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Former federal prosecutor Joe diGenova said Thursday that it isn’t necessary for the Justice Department to indict former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden for weaponizing the U.S. intelligence community against President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
In an interview with Boston radio host Howie Carr, diGenova said that publicly “shaming” Obama and Biden, which he believes will happen, is good enough.
“I happen to believe that the public shaming of former President Obama and Vice President Biden is far more important than indicting them,” he told Carr.
Earlier this week, Attorney General William Barr said he didn’t expect U.S. Attorney John Durham to file charges against the former president and vice president as he continues his criminal investigation into the origins of the ‘Russiagate’ operation.
“There’s a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr said Monday.
“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,” Barr said. “Our concern of potential criminality is focused on others.”
Continuing, Barr said the Durham investigation “will determine whether there were any federal laws broken, and, if there were, those who broke the laws will be held to account.”
“But this cannot be and it will not be a tit-for-tat exercise. We are not going to lower our standards to achieve a particular result,” he said.
DiGenova didn’t seem surprised by the attorney general’s comments.
“I didn’t expect him to do that and I think it would be extremely unwise for him to do that, for the Department of Justice, but also for the country,” diGenova said. “One thing you don’t want to do in investigating this is emulate what Obama and the Obama Justice Department did. And that’s corrupt the federal law enforcement process. The attorney general is applying the rules that should be applied.”
That said, diGenova added: “That doesn’t mean that since he says he’s not going to charge either President Obama or Vice President Biden that he would not name them in an indictment as people who were used or participated.
“And it doesn’t mean that when John Durham writes his report for the attorney general that he isn’t going to outline the activities and outline the conduct and actions of President Obama and Vice President Biden,” he continued.
The former federal prosecutor characterized the 44th president as possessing “unbounded arrogance.”
“But let me tell you something,” he told Carr. “He’s come out of the closet to be Joe Biden’s press secretary and to defend him because he knows what’s coming down the pike in terms of public disclosures about what he did.
“They are going to outline the incredible length to which the entire administration went to take down the president of the United States,” he added.
For his part, Barr did describe the Russian collusion hoax used to ensnare President Trump as “abhorrent.”
“What happened to the president in 2016 election and throughout the first two years of his administration was abhorrent,” adding that “it was a grave injustice and it was unprecedented.”
“The law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of this country were involved in advancing a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president,” Barr said. “We saw two different standards of justice emerge. … One that applied to Trump and his associates, and another that applied to everyone else.”
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