Attorney General William Barr Says He Does Not Expect A Criminal Investigation Of Barack Obama Or Joe Biden

Attorney General nominee William Barr arrives on Capitol Hill for a meeting with Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), on January 29, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Although Donald Trump continues to implicate former President Barack Obama in alleged crimes linked to the investigation of his 2016 campaign, Attorney General William Barr appeared to pour cold water on the possibility that he or former vice president Joe Biden would face charges.

As reported by Fox News, Barr spoke at length about U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the Russia probe on Monday. While the outspoken Trump ally claimed that some aspects of the probe are being examined as “potential crimes,” he noted that not all abuses of power are tantamount to a federal crime.

“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on what I know, I don’t expect Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to pardon Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn led to Democratic criticism of Barr for what some think was a partisan use of the executive branch. Among Republicans, the move fueled theories that the attorney general would be taking aim at the former administration for allegedly launching a political probe into Trump before taking office.

In his Monday talk, Barr said there has been a growing pattern over the past few decades in which the criminal justice system is harnessed as a “political weapon.”

“It is not good for our criminal justice system,” he said.

Barr pointed to the divided nation and stressed the importance of an election where the American people choose between Trump and Biden via a “robust debate of policy issues.”

“We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate.”

Durham’s probe, which is allegedly looking into the misconduct in the FISA warrants used in the surveillance of former Trump campaign official Carter Page, is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer.

As reported by Raw Story, Barr’s comments are not sitting well with Trump supporters, some of who appear to be turning on him. Amid the push of Obamagate, many of the president’s backers have hoped to see Obama face charges for his purported role in the 2016 investigation of Trump’s campaign, which doesn’t appear likely.

According to a Republican informal White House adviser who spoke anonymously, Trump’s fixation on Obamagate is not an official strategy and would likely not last long. Critics have suggested that this represents an attempt to take the focus off of the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.