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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 ClintonHillary Clinton to speak at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders summit More than half of eligible Latinos voted in 2020, setting record Fox News signs Trey Gowdy, Dan Bongino for new shows MORE's campaign.

Democrats are hoping that the review, ordered by Attorney General William BarrBill BarrLawyer for former officer charged in George Floyd death alleges witness coercion CNN legal analyst joins DOJ's national security division Barr threatened to resign over Trump attempts to fire Wray: report 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) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened 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.