthy, heavily redacted report summarizing its results.

Mr. Trump has been highly critical of the government’s probe since prior to Mr. Mueller’s appointment, and Mr. Barr announced this week that a federal prosecutor in Connecticut has been assigned to investigate its origins.

“I think people have to find out what the government was doing during that period. If we’re worried about foreign influence for the very same reason we shouldn’t be worried about whether government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale. And so I’m not saying that happened, but I’m saying that we have to look at that,” Mr. Barr said in an interview aired Friday on Fox News.

A total of 34 people and three entities were criminally charged during the duration of the special counsel’s 22-month probe, including several Russians and former members of Mr. Trump’s campaign.

Mr. Barr, 68, was confirmed as attorney general in February. The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines last week to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to comply with a subpoena compelling him to provide lawmakers with an unredacted version of Mr. Mueller’s report.

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