Attorney General William Barr told CBS News investigative reporter Catherine Herridge during an interview that aired on Thursday that he believes the FBI under the leadership of former FBI Director James Comey laid a perjury trap for former national security adviser Michael Flynn and that it was part of a larger pattern of conduct presumably against President Donald Trump.
Herridge asked Barr if the new evidence showed “that the counterintelligence case against General Flynn was simply left open to lay a trap for lying?”
“Yes. Essentially. They had started a counterintelligence investigation during the summer, as you know, related to the campaign. But in December, the team, the Crossfire Hurricane team, was closing that and determined they had found nothing to justify continuing with that investigation against Flynn,” Barr responded. “On the very day they prepared the final papers, the seventh floor, that is the director’s office and the deputy director’s office up there, sent down word they should keep that open. So that they could try to go and question Flynn about this call he had with the Russian ambassador.”
Barr explained that for Flynn, who was already the designated national security adviser for President-Elect Trump, it would have been “very typical” and “very common” for someone in his position to talk with leaders of a foreign nation as part of an incoming administration.
Barr said that U.S. Attorney John Durham is continuing his criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation.
“This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts,” Barr continued. “And we’re looking at the whole pattern of conduct.”
Barr said that the pattern of conduct spanned before and after the election of Trump.
“I think a very important evidence here was that this was not a bona fide counterintelligence investigation – was that they were closing the investigation in December. They started that process. And on January 4th, they were closing it,” Barr said. “They initially tried some theories of how they could open another investigation, which didn’t fly. And then they found out that they had not technically closed the earlier investigation. And they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”
“They didn’t warn him, the way we usually would be required by the Department,” Barr continued. “They bypassed the Justice Department. They bypassed the protocols at the White House and so forth. These were things that persuaded me that there was not a legitimate counterintelligence investigation going on.”
Barr later added that there “was no underlying investigation that was legitimate” and that “the whole exercise was just about creating the lie.”
Later, when asked who was “driving this” at the FBI, Barr responded, “I believe it’s Director Comey and the deputy’s office.”
The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member.