- Attorney General William Barr is on thin ice after failing to conduct two investigations that President Donald Trump alleged would uncover evidence of a widespread conspiracy against him.
- This week one of those investigations ended with no criminal charges and no public report.
- The other investigation won’t be completed until November 3rd and will turn Trump’s plans to announce his results to increase his chances of re-election on its head.
- Trump refused to say on Wednesday whether he will keep Barr as attorney general if he wins the election.
- “I can’t comment on that,”
- The statements mean an amazing change for Barr, whom the president has long lauded as one of his most loyal defenders.
- You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.
Attorney General William Barr is in the doghouse after failing to conduct two Justice Department investigations that President Donald Trump claimed constituted evidence of a widespread conspiracy by the former government, senior FBI and DOJ officials, and the so-called deep state against him deliver .
Trump made no secret of his anger, and on Wednesday he declined to say whether he will keep Barr as head of the DOJ if he wins the November election.
“I can not comment,” Trump told the conservative broadcaster Newsmax TV. “It’s too early.”
“I’m not happy, with all the evidence I had, I can tell you,” added the president. “I am not happy.”
Trump’s comments mark a startling change for Barr, whom Trump has long touted as one of his most loyal defenders.
The president tipped Barr as attorney general after writing a memo saying Special Envoy Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s actions was “fatally misunderstood” and “legally intolerable.” When approved by the Senate, one of the first things Barr did was open an investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.
In his public statements, Barr often reiterated the president’s allegations, even when unsupported by evidence, such as the notion that the FBI illegally “spied on” his 2016 campaign. The DOJ’s Inspector General concluded last year that no such improper monitoring had taken place.
After Barr overruled prosecutors in February to seek a lighter sentence for Trump’s ally and convicted criminal Roger Stone, the president applauded the attorney general “for taking on a case that was completely out of control and.” maybe not even should have been brought. ” . “
Three months later, when Barr and senior DOJ officials dismissed the division’s case against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Trump told Fox News in an interview: “Bill Barr is a man of incredible credibility and courage, and he is going to go down. ” in the history of our country. “
And last year, when he got the Ukrainian government to launch politically motivated investigations into its democratic rival, the president encouraged the Ukrainian president that it would be “great” if he turned to Barr and Trump’s personal defense attorney Rudy Giuliani to resolve to investigate the matter.
But Barr’s fate has worsened over the past week.
On Friday, the attorney general landed in the president’s crosshairs when he told Republican senators that a separate investigation he oversees into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russia cannot be completed in time for a report to come before the November election publish.
Trump has long said that the investigation led by US attorney John Durham will provide evidence that the Obama administration and the “Deep State” have planned a conspiracy to bring him down by illegally investigating the FBI about Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections.
So far, the Durham investigation has resulted in a criminal complaint against a former FBI attorney who pleaded guilty to making false statements to investigators. But it has exposed no evidence of a nefarious conspiracy against the president and his loyalists by his perceived political enemies.
The president unleashed his anger at Barr after reports that the Durham report would not be released before the election.
“To be honest, Bill Barr will go down as either the greatest attorney general in the country’s history or a very sad situation,” Trump told Fox’s Maria Bartiromo.
In yet another blow to Trump, the Washington Post reported this week that a DOJ internal investigation commissioned by Barr that focused on whether Obama-era officials wrongly “exposed the name of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in intelligence reports.” “No public report was officially ended without criminal charges.
“Unmasking” refers to the practice of revealing the identity of a US person, whose name is also collected in intelligence reports that monitor communications by foreign agents. US intelligence agencies monitor hundreds of thousands of foreign targets annually, and unmasking is a routine and legal tool that officials use to better understand the communications they are monitoring. The secret services receive thousands of unmasking requests every year.
Trump and his allies have repeatedly alleged that senior Obama administration officials, as well as senior FBI and DOJ officials, illegally “exposed” Flynn’s name in intelligence reports overseeing communications by Sergey Kislyak, the then Russian ambassador to the United States. However, the DOJ’s investigation into this matter did not reveal any irregularities or indications of substantial misconduct in connection with the unmasking requests.