Here’s the crucial question of the week: who leaked to the New York Times that Donald Trump ordered Rudy Giuliani to look into seizing voting machines? This kind of inside information about private conversations doesn’t just get picked up by the wind and randomly land on a reporter’s desk. Someone privy to the conversation decided to leak it, and had a specific reason for doing so. In any story, the source is usually whoever looks good in that story. The story says Bill Barr refused Trump’s order, so Barr is probably the leak. This is important.
Barr has a consistent history of thinly veiled leaks to the media to make himself look good or to promote his point of view. If this is the case again here, it means Barr wants his version of the story out there – which means he’ll certainly give it to (or has already given it to) the January 6th Committee.
The 1/6 committee chair says it’s already spoken with Barr. He didn’t say what about. He also didn’t say if it was actual testimony, or mere conversations about testifying. But if Barr is the person who leaked this revelation about Trump and voting machines, and the context of the NYT article suggests he is, it would surely mean he’s cooperating.
So if Barr is cooperating, why would the 1/6 committee have kept it secret? Investigators often want to track down the rest of the story before letting someone know they’re onto them. Catch them off guard. Catch them in a lie (perjury). And so on.
Another question: if Barr has been secretly cooperating, and if he is the NYT source, why would he leak this now? It would suggest that the committee has completed the part of the probe where it needed the info that Barr gave the committee to remain secret. We’ll surely find out before too much longer. But for now let’s keep an eye out for additional signs that Barr may have already given up Trump to investigators.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report