DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report

DOJ watchdog won't let witnesses submit written feedback on investigation into Russia probe: report
© Greg Nash

The Justice Department will reportedly not allow witnesses in the ongoing inspector general (IG) investigation into the origins of the probe into the Trump campaign and Russian interference into the 2016 election to submit written feedback on drafts of the final report.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that the restriction, which critics say could hamper the report's accuracy, comes as the entire IG report has been deemed top secret raising questions over the level of control the IG has over the report.

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Sources familiar with the Justice Department's work on the report told the Post that it could be released after Thanksgiving, with witness interviews set to conclude by Nov. 21.

Trump and his allies argue that the investigation into his campaign started on false pretenses spread by an unverified dossier of supposed connections between then-candidate Trump and Russia, which was funded in part by lawyers for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWill the Horowitz report split the baby? Gabbard commemorates John Lennon's passing by singing 'Imagine' Bannon: Clinton waiting to enter 2020 race and 'save the Democratic Party from Michael Bloomberg' MORE's campaign.

Democrats are hoping that the review, ordered by Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrFive things to watch in Russia probe review Trump, GOP shift focus from alleged surveillance abuse to Durham Russia probe Trump: Giuliani to deliver report on Ukraine trip to Congress, Barr MORE earlier this year, will prove that the investigation began due to comments made by a Trump campaign staffer to Australian diplomats concerning emails belonging to Clinton that the staffer and the Trump campaign wished to obtain.

Barr ordered the investigation after the report into Russian election interference and the Trump campaign concluded earlier this year. Former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerTrump says he'll release financial records before election, knocks Dems' efforts House impeachment hearings: The witch hunt continues Speier says impeachment inquiry shows 'very strong case of bribery' by Trump MORE indicted numerous former Trump aides amid the investigation, but ultimately not the president or members of his family. The Justice Department guidelines state that a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.