Attorney General William Barr on Monday said that he did not “expect” a criminal prosecution of former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden — even though President Donald Trump has called for one.
At a press conference at the Justice Department, Barr said that he would not address Trump’s statements directly.
Instead, Barr slammed former special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.
“There have been increasing attempts to use the justice system as a political weapon,” Barr said. “The legal tactic has been to gin up allegations of criminality by one’s political opponent based on the flimsiest of legal theories.”
“Any effort to pursue an investigation of either candidate has to be approved by me,” he continued. “What happened to the president — and I’ve said this many times — in the 2016 election and throughout the first two years of his administration was abhorrent. It was a grave injustice.
According to the attorney general, the U.S. intelligence community perpetrated a “false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative.”
Barr said that an ongoing probe into how the Russia investigation began could result in criminal prosecutions.
“Not every abuse of power, no matter how outrageous is necessarily a federal crime,” he added. “As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect [the current probe] will lead to a criminal investigation of either man.”
“Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others,” Barr concluded.