(NEWSMAX) U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Monday he does not expect a Justice Department review of the FBI’s handling of 2016 election interference to lead to criminal investigation for former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden.
“As to President Obama and Vice President 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, referring to federal prosecutor John Durham, who is reviewing the origins of the investigation of Russia’s 2016 election interference. “Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime.”
More broadly, Barr said, “We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate.”
President Donald Trump in recent weeks has repeatedly referred to a scandal he calls “Obamagate,” saying without evidence that Obama was tied to what Trump claims was “The biggest political crime in American history, by far!”
Some of Trump’s supporters have encouraged criminal inquiries into Obama and Biden for what they say are unspecified abuses during the investigation into ties between Russia and
Barr did not rule out the possibility of others being criminally investigated.
“Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others,” Barr said, without identifying who those “others” were.
Trump has not made clear what he is accusing Obama of doing, but the allegations appear to focus on law enforcement actions taken at the end of Obama’s presidency. Trump pushed the allegations during a blitz of 120 tweets and retweets on May 10, Mother’s Day.
For years before his election, Trump fueled his jump from reality TV star to political figure by championing the false claim that Obama, the first black U.S. president, had not been born in the United States. Early in his presidency Trump claimed without evidence that Obama had ordered the tapping of his phones in Trump Tower.