WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr said he doubted a probe into the origins of the Russia investigation would lead to “a criminal investigation” against either former President Barack Obama or Vice President Joe Biden.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Barr said the review by US Attorney for Connecticut John Durham would get to the bottom of the Russia probe, which he described as “abhorrent” and a “grave injustice” against President Trump.
But he warned against a “tit-for-tat” and a lowering of judicial standards “just to achieve a result.”
“Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr said.
“As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” he continued.
Both Obama and Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, have faced increased scrutiny over what role they had in the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Repeatedly referring to it as “Obamagate,” President Trump last week urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to force former President Barack Obama to testify about the Russia investigation into his 2016 campaign.
Durham is looking into whether the FBI misrepresented its FISA application to obtain warrants to monitor former Trump campaign associates — with Barr on Monday revealing some charges were expected.
“Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others,” Barr told reporters, adding “some aspects are being investigated as potential crimes.”
Former special counsel Robert Mueller and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper both found no evidence of criminal coordination between Trump and the Russians during the 2016 election.
The attorney general again defended his decision last week to drop the prosecution of Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn.
“What happened to the president in the 2016 election and throughout the first two years of his administration was abhorrent, it was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history,” he said.
“It involved advancing a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president,” he continued.
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