“I think before the election, I think we were concerned about the motive force behind the very aggressive investigation that was launched into the Trump campaign without — you know, with a very thin, slender reed as a basis for it,” [i.e., "inadequate predication"] Barr said in the two-part interview. The second part will air Tuesday at 6 p.m. EDT on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier.”
Notice that Barr draws attention to the "motive force" behind the "inadequately predicated" investigation. That points directly at the big picture conspiracy: use of facially legal means--the FBI's investigative powers--but with the motive or intent to misuse those powers. "Motive force" surely points to taking those actions knowingly, to defraud the government of the honest services of its agencies.
“It seemed that the bureau was sort of spring-loaded at the end of July to drive in there and investigate a campaign,” Barr added.
Again, the FBI is not supposed to be "spring-loaded" to do anything. It's actions are supposed to be predicated on specific and articulable facts. Not made up stuff.
Barr went on to say that “there really wasn't much there to do that on, and that became more and more evident as they went by, but they seemed to have ignored all the exculpatory evidence that was building up and continued pell-mell to push it forward.”
The attorney general said that effort remained intense following Trump’s election, even as – he said – it became "painfully obvious" there was little basis.
“The other area of concern is that after the election, even though they were closing down, some of it as we've seen in the [Michael] Flynn case and say there's nothing here, for some reason they went right back at it, even at a time where the evidentiary support or claimed support, like the dossier, was falling apart,” Barr said, referencing the dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele as part of Democratic opposition research.
Again, Barr sketches out the conspiratorial mindset: They know there's nothing there, but for some reason they double down. "For some reason." In other words, not simple inertia or laziness. They had a reason for doing what they did--even though they had not basis in law for doing it. That also points toward a conspiracy.
“And it's — it's very hard to understand why they continued to push and even make public in testimony that they had an investigation going, when it was becoming painfully obvious, or should have been obvious to anyone, that there was nothing there,” he continued.
The question of when senior FBI officials knew about the weaknesses of the dossier has been a focus of Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has been investigating the Russia probe’s origins. On Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” this past weekend, Graham pointed to how Steele’s sub-source had said during an FBI interview that the dossier was not accurate, even though it ended up being used to support a warrant application to conduct surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“I believe it goes to the very top, and I’m going to get to the bottom of it and that means Sally Yates and Rosenstein, and McCabe and Comey are all going to come before the committee and they’re going to be asked, ‘What did you know and when did you know it?’” Graham said.
I suspect that Graham is acting in cooperation with Barr. When Graham said that certain FBI officials are not being made available to him, I suspect that means that Barr is concerned that Senate testimony by those individuals--whether as targets or as cooperating--could interfere with Durham's investigation.