Attorney General William Barr said he expects there will be “developments” later this summer from the ongoing federal investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, because it has been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Barr tapped John Durham, the US Attorney for Connecticut in May 2019, to review the beginnings of the special counsel’s investigation into possible Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump campaign officials played any part in it.
Durham will also examine whether the federal government’s actions to collect intelligence on the Trump campaign was done legally.
“In terms of the future of Durham’s investigation, he’s pressing ahead as hard as he can. And I expect that we will have some developments, hopefully before the end of the summer,” Barr told Maria Bartiromo on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But, as I have said, his investigation will continue. It’s not going to stop because of the election.”
He said the probe has been delayed by the virus crisis.
Barr wouldn’t comment about whether a grand jury was convened, but he did say, “people have been reluctant to travel for interviews and things like that. So it has slowed things down.”
Taking a shot at the mainstream media, Barr said there seems to be no enthusiasm for Durham’s investigation.
“It’s been stunning that all we have gotten from the mainstream media is sort of bovine silence in the face of the complete collapse of the so-called Russiagate scandal, which they did all they could to sensationalize and drive,” Barr said.
“And it’s, like, not even a whoops. They’re just onto the next false scandal. So that has been surprising to me that people aren’t concerned about civil liberties and the integrity of our governmental process.”
Durham is also looking into whether the FBI misrepresented its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application to obtain warrants to monitor Trump associates based on unsubstantiated information in the controversial Steele dossier.
The investigation is examining the transition period from when Trump won the election in November 2016 to his inauguration in January 2017, including the unmasking of Michael Flynn and his communications with a Russian ambassador during this period.
“I would say it’s unusual for an outgoing administration, high- level officials, to be unmasking very much in the days they’re preparing to leave office. It makes you wonder what they were doing,” Barr said.
Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, admitted lying to the FBI about talking with Sergey Kislyak in December 2017.
But he got a new legal team and sought to remove his plea citing FBI misconduct during the investigation.
The Justice Department has since said it was dropping prosecuting Flynn’s case.
A federal judge’s ruling on the request is pending.