I don't know how to embed this video interview of Bill Barr from Fox News, so I'll offer a transcript of the video. What's on the video is in addition to the summary of the interview that's in the text of the article--and in my view is by far the most important part. Barr is very much focused on what happened after the election, and when you realize that the FISA renewals continued up into the beginning of the Mueller witchhunt, and that the same people were involved, you can see that Barr and Durham are now expanding their investigation to include Mueller's operation.
Overall, I think you'll be impressed with Barr's grasp of what went down beginning in 2016, his understanding of both the big picture as well as the details, and his sense of outrage.
Here are some of the snippets from the article:
On the FBI investigation generally:
“It’s hard to look at this stuff and not think that it was a gross abuse.”
On the absurd claim that the single setup conversation of Downer with George Papadopoulos provided credible predication for a full investigation:
"Where I disagree with Mike, I just think this was very flimsy," ... "a comment made by a 28-year-old volunteer."
On FBI dishonesty and fraud on the FISC:
"They withheld from the court all the exculpatory information," "the dossier was a sham."
On the FBI failure to provide a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign. [I would point out that, even if there had been reservations about who to speak with on the campaign, Comey could have gone to the top, to Trump himself. It was never done. Which is a clear indication that Trump himself was the real target, from beginning to end.]
“The normal thing to do in this situation is to go to the campaign, and here I don’t think there’s a legitimate explanation for why they didn’t.”
On Horowitz's explanation for his no-improper-motivation conclusion:
“All he said was, people gave me an explanation and I didn't find anything to contradict it.”
On the MSM:
"I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press."
And now, what Barr thinks is "the meat of the issue":
This is the meat of the issue, and if you actually spend time to look at what happened I think you'd be appalled. Remember, they [the FBI] say, 'We're not gonna go talk to the campaign. We're gonna send people in'--wire 'em up and talk to the individuals [the "four Americans" inside the campaign who were subjects of the FBI investigation]. That happened. That happened in August, September, and October and it all came back exculpatory.
People [those targeted and approached] said, 'Don't know what you're talking about!' Not only exculpatory as to relationship to the Russians but as to the specific facts. And that "A" they [the FBI] never did anything about that, they just pressed ahead, but "B" they never informed the court.
They were told they didn't have probable cause to get a warrant [the first FISA attempt that was turned down], and so they took the Steele "dossier"--which they had done nothing to verify--and they used that to get the warrant. They just collapsed everything. They withheld from the court all the exculpatory information and they withheld from the court information about the lack of reliability of Steele.
The real interesting thing here--to me, the major takeaway--actually is after the election, because in January they went to ... Steele was dealing with one person. He only talked to one person, and that's what we call the primary sub-source. It was that person who had the so-called network of sub-sources. When they finally got around to talking to him, he said, 'I don't know what Steele's talking about. I didn't tell him this stuff. It was mostly bar room talk, and rumor. I made it clear to him this was my own suppositions and theories.' And at that point it was clear that the "dossier" was a sham. So what happens? What happens at that point? They [the FBI] don't tell the court, and they continue to get FISA warrants based on that "dossier". And more damning is that they actually file with the court a statement saying, 'We talked with the sub-source and we found him credible and cooperative.' And they put that in to bolster [crosstalk] ... What he was being truthful about was that the "dossier" was garbage.
So, it's hard to look at this stuff, and, I think it was a gross abuse.
I don't think Barr is letting go of this.
UPDATE 1: More confirmation that Barr is not backing off this in any way, is not going to allow the Horowitz Dossier to influence the Durham investigation. He also emphasizes the importance of the post-election period and his backing of Durham in this transcript of an MSNBC interview. The guy is, to me, masterful:
Q: Do you still stand by your statement that the [Trump] campaign was spied upon?
Barr: Oh, it was clearly spied upon. I mean, that's what electronic surveillance is. I think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying. I think going through people's emails--which they did as a result of the FISA warrant. They went through everything, from Page's life --
Q: But he wasn't in the campaign at the point when they began the surveillance --
Barr: No, but, yes, but his emails go back. The main reason they were going for the FISA warrant initially was to go back historically and seize all his emails, and texts, and all that stuff from BACK--months and even years! So they were covering the period when he was in the campaign and that's EXACTLY the reason they went for the FISA--to get THAT stuff.
