Attorney General Bill Barr said during an interview aired on Tuesday that the early findings of an ongoing probe into federal surveillance abuses have been very troubling thus far and that it has shed light on some very recognizable names.
Barr said that the DOJ was “looking at” names that the American public might recognize and be disturbed by.
Barr asserted that despite the coronavirus pandemic, U.S. Attorney John Durham “has been working very aggressively to move forward,” and that there “will be public disclosure” of his findings.
“I think before the election, I think we’re concerned about the motive force behind the very aggressive investigation that was launched into the Trump campaign without, you know, with a very thin, slender reed as a basis for it,” Barr told Fox News Host Bret Baier. “It seemed that the bureau was sort of spring-loaded at the end of July to drive in there and investigate a campaign.”
The attorney general emphasized that he wasn’t concerned about criticisms of the Durham probe in an election year.
“For the first time in American history, police organizations and the national security organizations were used to spy on a campaign, and there was no basis for it,” Barr said.
“The media largely drove that — and all kinds of sensational claims were being made about the president that could have affected the election. And then and then later on, in his administration, there were actions taken that really appear to be efforts to sabotage his campaign. And that has to be looked at. And if people want to say that I’m political because I am looking at those potential abuses of power, so be it. But that’s the job of the attorney general.”
Internal FBI documents unsealed in April indicate that Peter Strzok – the now-disgraced anti-Trump former head of FBI counterintelligence – ordered the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn to remain open even after it was slated to be closed due to a lack of so-called “derogatory” information.
The materials surfaced just a day after explosive FBI communications revealed that top bureau officials discussed their motivations for interviewing Flynn in the White House on Jan. 24, 2017 — and openly questioned if their “goal” was “to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired.”
“The other area of concern is that after the election, even though they were closing down some of that, as we’ve seen in the Flynn case, and say there’s nothing here, for some reason, they went right back at it, even at a time where the evidentiary support or claim support like the dossier was falling apart,” Barr said. “And it’s very hard to understand why they continued to push and even make public testimony that they had an investigation going when it was becoming painfully obvious or should have been obvious to anyone that there was nothing there.”
Barr said he couldn’t comment on whether criminal charges were coming but that people shouldn’t become impatient. “We can’t discuss future charges. But I have to say that I do find a little irritating,” Barr said.
“You know, the propensity in the American public on all sides of the political spectrum when they see something they think could be a criminal violation, I say, why hasn’t this person been indicted again? And, you know, there’s the old saying that that the wheels of justice grind slow and they do run slow because we have due process and we follow the process. But people should not draw from the fact that no action has been taken that taken yet, that that means that people or people are going to get away with wrongdoing.”