Barr says it's unlikely Justice Department will investigate Obama or Biden


Attorney General William Barr said Monday he does not expect the Justice Department to probe former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden as part of its review of the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Speaking at a news conference to discuss a shooting at a Florida naval base last year, Barr was asked about President Donald Trump's suggestion that Obama and Biden committed crimes. Saying he was not specifically taking issue with Trump's remarks, Barr criticized "increasing attempts to use the criminal justice system as a political weapon."

"The legal tactic has been to gin up allegations of criminality by one’s political opponents based on the flimsiest of legal theories," Barr said. "This is not a good development."

Barr then dismissed the idea that U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is overseeing the review of the FBI probe, would investigate Obama or Biden, though he declined to say who Durham is targeting.

"As to President Obama and Vice President, 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. "Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”

Barr's comments come as Trump has tweeted the word "OBAMAGATE" at least 10 times over the past eight days. The tweets began after the Justice Department dismissed its case against Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI.

Asked last week what specific crime he was accusing Obama of, Trump said, "You know what the crime is."

"The crime is very obvious to everybody," Trump told a Washington Post reporter at a news conference. "All you have to do is read the newspapers, except yours."

Originally published