Graham sends letter asking countries to cooperate with Barr probe into Russia investigation

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamZuckerberg launches public defense of Facebook as attacks mount Graham: 'Stupid' for Trump to ask China to investigate Biden Turkey sanctions face possible wall in GOP Senate MORE (R-S.C.) is urging three foreign governments to cooperate with the Justice Department probe into the origins of the Russia investigation. 
 
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter on Wednesday to the governments of Italy, Australia and the United Kingdom defending outreach from Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFederal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe Mulvaney ties withheld Ukraine aid to political probe sought by Trump MORE as part of the investigation. 
 
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"That the attorney general is holding meetings with your countries to aid in the Justice Department's investigation of what happened is well within the bounds of his normal activities. He is simply doing his job," Graham wrote in the letter. 
 
He added that he was requesting "your country's continued cooperation with Attorney General Barr as the Department of Justice continues to investigate the origins and extent of foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election." 
 
Graham noted in his letter that "it appears" the United States used "foreign intelligence as part of their efforts to investigate and monitor the 2016 election." 
 
Graham had said earlier this week that he was planning to send the letters in the wake of The New York Times reporting that Trump had reached out to the Australian government to assist Barr as part of the Justice Department's investigation. The Justice Department subsequently confirmed the report. 
 
"This New York Times article is an effort to stop Barr. ... What are they afraid of? This really bothers me a lot that the left is going to try to say there's something wrong with Barr talking to Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom," Graham said during a Fox News interview earlier this week.
 
Barr has also reportedly spoken with officials from Italy and the UK. 
 
The conversations come after the attorney general said earlier this year that he planned to investigate the intelligence collection on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election to determine whether it was “adequately predicated.”