Donald Trump urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help Attorney General William Barr gather information for a Ministry of Justice investigation into the start of the Russian investigation.
Trump, in a recent phone call to his Australian counterpart, made the field on Barr's legacy, The New York Times reported, referring to officials familiar with the interview.
It is the second revelation that the president asked a fellow world leader to help with a domestic political issue that could affect his re-election in the White House.
Donald Trump urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to assist Attorney General William Barr in an investigation – the two leaders can be seen above during an event in September in Ohio
Attorney General William Barr collects information for a Ministry of Justice investigation into how the Russian investigation began
The White House also tried to restrict access to the call transcript to a small group of assistants, a step similar to how the administration handled Trump's call on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, where he encouraged him to investigate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.
The telephone conversation with Morrison came within a few weeks of Trump's request to Zelensky, whose president denied that he was pressuring Ukraine to dig up rubbish at one of his political rivals. Trump called it a & # 39; perfect & # 39; call.
Morrison was in Washington D.C. earlier this month for a state visit and a chic state dinner in the Rose Garden of the White House, where Barr was present.
Neither the White House, the Justice Department nor the Morrison government responded to the Times' request for comment.
But an official told CNN it was an appropriate move on behalf of Barr – to ask the president for help from a foreign government for an investigation into the 2016 elections – and unlike the call with Zelensky.
Another official said that Barr asked the president to ask for help from various countries, including Australia, in his investigation into how the Russian investigation began.
Trump insisted on investigating how Robert Mueller's probe began and hoped to discredit the Special Counsel and his report, which found that the President did not consult with the Russians in the 2016 elections, but decided whether Trump tried to hinder justice.
Barr decided in that case not to file a complaint, referring to the long-standing policy of the Ministry of Justice not to accuse a sitting president.
The Attorney General, earlier this year, announced his own investigation into how the Mueller probe began and appointed career officer John Durham to lead the investigation.
& # 39; I think spying on a political campaign is a big problem & # 39 ;, Barr told a hearing from the Senate Committee in April this year and noted that he believed that & # 39; espionage was taking place & # 39 ; in the Trump campaign.
He investigates whether law enforcement or intelligence officials have acted improperly when they started a counter intelligence investigation into the Trumps 2016 campaign out of concern that it had been infiltrated by foreign agents.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcome Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Jenny Morrison to the White House for a state dinner
Trump insisted on an investigation into how Robert Mueller's probe began and hopes to discredit the Special Counsel and his report
Australia plays a central role in Mueller research.
In 2016, Australian intelligence officials tipped the FBI that Trump campaign assistant George Papadopoulos knew that the Russians had malicious emails from democrats that could influence the election.
Papadopoulos told the Australian ambassador to the UK in May 2016 and Aussie officials passed on the information to the United States after Wikileaks started publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee in July.
Papadopoulos, who was a Trump foreign policy adviser in 2016, claimed that he heard that the Russians & # 39; thousands & # 39; emails from Hillary Clinton had from Joseph Mifsud, a professor who works in Rome.
Mifsud has since disappeared.
Papadopoulos made contact with the mysterious Mifsud, who claimed that the Kremlin had ties and introduced him to other apparently well-connected Russians, including an alleged niece of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In 2106, when-Trump campaign assistant George Papadopoulos, seen on Fox News in March, told the Australian ambassador to the UK that Russia had the emails from Hillary Clinton
Papadopoulos suggested to Trump's campaign team that Trump and Putin meet and continue the sitdown, even if it never ended.
During a breakfast on April 26, 2016 in London, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that people in Moscow & # 39; dirty & # 39; on Clinton – information that Papadopoulos later shared with the campaign.
In May 2016, Papadopoulos told Alexander Downer, the most important Australian diplomat to the United Kingdom, that Russia was in possession of Clinton emails.
In July, after the hacking of the DNC became public, the Australians told the US authorities about Papadopoulos's remark, which led the FBI to start a counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016.
Cambridge professor Stefan Halper was an FBI informant who approached Trump campaign advisers Carter Page, Papadopoulos and Sam Clovis about possible ties with Russia.
. [TagsToTranslate] Dailymail