Attorney General William Barr told CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge on Thursday that the FBI’s use of the Steele dossier in its investigation into the Trump campaign, especially given the evidence that it could have contained Russian disinformation, was one of the most troubling aspects of the entire situation that prosecutors are investigating.
Herridge asked Barr, “Based on the evidence that you have seen, did senior FBI officials conspire to throw out the national security adviser?”
“Well, as I said, this is a particular episode,” Barr responded. “And it has some troubling features to it, as we’ve discussed. But I think, you know, that’s a question that really has to wait an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump’s administration.”
Herridge later brought up the Steele dossier and how recently declassified footnotes suggested that it was “the product of Russian disinformation.”
“And there were multiple warnings to the FBI at that time, yet they continued to use that. How do you explain that?” Herridge asked.
“I think that’s one of the most troubling aspects of this whole thing,” Barr responded. “And, in fact, I said it in testimony on the Hill, I can’t remember if it was my confirmation, that I said I was very concerned about the possibility that that dossier and Steele’s activities were used as a vector for the Russians to inject disinformation into the political campaign.”
“I think that is something that Robert Mueller was responsible for looking at under his charter, which is the potential of Russian influence,” Barr continued. “But I think it was ignored and there was mounting indications that this could very well have been happening and no one really stopped to look at it.”
Later, when talking about the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to drop the charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Barr said the department acted out of a sense of justice and “undid what was an injustice,” adding, “it’s not gonna be the end of it.”
When asked what he meant when he said that it was “not gonna be the end of it,” Barr responded, “I said we’re gonna get to the bottom of what happened.”
When asked about the current status of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, Barr responded, “Well, as you know, I’m not gonna predict the outcome. But I said that we’re certainly — there probably will be a report as a byproduct of his work. But we also are seeing if there are people who violated the law and should be brought to justice. And that’s what we have our eye on.”
When asked whether individuals involved in the Flynn case would be brought to justice, Barr responded, “I don’t wanna get into particular individuals.”
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