According to the recently released redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's document, Republican Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr gave information to the Trump administration regarding the FBI investigation into alleged Russian tampering with the 2016 presidential election.
The new disclosure has disrupted Burr's image as a relatively unbiased leader in his committee's independent inquiry into whether Russia did indeed support the Trump campaign, HuffPost reports. His unbiased image was valuable to Republican lawmakers, given that a Republican leading a similar House investigation lost his credibility by working directly with the White House and alleging conspiracy theories against President Barack Obama. In light of that revelation, Democrats found that lawmaker, Representative Devin Nunes from California, to be "deliberately dishonest."
And now, GOPers fear that Burr may lose his credibility as well. According to the Mueller report released on Thursday, on March 16, 2017, Senator Burr alerted the office of White House counsel Don McGahn of "4-5 targets" of the FBI probe into Russian election interference―the investigation that led to the special counsel probe.
The subjects of the investigation included ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn, Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort, associate to the campaign Carter Page, and a man nicknamed "Greek Guy," who experts say is probably campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.Both McGahn and Annie Donaldson, his chief of staff, claimed they believed Burr was speaking of the investigation from his committee, not that of the Justice Department, but Mueller's team remained suspicious.
In notes that Donaldson had written during the meeting with Burr, the materials, according to the report, “on their face reference the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Comey,” referencing the FBI Director at the time, James Comey. The report continues that the notes “track the background materials prepared by the FBI for Comey’s briefing to” high-ranking lawmakers including Burr.
Donaldson “could not rule out that Burr had told McGahn those individuals were the FBI’s targets.”