News and Commentary

William Barr: ‘No Basis’ For Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, Durham Report Will Produce Indictments
US Attorney General William Barr gestures as he speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, at the White House, March 23, 2020, in Washington, DC.

Attorney General William Barr had harsh words for the Obama administration and its Department of Justice in an interview with Fox News’ Laura Ingraham, warning that there was “no basis” for opening a probe into whether the Trump presidential campaign and the Trump transition team improperly collaborated with Russian officials to impact the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

Barr even went so far as to suggest that there was something more sinister behind the probe.

“My own view is that the evidence shows that we’re not dealing with just mistakes or sloppiness. There is something far more troubling here, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it,” he told Ingraham. “And if people broke the law, and we can establish that with the evidence, they will be prosecuted.”

Last week, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his own report on the Obama administration’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into Trump campaign-Russia connections, and revealed a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) program rife with abuse of power, with warrants issued on faulty evidence and inaccuracies.

This week, Barr told Fox that concerns about the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation go even deeper than requests made to execute surveillance on Trump campaign officials.

“I think the president has every right to be frustrated because I think what happened to him was one of the greatest travesties in American history,” he said. “Without any basis, they started this investigation of his campaign and even more concerning actually is what happened after the campaign, a whole pattern of events while he was president.”

Barr even went so far as to suggest that the Obama administration’s investigation was designed to “sabotage” President Donald Trump’s tenure before he even took office.

In 2019, the Justice Department charged John Durham with compiling a report on how the “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation came together. “The review upgraded into a criminal investigation in the fall,” the Washington Examiner adds, “giving the prosecutor the power to impanel a grand jury and hand down indictments. The attorney general told Durham to focus just as much on the time period after the 2016 election as before it.”

Barr says that Durham’s investigation is likely to conclude soon — but that it may not produce an official report, at least not as a primary product. Instead, Barr seems to believe Durham’s own probe will produce indictments.

“I think a report may be and probably will be a byproduct of his activity but his primary focus isn’t to prepare a report. He is looking to bring to justice people who were engaged in abuses if he can show that they were criminal violations and that’s what the focus is on,” Barr said.

“And as you know, being a lawyer you yourself,” Barr added, referring to Ingraham’s background, “building these cases — especially the kinds of sprawling case we have between us that went on for two or three years here — it takes some time — it takes some time to build the case. So, he’s diligently pursuing it.”

That, of course, suggests that Durham’s evidence is compelling, to say the least.