Justice Department sought Washington Post reporters' email data in Barr's final days

Barr's Dec. 22 request was part of administration's final push in years-long effort to crack down on the leaking of classified information.

Updated: July 14, 2021 - 8:30am

The Justice Department sought the email records of Washington Post reporters the day before then-Attorney General William Barr resigned – in an apparent, 11th-hour effort by the Trump administration to learn who was leaking information to the news media, according to newly unsealed court documents.

The Dec. 22 request by Barr was part of a final push in the administration’s years-long effort to crack down on the leaking of classified information including conversations between Trump campaign officials and Russia's U.S. Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, The New York Times reports.

Times reporters’ records were also subject to the leak probe, which sought email and phone logs. 

The Justice Department under President Biden last month disclosed the effort, leading to the unsealing of The Post court records

The Post stories are identified only by publication date but appears to include one in May 2017 that reported senior White House adviser Jared Kushner had discussed with Kislyak, the possibility of using Russian diplomatic facilities as a communication back channel during the presidential transition period.

The 12-page application to the court seeking the email records of the three Post reporters also indicates the Justice Department thought someone in Congress might have shared the details of Kislyak’s conversations with reporters, also according to The Times.

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