Attorney General Bill Barr is under fire for wrongly suggesting former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden abused their power and had some “level of involvement” in the FBI’s investigation of now-President Donald Trump.
On Monday Barr announced that he does not “expect” the federal prosecutor he appointed to lead that investigation “will lead to a criminal prosecution of either man.”
But Barr also suggested both men had engaged in an abuse of power, without offering any proof, in what some see as a clear attempt to disparage them.
“We have to bear in mind what the Supreme Court recently reminded us of in the ‘Bridgegate’ case. As the court said there, there’s a difference between an abuse of power and a federal crime. Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous, is necessarily a federal crime,” Barr declared.
“Now, as to President Obama and Vice President Biden – whatever their level of involvement – based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man.”
Barr says he does not “expect” that the ongoing review of the Trump-Russia probe will lead to a criminal investigation of Barack Obama or Joe Biden: “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others” https://t.co/HcJ4ge7ZNj pic.twitter.com/N7F0WvaeFE
— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 18, 2020
Barr is known to choose his words very carefully, to paint the picture he wants Americans to see. A federal judge has already chastised him for his four-page Mueller investigation letter, calling it “distorted” and “misleading.”
And by declaring there won’t be a “criminal investigation,” he gets the words “criminal” and “investigation” or “prosecution” tied to both Democrats in the press.
His remarks immediately led to headlines like these:
“Barr says he does not expect criminal investigation of Obama or Biden as result of Durham probe”
“Barr Says Probe Won’t Likely Lead to Prosecution of Obama, Biden”
“Barr Says He Doesn’t Expect Criminal Probe Into Obama or Biden”
On social media many saw through Barr’s tactics:
OMG Barr is the most corrupt and biased politician ever to hold the office of AG. Obama and Biden did nothing wrong, but Barr is attempting to imply that they did. Putin would be proud (and I’m sure he is). #GOPCorruptionOverCountry
— Andrea Nikischer (@AndreaNikischer) May 18, 2020
Goalposts: it should be laughable to suggest a criminal investigation.
They did NOTHING to even warrant the discussion.
This is how Barr/Trump work w the media accomplices.
Now it’s out there that Obama/Biden won’t be investigated, not that there is nothing to investigate
— Henry (@Fdr1942) May 18, 2020
And the whatever their involvement mentioned line is complete underhanded bullshit. Joe Biden is running g for President and the AG is insinuating he’s some kind of criminal Biden’s record over 40 years speaks for itself. Barr is a scumbag, his record speaks for itself https://t.co/k9sYQZAHZw
— Joe Lockhart (@joelockhart) May 18, 2020
Barr leaves miles of room to do one or more of the following:
(a) accuse Biden/Obama of “abuse of power”
(b) suggest that Biden/Obama would have been charged with crimes had they not been VP/POTUS;
(c) uncover new “evidence” that leads to criminally charging one or both men.
— Bill Barr Baggins (@LogicHobbit) May 18, 2020
Yes…just leaving that “whatever their level of involvement” nugget floating out there.
What a scummy corrupt SOB!
— Ava Hunch 🤞🏻🙏🏻🤞🏻 (@Annie1But) May 18, 2020
Barr implying that Obama and Biden’s actions were outrageous but not rising to the level of a crime, after the exact same people said DOJ shouldn’t make derogatory statements about people’s actions, and in particular, candidates during an election, without charging them like 🤔
— Pwn All The Things (@pwnallthethings) May 18, 2020
Bill Barr says he won’t investigate Obama or Biden or Trump (Ha!), but let’s get something clear. What he should have said was, “there is nothing there to investigate because Trump is making stuff up.”
— Karen 🇺🇸🧶❤🐑🐄🍒🚜🌽🌊 (@karenknitssocks) May 18, 2020
What an odd statement from an AG, making statements about investigations that don’t exist https://t.co/mpfeOUV8TH
— Carrie Cordero (@carriecordero) May 18, 2020