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Monday, May 18, 2020
AG Barr: Durham Probe UNLIKELY to Lead to CRIMINAL Investigations of Obama or Biden
President Barack Obama talks on the phone in the Oval Office with Speaker of the House Boehner, Saturday, August 31, 2013. Vice President Joe Biden listens at right. (credit: White House photo/Pete Souza) Jeff Mordock
U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia collusion investigation is not expected to lead to a criminal investigation of either former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Attorney General William P. Barr said Monday.
“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Mr. Barr said.
“Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others,” he continued.
Mr. Barr also offered vague details into the investigation’s progress saying he has a “general idea” of how it is moving and that “some aspects are being investigated as potential crimes.”
The attorney general’s comments come after President Trump and his allies have turned up the heat on both Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden.
Republicans have been fuming after it was revealed last week more than 40 Obama administration officials sought to “unmask” President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Both Mr. Biden and Mr. Obama’s chief of staff were among the officials who sought to identify Flynn’s name based on his conversation with the former Russian ambassador after the 2016 election.
Mr. Trump has insisted Mr. Obama is involved in a crime, although he has not specified the exact offense. And Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding both the former president and vice president testify before the Senate.
Mr. Barr warned Monday that the Justice Department will not be weaponized to help either side in the upcoming presidential election.
“In the past few decades, there have been increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon based on the flimsiest of legal theories,” he said. “It is not good for our political life. It is not good for our criminal justice system.”
He added that as long as he is attorney general, “the criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends.”
Mr. Barr said the presidential election must be decided based on “robust debate of policy issues” not investigations.
“We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate.” Mr. Barr said, adding that he has to approve investigations into either candidate.