AG William Barr slams “utterly false Russian collusion narrative” but says Obama and Biden not under criminal investigation
“There’s a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power — no matter how outrageous — is necessarily a federal crime”
Attorney General William Barr, the second most hated man among the anti-Trump resistance, gave his detractors something to love today: Obama and Biden are not, and based on what Barr knows will not, be subject to criminal investigation in connection with John Durham’s investigation of the Russia collusion hoax:
“There’s a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power — no matter how outrageous — is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr said at an unrelated news conference to discuss last year’s shooting at a U.S. military base in Pensacola, Fla. “Now, 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. Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”
The mainstream media played up this angle, as this NY Times write up shows, Barr Dismisses Trump’s Claim That Russia Inquiry Was an Obama Plot:
Attorney General William P. Barr dismissed President Trump’s attempts to rebrand the Russia investigation as a criminal plot engineered by former President Barack Obama, saying on Monday that he expected no charges against either Mr. Obama or former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. as a result of an investigation into how their administration handled Russian election interference.
“As long as I’m attorney general, the criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends,” Mr. Barr said during a news conference announcing that the gunman in last year’s shooting at Florida military base had links to Al Qaeda.
Mr. Barr said that John H. Durham, the federal prosecutor investigating how law enforcement and intelligence officials confronted Russia’s operations to meddle in the 2016 election, was examining some aspects of the case for potential crimes, but that he was focused on other people, not Mr. Obama or Mr. Biden.
“I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Mr. Barr said. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.” …
Mr. Barr’s comments served as an unmistakable rebuttal to escalating efforts by Mr. Trump and his allies to reframe the Russia investigation as a plot to sabotage his presidency by Mr. Obama, Mr. Biden and officials in their administration.
CNN broadcast that portion of Barr’s statement, with the headline that Dana Bash: Bill Barr just sent a message to Trump.
Virtually all mainstream media coverage focused on the lack of criminal prosecution.
Trump was asked about it, and expressed surprise:
But there was another part of the statement that didn’t receive headline treatment. It’s heen hard even to find mention of it, but Politico had a portion (emphasis added):
However, Barr did not completely reject the White House and Trump campaign’s current “Obamagate” obsession — he simply cautioned that those expecting prosecutions of high-level political figures are likely to be disappointed. “Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” he said.
The attorney general was also careful to couple his effort to dampen expectations for the Durham probe with an emphatic expression of sympathy for the president’s frequent public grievances regarding the Russia scandal, arguing that Trump’s treatment in the 2016 election and during the first two years of his administration was “abhorrent,” a “grave injustice” and “unprecedented in American history.”
“We saw two different standards of justice emerge: One that applied to President Trump and his associates, and the other that applied to everybody else,” Barr said. “We can’t allow this ever to happen again.”
The Wall Street Journal has this quote (emphasis added):
But Mr. Barr said, as he has in the past, that Mr. Trump was the victim of a yearslong “utterly false Russian collusion narrative” and that standards at the Justice Department were abused to reach a particular result. “We can’t allow this to ever happen again,” he said.
Here’s the video of the statement marked to start when Barr talks about the treatment of Trump:
Barr haters, however, see something devious in his announcing that Obam and Biden are not being investigated. It’s a ploy, he’s doing this on purpose to ….
Barr is playing 8-dimensional chess, that's it! https://t.co/qPaKLpmCZa
— Legal Insurrection (@LegInsurrection) May 18, 2020
Same as with Ukraine-gate. All they want is a cloud of suspicion, which they can allude to during the campaign. No interest in an actual investigation (since that would require actual facts, oversight, and accountability) https://t.co/Nqw80wpJ9t
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) May 18, 2020
It’s a shame that Obama and Biden will get away with spying on and disrupting an incoming administration without at least being subject to a criminal investigation. If the roles were reversed and Trump spied on and disrupted an incoming Obama/Biden administration, you know that AG Eric Holder or Loretta Lynch would be throwing the full force of the federal government to lock Trump up.DONATE
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