His work led the way on how the Hillary Clinton email investigation divided the FBI during the stretch run of the 2016 election. He also co-wrote with Adam Entous the definitive story on the errant counterintelligence investigation of U.S. diplomat Robin Raphel – a reporting tour de force that ranks among the longest stories the Journal has ever published.
Barrett started as a copy boy at the New York Post when he was 18 and eventually rose to desk assistant. Among his duties was entering lottery numbers for publication, a task that taught him the essential importance of accuracy. He apprenticed with some of journalism’s greatest rewrite artists at that venerable institution, and he went on to cover the NYPD and federal and city courts.
Barrett wrote the Post’s main news story on 9/11 and for each of the following 10 days.
In 2002, he joined the Associated Press and a year later moved to Washington to cover the New York congressional delegation. He began covering the Justice Department in 2008.