Attorney General William Barr ripped the FBI for its actions surrounding the bogus anti-Trump dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele — and paid for by the Democrats — that was used to open the investigation into the Trump campaign and also noted an eyebrow-raising action taken by disgraced former FBI Director James Comey.
“So, the inspector general says he found no evidence to indicate that the FBI’s decision to start the investigation was based on political bias,” NBC News’ Pete Williams said. “Do you agree?”
“Well, what he actually — I think you have to understand what the IG’s methodology is. I think it’s the appropriate methodology for an inspector general. He starts with limited information. He can only talk to people who are essentially there as employees and he’s limited to the information generally in the FBI,” Barr responded. “But his approach is to say, if I get an explanation from the people I’m investigating, that is not unreasonable on its face, then I will accept it as long as there’s not contradictory testimonial or documentary evidence. In other words, it’s a very differential standard. And all he said is people give me an explanation. And I didn’t find anything to contradict it. So, I don’t have a basis for saying that there was improper motive. But he hasn’t decided the issue of improper motive.”
Barr noted that Comey “refused” to sign back up for his security clearance and therefore the inspector general was not able to question him about classified matters.
“We have to wait until the investigation — the full investigation is done, and that’s the fundamental description between what Durham is doing and what the IG is doing. Durham is not limited to the FBI, he can talk to other agencies, he can compel people to testify,” Barr continued. “One of the problems in the IG’s investigation, I think he would agree, is that Comey refused to sign back on for his security clearance and therefore couldn’t be questioned about classified matters. So, someone like Durham can compel testimony, he can talk to a whole range of people, private parties, foreign governments and so forth. And I think that is the point at which a decision has to be made about motivations. And I think right now, it would be premature to make any judgment, one way or the other.”
AG Bill Bar takes issue with the IG finding that political bias didn't play a role in the FBI investigation. He takes particular issue with how the IG determined whether or not there was improper motive. Barr is waiting for a full investigation, which can compel testimony. pic.twitter.com/s1RUMIPwsF
— (((Jason Rantz))) on KTTH Radio (@jasonrantz) December 10, 2019
Barr then hammered the FBI for its actions regarding the dossier and the exculpatory evidence that it had gathered on the Trump campaign that it never told the court about in an effort to keep investigating the president.
“From day one — remember, they said, ‘okay, we’re not going to talk to the campaign. We’re going to put people in there, wire them up and have conversations with people involved in the campaign because that way, we’ll get the truth,’” Barr said. “From the very first day of this investigation, which was July 31st, 2016, all the way to its end, in September 2017, there was not one incriminatory bit of evidence to come in. It was all exculpatory.”
“The people they were taping denied any involvement with Russia, denied the very specific facts that the FBI was relying on. So what happens? The FBI ignores it, presses ahead, withholds that information from the court, withholds critical exculpatory information from the court while it gets an electronic surveillance warrant,” Barr continued. “It also withholds from the court clear cut evidence that the dossier that they ultimately relied on to get the FISA warrant was a complete sham. They hid information about the lack of the reliability, even when they went the first time for the warrant.”
“But in January, after the election, the entire case collapsed when the principal source says ‘I never told — I never told Steele this stuff and this was also speculation and I have zero information to support this stuff’. At that point, when their entire case collapsed, what do they do? They kept on investigating the president well into his administration, after the case collapsed,” Barr continued. “But here to me is the damning thing: They not only didn’t tell the court that what they had been relying on was completely, you know, rubbish, they actually started putting in things to bolster this Steele report by saying, ‘we talked to the sources and they appeared to be truthful,’ but they don’t inform the court that what they’re truthful about is that the dossier is false.”
“So that’s hard to explain. And the core statement in my opinion by the IG, is that these irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactory explained and I think that leaves open the possibility to infer bad faith,” Barr concluded. “I think it’s premature now to reach a judgement on that but I think that further work has to be done and that’s what Durham is doing.”