“Hope you had fun investigating me,” reads a meme that has been reposted by President Donald Trump, his family and his allies several times over the last week on social media. “Now it’s my turn.”
More than one year after the Russia investigation ended and six months before he faces re-election, Trump is getting his revenge—and his most trusted advisers, some newly installed throughout the Justice Department and intelligence community since his impeachment acquittal three months ago, are helping him do it.
In the last week, Attorney General William Barr and acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell have arguably gone further in aiding Trump’s campaign against the so-called “deep state” than anyone in the last three years.
Barr, through his former aide Timothy Shea — tapped by the attorney general in January to serve as interim D.C. U.S. attorney—moved last week to dismiss the case against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn in circumstances that have alarmed a federal judge first appointed by Ronald Reagan.
Grenell, meanwhile, who was appointed days after Trump’s acquittal in February, subsequently declassified a list of Obama administration officials who might have been involved in “unmasking” Flynn’s name in intelligence reports — fueling unsubstantiated accusations from the president and his Capitol Hill allies of wrongdoing.
Trump has showered the two men with praise, hailing the “fantastic job” Grenell is doing in a phone-in interview with “Fox & Friends” the day after the Justice Department moved to drop the Flynn case. “This country owes a lot to him and they owe a lot to Attorney General Barr,” the president added.