Election Probe Not Focused on Obama, Biden, Says AG Barr

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Attorney General William Barr said Monday doesn’t believe that former President Obama or Vice President Joe Biden will be investigated as part of an examination of the origins of a federal probe into whether the 2016 Trump campaign colluded with Russia, reports the Wall Street Journal. Barr last year chose John Durham, U.S. Attorney for Connecticut, to review the 2016 probe into possible links between the Trump campaign and Russian election interference. The investigation is examining how the initial allegations surfaced in 2016, as well as a separate 2017 U.S. intelligence report that concluded Moscow interfered in the presidential election in part to help then-candidate Donald Trump. Regarding Obama and 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,” Barr said. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”

Barr expressed concern about a trend to “gin up allegations of criminality by one’s political opponents based on the flimsiest of legal theories.” He didn’t address remarks made by President Trump and some of his allies that have suggested without evidence that Obama and Biden engaged in criminal acts to spy on his 2016 campaign. Trump said he was a “little surprised” by Barr’s statement, adding that “if it was me, I guarantee they’d be going after me.” He said he had “no doubt” that Biden and Obama were involved in what he called the “takedown of a president.” Durham’s probe would determine whether any federal laws were broken during the Russia investigation, Barr said. However, citing a Supreme Court decision last week throwing out the “Bridgegate” convictions, Barr said there was a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime and that not all abuses met the threshold of criminality.

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