On Monday, Attorney General William Barr said that he does not think the John Durham probe will result in a criminal investigation into either former President Barack Obama or former VP, now presumptive Democrat nominee Joe Biden.
Barr held a Justice Department press conference to speak on the December 2019 Pensacola Air Base shooting, but also answered questions on the ongoing Durham probe into how the investigation into Trump and the 2016 election got started.
“Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr said of the Durham investigation, adding that he has a general idea of how it’s going.
While Barr did not expect any federal charges against Obama or Biden, he did say that others may be charged by Durham. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others,” he said.
What about Obamagate?
President Donald Trump has seized on information linking Obama and Biden to what now appears to be phony investigation into his former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who was convicted of lying to the FBI after he took a guilty plea to keep the agency from going after his son.
It has been revealed that both Obama and Biden knew about the investigation into Flynn and were briefed on it on more than one occasion. The extent of their involvement and whether they directed the phony investigation is not known, however.
Biden’s name appeared on a recently declassified list of people who had requested Flynn’s identity be unmasked, an action that is not commonly taken without a national security interest that did not appear to exist in that case.
Obama has referred to the revelations as “Obamagate” repeatedly in recent weeks and called it “the biggest political crime in American history.”
Using the DOJ “as a political weapon”
When asked about Trump’s statements, Barr said that he didn’t like seeing “increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon.”
“We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate,” Barr said, noting that any criminal investigation would have to be approved personally by him.
It is very rare for charges to be brought against a former president. Even Richard Nixon was not charged after he resigned from office in the wake of the Watergate scandal.
I wonder how many Democrats will point to Barr’s comments about Obama and Biden as they accuse him of being politically motivated in favor of Trump. It would appear that they only have a problem with Barr when his fairness goes against them, not against their political opponents.