The Australian ambassador to the U.S. on Thursday said the country will cooperate with the Justice Department in its inquiry into the origins of the Russia investigation but dismissed a claim that an Australian official was involved.
Australian Ambassador to the U.S. Joe Hockey said in a letter replying to Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamHouse Republicans voice concerns about White House’s impeachment messaging Graham sends letter asking countries to cooperate with Barr probe into Russia investigation Cruz, Graham send well wishes to Sanders after heart procedure MORE (R-S.C.) that the nation has been “public about our willingness to cooperate.”
“I can assure you that the Australian Government is cooperating with Attorney General Barr’s inquiry,” the letter said.
Hockey dismissed Graham’s previous claim in a letter that an Australian diplomat was involved in the Russia probe.
“In your letter you made mention of the role of an Australian diplomat,” Hockey’s letter said. “We reject your characterisation of his role.”
Australia’s response to Senator Lindsey Graham pic.twitter.com/xiQJ26errM
— Joe Hockey (@JoeHockey) October 3, 2019
Hockey also attached a letter sent to Attorney General William Barr on May 28 expressing Australia’s willingness to cooperate.
“The Australian Government will use its best endeavours to support your efforts in this matter,” the letter said.
Graham, the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Australia, Italy and the United Kingdom on Wednesday requesting the countries’ assistance in providing any information to the Justice Department that may have helped lead to former special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerFox News legal analyst says Trump call with Ukraine leader could be ‘more serious’ than what Mueller ‘dragged up’ Lewandowski says Mueller report was ‘very clear’ in proving ‘there was no obstruction,’ despite having ‘never’ read it Fox’s Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network MORE‘s investigation.
Australian officials told the FBI about the Trump campaign’s communication with Russia regarding information about 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGiuliani consulted with Manafort on Ukraine info: report California political donor indicted for 2 overdose deaths at his home Sanders heart procedures shines spotlight on age of top Democrats MORE, which sparked the FBI investigation into the Trump-Russia relationship.
The New York Times reported Monday that the president had asked the Australian prime minister to provide information about the Russia investigation’s origins.
Graham defended Barr in his letter, saying his contact with foreign officials for the Justice Department inquiry was “well within the bounds of his normal activities.”