WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump said on Friday it was a “disgrace” that a Justice Department review of the origins of the Russia investigation that consumed two years of his presidency would not be ready before the Nov. 3 election.
U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, a Trump appointee and close ally of the Republican president, is said to have told Senate Republicans that the review is unlikely to be completed before the vote.
Trump has been pushing for the investigation to move forward more quickly to give him a boost among his base of supporters. A special counsel’s investigation, concluded in April 2019, into whether Trump and his 2016 campaign colluded with Russia stopped short of accusing the president of committing a crime.
Trump has said repeatedly he believes the investigation into the origins of the Russia probe would lead to evidence that the administration of his predecessor, Democrat Barack Obama, abused power by looking into whether Trump sought help from Russia in 2016. The investigation is led by U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut.
Trump, in an interview with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, said it was a “disgrace” and an “embarrassment” that the Durham report would not be unveiled until after next month’s election.
“See, this is what I mean with the Republicans. They don’t play the tough game,” Trump said.
(Reporting By Steve Holland; editing by Grant McCool)