HUBER FINISHING “HILLARY CLINTON” PROBE
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 31, 2019) — In an interview with CBS’s Jan Crawford aired on Thursday and Friday, Attorney General William Barr delineated the respective roles of two U.S. attorneys appointed to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia “collusion” narrative which resulted in FBI and Special Counsel probes into the Trump campaign.
Audio, video and a full transcript of the interview, conducted in Alaska while Barr was there as a function of his office, are available here.
Crawford raised a number of issues such as Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nine-minute address to the nation on Wednesday morning; Barr’s claim that “spying” was carried out against the Trump campaign by the U.S. intelligence community; measures the Justice Department is taking to avoid foreign interference in the 2020 presidential election; and why Barr believes an investigation of those who launched the Trump-Russia probe is necessary.
At one point Barr explained to Crawford that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, while currently completing an investigation into “the use of electronic surveillance that was targeted at [former Trump campaign adviser] Carter Page,” is limited in authority, being unable to call witnesses who are no longer employed by the DOJ or any of its subsidiaries, among other limitations.
That report, Fox News’s Sean Hannity reported Thursday night, is expected to be released “any day now.”
Barr, who worked as an intern at the CIA in his youth, told Crawford he wants to discover “what basis there was for launching counterintelligence activities against a political campaign,” referring to the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation, reportedly launched July 31, 2016. The probe was handed to Mueller after FBI Director James Comey was fired in May 2017.
On May 14, Barr’s office announced that he assigned U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham to investigate how and why the Trump-Russia operation was commenced.
When Crawford asked, “Why did you feel it was necessary to turn to John Durham?” Barr responded, “Well the inspector general at the department, Mike Horowitz, who you know is a superb government official he has limited powers. He doesn’t have the power to compel testimony, he doesn’t have the power really to investigate beyond the current cast of characters at the Department of Justice. His ability to get information from former officials or from other agencies outside the department is very limited.”
Of Durham, Barr said, “…he has, over the years, been used by both Republican and Democratic attorney generals to investigate these kinds of activities. And he’s always gotten the most laudatory feedback from his work. So there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going- he’s going to conduct a thorough and fair review of this.”
In contrast, Barr explained that U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber was “asked to take a look at the FISA applications and the electronic surveillance but then he stood back and put that on hold while the Office of Inspector General was conducting its review, which would’ve been normal for the department. And he was essentially on standby in case Mr. Horowitz referred a matter to him to be handled criminally. So he has not been active on this front in recent months and so Durham is taking over that role.”
In the same response, Barr divulged, “The other issues he’s been working on relate to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully we’ll be in a position to bring those to fruition.”
Along with the “Russia” investigation, Huber was tasked with probing whether or not wrongdoing occurred between the Clinton Foundation and State Department while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013. Also to be scrutinized was the “Uranium One” arrangement whereby the U.S. sold approximately 20% of its uranium ore to Canadian company Uranium One, which was sold to Russia.
In recent months, some in the media have questioned why Huber’s investigatory role appeared to have waned.
Barr confirmed that Huber’s part in the Russia investigation is “done” and that Durham will assume those responsibilities.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.