Barr on the FBI: ‘Inexplicable . . . They talked to the Russians, but not to the presidential campaign’

by WorldTribune Staff, December 15, 2019

The FBI in its investigation of alleged Trump-Russia “collusion” went with information that was clearly “rubbish” from unreliable Russian sources and chose to wiretap Trump campaign officials but not to speak to the campaign itself, Attorney General William Barr said.

In an interview with NBC News, Barr said: “Well, I think the big picture is this, from day one — remember, they say, OK, we’re not going to — go to talk to the campaign. We’re going to put people in there, wire them up and have these conversations with people involved in the campaign, because that way we’ll get the truth.

Attorney General William Barr. / C-SPAN

“From the very first day of this investigation, which was July 31, 2016, all the way to its end, September 2017, there was not one incriminatory bit of evidence to come in. It was all exculpatory. The people that they were taping denied any involvement with Russia. Denied the very specific facts that the FBI was — 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.

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 — they — they hid information about the lack of reliability, even when they went the first time for the warrant. But — 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 all 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 and the — 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 — was completely, you know, rubbish, they actually started putting in things to bolster this Steele report by saying, well, 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 — is false.

“So that’s hard to explain. And I — the core statement, in my opinion, by the IG, is that these irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactorily explained. And I think that leaves open the possibility to infer bad faith. I think it’s premature now to reach a judgment on that, but I think that further work has to be done, and that’s what Durham is doing.”

Barr noted of the FBI’s handling of the investigation that “what I find particularly inexplicable is that they talked to the Russians, but not to the presidential campaign. On August 4th, (John) Brennan braced the head of Russian intelligence. He calls the head of Russian intelligence and says, we know what you’re up to, you better stop it. He did it again later in August. And then President Obama talked to President Putin in — in September and said, we know what you’re up to, you better cut it out.

“So they go and confront the Russians who clearly are the bad guys and they won’t go and talk and to the campaigns and say, you know, what is this about?”

The Trump campaign “was clearly spied upon,” Barr said. “I mean that’s what electronic surveillance is,” he said. “I think our nation was turned on its head for three years. I think, based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press. And I think that there were gross abuses of FISA. And inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI.”

Of Durham’s ongoing investigation, Barr said: “Durham is — is looking at the whole waterfront. He is looking at the issue of how it got started. He’s looking at whether or not the narrative of — of Trump being involved in the Russian interference actually preceded July. And was it, in fact, the precipitating trigger for the investigation.

“He’s also looking at the conduct of the investigation. There are some things that were done in the investigation that are not included in Horowitz’s report. And he’s looking at those things.

“But also a few weeks ago I told him that he should spend just as much attention on the post-election period. And I did that because of some of the stuff that Horowitz has uncovered, which to me is inexplicable. It’s inexplicable.”

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