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Attorney General Bill Barr set the political class all atwitter Thursday night during an appearance on Fox News’ “Hannity,” when he said to expect a development Friday in the criminal investigation of the origins of the Russia investigation.
Led by Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, the probe will not be “dictated to” by the upcoming election, Barr said. And while noting that the development would not be “earth-shattering,” the attorney general said it would be “an indication that things are moving along at the proper pace as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”
“I’ve said the American people need to know what actually happened. We need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and 2017 out. That will be done,” he told host Sean Hannity. “If people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated the criminal law they will be charged.”
Barr stressed that Durham is “highly experienced,” while adding that he is also “an independent man.”
“And I’ve said there are going to developments, significant developments, before the election,” Barr said. “But we’re not doing this on the election schedule. We’re aware of the election. We’re not going to do anything inappropriate before the election.”
“But we’re not being dictated to by this schedule,” he continued. “What’s dictating the timing of this are developments in the case. And there will be developments tomorrow, there will be a development in the case.”
Hannity made the case for what he called “premeditated fraud” against the FISA court in the application for surveillance warrants to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, which prompted the attorney general to offer reassurance.
“When we feel we can prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt, it will be charged. I can tell you that,” he said.
While Barr said the development is not expected to be earth-shattering, investigative reporter Sara Carter summed up what is.
She tweeted: “I’ll tell you what’s earth shattering is the Obama admin weaponizing Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies against @realDonaldTrump, a political opponent. That’s what common sense tells us based on facts, evidence – no matter who attempts to gaslight the public.”
Federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies against @realDonaldTrump a political opponent. That’s what common sense tells us based on facts, evidence – no matter who attempts to gaslight the public.
— Sara A. Carter (@SaraCarterDC) August 14, 2020
In a telephone interview on Fox Business Network’s Mornings with Maria, Trump was clear about his take on events after saying he hopes the DOJ avoids trying to be politically correct in its final report.
“The fact is that President Obama knew everything. Vice President Biden, as dumb as he may be, he knew everything, and everybody else knew everything. And Comey, and Brennan, and Clapper, they all were terrible, and they lied to Congress…,” he said.
“They spied on my campaign, which is treason,” the president added. “They spied, both before and after I won, using the intelligence apparatus of the United States to take down a president, a legally elected president, a duly elected president of the United States. It’s the single biggest political crime in the history of our country.”
Changing gears, Hannity spoke on the effort by Democrats to push for mail-in voting, and Barr insisted that the party is being “grossly irresponsible,” charging that the “idea of conducting our elections by wholesale mail-in ballots is reckless and wrong.”
“The country is divided.” he said. “If anything, we should be assuring the integrity of our elections, so that government going forward will be legitimate and will be accepted as legitimate.”
Attorney General Barr also discussed developments in Operation Legend, a program that leverages key federal resources to investigate unsolved murders — the program was inspired by the death of 4-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot while sleeping in bed.
Acknowledging that a suspect has been arrested, Barr said Taliferro “became a symbol of the black lives that were being lost in the inner city, the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds that have been killed, with the demonization of the police.”
(The nation’s top cop said that “with the demonization of the police that has occurred recently, we have seen an upsurge in violence in the — many of our inner cities.”)
“And, today, I think the message is that in this particular case, our system worked,” he said.
If there was an overriding theme on social media, following Barr’s appearance on Fox News, it seemed to be that fired FBI director Jim Comey has been awfully quiet lately:
@Comey has been awfully quiet!!!!!!! 😱
— Mama❤️👦🏼 (@hockeymama1204) August 14, 2020
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