CROSSFIRE HURRICANE – In a wide-ranging interview with the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the day before his resignation, Attorney General William Barr, was very clear about what he thought of how the Justice Department was used in the Clinton-crafted Trump-Russia-collusion hoax.
“The Department of Justice [DOJ] was being used as a political weapon” by a “willful if small group of people,” who used the claim of collusion with Russia in an attempt to “topple an administration,” Barr said, according to Kimberley Strassel.
Mr. Barr describes an overarching objective of ensuring that there is “one standard of justice.” That, he says, is why he appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to investigate the FBI’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane probe. “Of course, the Russians did bad things in the election,” he says. “But the idea that this was done with the collusion of the Trump campaign—there was never any evidence. It was entirely made up.” The country deserved to know how the world’s premier law-enforcement agency came to target and spy on a presidential campaign.
Mr. Barr says Mr. Durham’s appointment should not have been necessary. Mr. Mueller’s investigation should have exposed FBI malfeasance. Instead, “the Mueller team seems to have been ready to blindly accept anything fed to it by the system,” Mr. Barr says, adding that this “is exactly what DOJ should not be.”
Significantly, as I wrote earlier, based on documents recently declassified by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), the CIA (despite Director John Brennan’s inclinations) appears to have been fairly solid in its conduct. The FBI was warned by the CIA in 2016 that the Hillary Clinton campaign might be behind the “collusion” claims.
As I noted, the CIA went so far as sending the FBI an “investigative referral” to look into the Clinton campaign’s apparent deliberate deception and potential manipulation by Russian intelligence in pushing the false Trump-Russia narrative.
As Strassel writes:
…Barr was initially suspicious that agents had been spying on the Trump campaign before the official July 2016 start date of Crossfire Hurricane, and that the Central Intelligence Agency or foreign intelligence had played a role. But even prior to naming Mr. Durham special counsel, Mr. Barr had come to the conclusion that he didn’t “see any sign of improper CIA activity” or “foreign government activity before July 2016,” he says. “The CIA stayed in its lane.”
This was certainly not true of the FBI. Barr — who was Attorney General once before from 1991-1993 — reportedly said that the FBI’s conduct during their counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign was “outrageous.” And that was the reason for the ongoing investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham into the FBI’s 2016 Crossfire Hurricane probe.
Regarding the Durham investigation, she added:
Barr says Mr. Durham’s probe is now tightly focused on “the conduct of Crossfire Hurricane, the small group at the FBI that was most involved in that,” as well as “the activities of certain private actors.” (Mr. Barr doesn’t elaborate.) Mr. Durham has publicly stated he’s not convinced the FBI team had an adequate “predicate” to launch an investigation.
While Barr understands the frustration of many Republicans that the Durham inquiry wasn’t finished and made public prior to the 2020 election, Strassel said Barr believes that it is being handled professionally. It is also the way to rebuild the Department’s integrity and regain the trust of the American people.
This should also mean that Durham’s conclusions will be more credible once finalized.