Burr appeared to brief White House counsel on FBI investigation in 2017, report says


AG William Barr released the Mueller report, with redactions.

Jeremy Herb

(CNN) — Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr appeared to brief the White House counsel’s office about the targets of the FBI’s Russia investigation in March 2017, special counsel Robert Mueller’s report says.

The report states that then-FBI Director James Comey briefed the Gang of Eight — the Intelligence Committee and congressional leaders from both parties — about the investigation on March 9, 2017, before Comey revealed its existence publicly at a House hearing on March 20, 2017.

“The week after Comey’s briefing, the White House Counsel’s Office was in contact with (Senate Intelligence Committee) Chairman Senator Richard Burr about the Russia investigations and appears to have received information about the status of the FBI investigation,” the report states.

In a footnote, the report states that the White House counsel’s office was briefed by Burr, a North Carolina Republican, on the “existence of 4-5 targets,'” citing notes from former deputy White House Counsel Annie Donaldson. The notes included references to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, an individual whose identity was redacted due to an ongoing investigation, and “Greek Guy,” which is likely George Papadopoulos — although the footnote also notes that the Intelligence Committee “does not formally investigate individuals as ‘targets.'”

“The notes on their face reference the FBI, the Department of Justice and Comey; and the notes track the background materials prepared by the FBI for Comey’s briefing to the Gang of 8 on March 9,” the footnote says.

Burr spokeswoman Caitlin Carroll said that Burr did not recall the specific conversation with White House counsel Don McGahn in March 2017.

“However, any conversations between the two would have been in reference to the need for White House personnel to voluntarily comply with the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation,” she said. “If specific individuals were discussed, they would have been those known to the Committee, the White House, and the media. The chairman’s stewardship over the committee’s bipartisan and fact-based investigation over the last two years speaks for itself.”


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