Q: What questions will John Durham address that the IG didn't?
Barr: Well, Durham is looking at the whole waterfront. He's looking at the issue of how it got started. He's looking at whether or not the narrative of Trump being involved in the Russian interference actually preceded July and was, in fact, the precipitating trigger for the investigation. He's also looking at the conduct of the investigation--there are some things that were done in the investigation that are not included in Horowitz's report and he's looking at those things. But also, a few weeks ago, I told him that he should spend just as much attention on the post election period, and I did that because of some of the stuff that Horowitz has uncovered, which to me is inexplicable. [other voice inaudible] What I said! Their case collapsed after the election! And they never told the court, and they kept on getting renewals of these [FISA] applications. There were documents falsified in order to get these renewals. There was all kinds of withholding of information from the court. And the question really is, what was the agenda after the election that kept them pressing ahead, after their case collapsed? This is the president of the United States!
Q: You, of course, went to three countries with him. Why did you have to do that? And some people have said, 'This is clearly, Bill Barr's in charge of the investigation.'
Barr: Well [laughing] the presentation of that in the media has been silly. The person running the investigation is John Durham. But this is a very unusual circumstance where we are going to foreign governments and asking them to assist and cooperate, including some of their sensitive materials and personnel. And a US Attorney doesn't show on the doorstep in some of these countries, like London, and say, 'Hey, I wanna talk to your intelligence people' and so forth. All the regularities were followed. I went through, my purpose was to introduce Durham to the proper people and set up a channel that he could work with these countries. At the request of, I went through the ambassadors of each country, and the governments wanted initially to talk to me to find out, 'What is this about? What are the ground rules? Is this gonna be a criminal case? Are you gonna do a public report?' They wanted to understand the ground rules before they met with Durham, and I met with them and then I set up appropriate channels. This was perfectly appropriate.
Q: Speaking of whether something was appropriate or not, was it appropriate for John Durham to issue his statement yesterday? Given that he's a United States Attorney with a grand jury and his investigation isn't done yet.
Barr: Oh, yeah, I think it was DEFINITELY appropriate! Because I think it was necessary to avoid public confusion. I think it was sort of being reported by the press that the issue of predication was sort of done and over, even though it was a very limited look at that issue by the IG--given the narrowness of the evidence available to him. And I think it was important for people to understand that Durham's work was NOT being pre-empted, and that Durham was doing something different. And he explains what he's doing different and that there are areas of disagreement. I think it was perfectly appropriate, so that the public understood the relationship between the two exercises.
UPDATE 2: At the top I briefly referenced the significant fact that the same group of people who were involved in the Crossfire Hurricane pretense investigation were also involved in the Mueller witchhunt. To understand what I'm getting at, recall that Barr specifically mentions that his direction to Durham to concentrate just as much on the post-election period as on the origins stems from things that Horowitz uncovered. One of the things that Horowitz uncovered--actually, we've known this for a long time and I've placed great stress on it--is that Bruce Ohr was keeping several DoJ attorneys apprised of the FBI case. All three attorneys who were named by Ohr in his House testimony went on to play key roles on Team Mueller--Andrew Weissmann, Zainab Ahmad, and Bruce Swartz. These attorneys had actually met with Steele before the FISA. So when I say that the same people are involved, it's not just Strzok and Page. And, importantly, Horowitz points out that those attorneys had no reason to be involved during that time period, and that it was improper for Ohr to be briefing them. This is why Durham will necessarily be examining the Team Mueller operation.
UPDATE 3: Here's the full 24 minute interview from Youtube. Every minute is important, including the part where Barr goes after the Obama Administration.
Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation:
We are lucky to have Barr as AG. He is always so clear, direct, and to the point. I agree, Barr is not letting this go. I don't think Durham puts out the statement he did without Barr knowing and approving of it. The Horowitz report is just the start of the process Barr has in mind to unravel what happened.ReplyDelete
You can say that again! Now read the MSNBC interview. He packs some real dynamite into his interviews.Delete
Mike Flynn will now go free.Delete
I'm pretty confident of that.Delete
Indeed, that MSNBC interview is real dynamite, especially the part you highlighted in red about expanding into the post election period. We have heard that Durham was reaching back before the election into the issue of predication. It is real news that the Horowitz report is being used for expanding Durham's scope into the post election conduct of the FBI.Delete
This has to mean this leads into the Mueller investigation. If the rationale for investigating Trump was falling apart right at the President's election, why the need for Mueller at all? And why did Mueller spend two years establishing something that was obvious before he got started? All the actors in the early days of the Trump admin seem to be under the Durham microscope now.
Actually, that expansion had been mentioned previously, but little was made of it by the usual people. Here we see Barr putting a lot of emphasis on that. The guy is fearless.Delete
While Schumer & the MSM have been crowing, about how this rept. "conclusively" refutes Barr's "conspiracy theory", p. XIII of the rept. says otherwise.ReplyDelete
When Barr summarizes OIG as saying "I didn't find anything to contradict it” (the FBI crowd's explanations of their conduct), the AG ought to have added the OIG's part on "we also did NOT receive satisfactory explanations, for the errors or problems we identified.”
Conclusive, my arse!
Of course. And the MSNBC interview is, if anything, even stronger.Delete
More confirmation that Barr is NOT backing off this in any wayReplyDelete
Also, Barr should stress more, that all of these weren't ordinary warrants, but SUPER "two step" warrants.ReplyDelete
When one combines this, with the failure to warn Trump to "clean up" his staff, it's brutally obvious that the real point had zip to do with Russia.
"I think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying."ReplyDelete
I guess I missed something. This is the first I've read of an actual wearing of a "wire". I've read transcripts of it being discussed but this is the first I've seen it described as an provable fact.
The Horowitz Dossier makes it clear that Halper's contacts were all recorded. I'm not sure about all the others--Mifsud and Downer.Delete
I have begun reading the IG report. Who is the source who said that he didn't tell Steele this and he didn't tell Steele that? Barr makes reference to "the source."ReplyDelete
I'd be nervous if I were involved in post-election FISA renewals. Clinesmith, I'm talking about you! Don't spend your prison term by yourself. Take others with you!
It's a Russian emigre living in England. Mike Sylwester might recall the name--I think it's been out there.Delete
Yes, arkancide watch is a team sport.Delete
That's the guy, thanks.Delete
Something else I keep in mind is the way Barr was treated by Democratic senators, Mazie Hirono most particularly, when he testified before them.Delete
Barr is a man who remembers. His integrity was called into question, he was insulted and called names. He gave nothing away. He even smiled.
I would not want to go up against him.
That's okay. As long as it isn't a prominent name that I should've known.ReplyDelete
I want to hear an explanation of how Australia's top diplomat in the UK (Downer) even knows who George Papadopoulos was, much less why Downer invites PapaD for drinks. (And of course, same for mystery man Mifsud.)ReplyDelete
It seems someone thought long an hard how to organize these interfaces using friendly foreign government sources--to use as a buffer minimizing scrutiny of the source AND to raise the provenance and credibility of the source.
He was actually a long time intel operative. He was for a while, I believe, head of the AU intel service. The gig in London was probably a reward of some sort, and he was still doing intel.Delete
Yes, but Fobes point is, I think, who orchestrated the wholly impropable scenario of PD coincidentally travelling in the same social circle as Downer, a mover and shaker in the Au Deep State.Delete
I keep going back to one of the prime rules, "There are no coincidences in politics."
Speaking of rewards, did anybody else notice buried in the IG report is the revelation that Strzok was being promoted to DAD in September 2016, presumably because of his yoeman's service in fondling the overwhelming evidence that Hillary violated 18 USC 793 f) and still managing to deliver the results Comey needed to declare, in July, that no reasonable prosecutor would bring charges.Delete
What a talented guy, huh?
No, I didn't see that!Delete
Tom S. has it right, thanks. PapaD was a 28-year old nobody volunteer, who landed on someone's radar, someone who then arranged former top Aussie spook Downer to run a sting on him in the UK. That takes some doing.Delete
A legit ambassador doesn't get involved in that stuff. CIA told him what to do and he obeyed his masters.Delete