Attorney General William Barr sat for an extended interview with NBC’s Pete Williams to discuss the findings in the Department of Justice Inspector General report released yesterday afternoon. NBC has cut the thing up in a couple of stories, but it has also posted the whole thing on YouTube (24-minute video below).
Barr is familiar with the evidence gathered so far; he knows what he’s talking about. He understands that what we have staring us in the face is an unprecedented political scandal. He tentatively anticipates the criminal investigation reaching “a watershed” by late spring or early summer. I urge interested readers to watch the whole thing. The interview is invaluable in its entirety.
I’m not sure whether Pete Williams is just playing the fool for purposes of the interview, whether he is a fool, or whether he is handicapped by the fact that he gets his news from NBC News. Whatever the case, everything he elicits from Barr is of interest.
Having said that, I shouldn’t excerpt a quotable quote, but I can’t help myself (and I’m not even getting to Barr’s condemnatory account of the FBI investigation around 9:00, or his reference to the Steele Dossier as “a complete sham” and “rubbish”). Barr reiterates, by the way, that the campaign “was clearly spied upon” (at 12:15 of the interview).
Barr emphasizes: “Their case collapsed after the election and they never told the [FISA] court and they kept on getting renewals on these [FISA] applications…The question really is: what was the agenda after the election? They kept on pressing ahead after their case collapsed. This is the president of the United States [they continued to investigate].”
Stick with the interview and as a bonus you will discover that Barr is not impressed by the performance of the press in this matter either. He won’t be cowed by their criticism now.
Quotable quote (all dates in 2016): “What I find particularly inexplicable is that [the Obama administration] talked to the Russians, but not to the [Trump] presidential campaign. On August 4 Brennan braced [?] the head of Russian intelligence; he calls the head of Russian intelligence and says, ‘We know what you’re up to. You better stop it.’ He did it again later in August. And then President Obama talked to President Putin in September and said, ‘We know what you’re up to. You better cut it out.’ So they go and confront the Russians, who clearly are the bad buys, and they won’t go and talk to the [Trump] campaign…”
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