William Barr told the US attorney to review instances of “unmasking” done around the 2016 election has completed the probe without bringing any charges.
Republicans have tried to sell the Obama-era unmasking requests as a huge scandal; however, John Bash found no evidence of substantive wrongdoing in his investigation, which concluded without a public report.
Last week Bash left his role with the Justice Department.
Unmasking refers to the process of releasing the names of American citizens who show up in NSA foreign intelligence reports.
American citizens named in NSA foreign intelligence documents are always redacted, however, certain government officials have the authority to request to have the names unredacted, or unmasked.
The very quiet end to the probe comes after a months-long effort that added the weight of a senior federal prosecutor behind an issue that Trump had seized on to underpin unfounded allegations about former President Barack Obama.
Trump hyped the list as “a massive thing” to reporters and Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, even told Fox News it amounted to the “biggest thing since Watergate.”
Trump repeatedly cites unmasking as evidence of wrongdoing by Obama’s administration, unmasking has increased under Trump.