Attorney General William Barr says he believes the FBI may have been operating in "bad faith" when it launched a counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign during the 2016 US election, and that we should wait until his hand-picked prosecutor is done with his investigation of what happened.
"[T]hese irregularities, these misstatements, these omissions were not satisfactorily explained," said Barr in a lengthy interview with NBC, just one day after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz released the so-called FISA report.
"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," he added, referring to US Attorney John Durham - who Barr hand picked to lead a concurrent investigation into the 2016 US election.
Barr described Durham's role as "Looking at the issue of how it got started. He's looking at whether or not the narrative of Trump being involved in the Russian interference actually preceded July, and was it in fact what precipitated the trigger for the investigation."
"He's also looking at the conduct of the investigation," added Barr - who then said that he instructed Durham to look just as carefully into the "post-election period."
"I did that because of some of the stuff that Horowitz has uncovered, which to me is inexplicable. Their case collapsed after the election, and they never told the court, and they kept on getting renewals on these applications. There was documents falsified in order to get these renewals. There was all kinds of withholding of information from the court. And the question really is 'what was the agenda after the election that kept them pressing ahead, after their case collapsed?' This is the president of the Untied States!"
Barr, who has characterized the FBI's actions during Trump-Russia investigation as spying, slammed the Obama DOJ and the press for the Russiagate narrative that President Trump and his campaign colluded with Russia to win the election.
“Do you still stand by your statement that the [Trump] campaign was spied upon?”— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 10, 2019
AG Bill Barr: “It was clearly spied upon.”
"I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press," Barr said.
AG Barr: “Our nation was turned on its head for three years . . . based on a completely bogus narrative.” pic.twitter.com/TIiPDVwnus— Arthur Schwartz (@ArthurSchwartz) December 10, 2019