In addition to his normal duties as head of the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr has also been tasked with getting to the botom of possible wrongdoing by the prior administration with regard to investigating Russian electoral interference and alleged collusion with then-candidate Donald Trump.
But Barr just revealed in a recent interview that the more he learns about what went on, the more questions he has, largely because what he has learned doesn’t match with prior official explanations including those related to warrant applications made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court targeting former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
Questions begetting questions
In a lengthy and wide-ranging interview with CBS News, Barr was asked at one point about his probe into the origins of the prior administration’s Trump-Russia investigation, and specifically what, if any, evidence he has already seen to suggest wrongdoing had occurred.
“Well, I’ll say at this point is that it, you know, I — like many other people who are familiar with intelligence activities, I had a lot of questions about what was going on,” Barr replied.
“I assumed I’d get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions, and that some of the facts that — that I’ve learned don’t hang together with the official explanations of what happened,” he added.
Not adding up
Asked to further explain what he meant, Barr simply replied, before being cut-off with a follow-up question, “That’s all I really will say. Things are just not jiving, and I’m not saying at this stage that…”
CBS reporter Jan Crawford attempted to dig down deeper and asked if the purported timeline of events was where Barr had the most concerns.
Barr declined to provide details or even outright confirm as much, but said, “Well I won’t, I won’t confirm that, but I’ll just say that, you know, there’s some questions that I think have to be answered, and I have a basis for feeling there has to be a review of this.”
Exposing the truth
That job of conducting that review has been assigned to U.S. Attorney John Durham of Connecticut, whom Barr praised earlier in the interview as a prosecutor well-respected on both sides of the political aisle. Barr expressed his confidence that Durham would “conduct a thorough and fair review” and one that would look closely at the purported basis of the investigation into Trump’s campaign and the FISA warrants seeking to surveil Page.
Specifically, Barr wants to know: “(W)hat was the predicate for it? What was the hurdle that had to be crossed? What was the process — who had to approve it? And including the electronic surveillance, whatever electronic surveillance was done. And was everyone operating in their proper lane?”
Those are all incredibly pertinent questions, and as Barr himself revealed in that interview, the answers received thus far to those questions don’t align with the “official” explanations previously issued.
Hopefully, the review will uncover additional information that either helps bring everything together or exposes just how fraudulent the whole thing was from the get-go.