Attorney General William Barr does not expect to bring criminal charges against former President Barack Obama nor former Vice President Joe Biden as part of the investigation into the origin of the Russian collusion conspiracy.
Barr said, on Monday, that Obama and Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, are not currently in the crosshairs of U.S. attorney John Durham’s investigation into the weaponization of the DOJ and Intelligence Community to target the Trump campaign in 2016 and beyond. Barr said that the Russian collusion probe into President Trump “was abhorrent, was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history” but insisted Durham’s investigation would not be a “tit-for-tat.”
“The Durham investigation is trying to get to the bottom of what happened, and it will determine whether there were any federal laws broken, and if there were, those that broke the laws will be held to account,” Barr said in a press conference.
“There is 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 continued. “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.”
Trump has called on Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to call Obama to testify in front of Congress. Trump posited that Obama “knew everything” in a tweet last week.
“If I were a Senator or Congressman, the first person I would call to testify about the biggest political crime and scandal in the history of the USA, by FAR, is former President Obama. He knew EVERYTHING,” Trump said. “Do it @LindseyGrahamSC, just do it. No more Mr. Nice Guy. No more talk!”
Graham said that he likely would not call on Obama to testify and offered a warning to Trump about pushing for such a hearing.
“I don’t think now’s the time for me to do that. I don’t know if that’s even possible. I have grave concerns about the role of executive privilege and all kinds of issues,” Graham said. “I understand President Trump’s frustration, but be careful what you wish for. Just be careful what you wish for.”
Documents released last week show that a number of top Obama administration officials, including Biden, filed requests to “unmask” former national security adviser Michael Flynn in Intelligence Community reports. The requests raise questions about who leaked information about Flynn’s 2016 phone calls with then Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to the press, a felony punishable with up to a decade in prison.
There is no evidence suggesting that either Biden or Obama was behind the leaks.
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