Fired FBI Director James Comey claims Attorney General William Barr is guilty of “echoing conspiracy theories” during a recent CBS interview, in what is the longtime law enforcement officer’s latest attack on the Trump administration.
“Bill Barr on CBS offers no facts. An AG should not be echoing conspiracy theories. He should gather facts and show them. That is what Justice is about,” Comey wrote in a tweet on Saturday afternoon, failing to elaborate on what Barr purportedly amplified that was conspiratorial.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Barr discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into now-debunked collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia. The attorney general disagreed with Mueller’s Wednesday statement, in which he said he was bound by Justice Department policy not to determine whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice.
Barr told CBS News chief legal correspondent Jan Crawford:
I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision. He could have reached a conclusion. The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity. But he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained and I am not going to, you know, argue about those reasons.
Further, Barr stated the Justice Department found “many of the instances” that the special counsel found “would not amount to obstruction” as a matter of law.
“[W]e didn’t agree with… a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the Department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers, and so we applied what we thought was the right law,” the nation’s chief legal officer explained.
“The bottom line was that Bob Mueller identified some episodes,” added Barr. “He did not reach a conclusion. He provided both sides of the issue, and his conclusion was he wasn’t exonerating the president, but he wasn’t finding a crime either.”
Of course, this is not the first time Comey has harshly criticized Barr. The fired FBI director accused him of “sliming his own department” after Barr said that the government engaged in spying on U.S. citizens.
“The AG should stop sliming his own Department,” Comey tweeted on May 19th. “If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found.”
The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found. An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 18, 2019
“An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth,” he added “Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.”
Earlier this month, Barr tapped John Durham, U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to examine the origins of the FBI’s investigation into Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump has long accused Comey and other top FBI officials of abuses of power during the bureau’s counter counterintelligence operation against his presidential campaign.
Addresing the media at a White House event, President Trump was asked which officials he views are guilty of treason and Comey was atop the list.
“I think a number of people. They have unsuccessfully tried to take down the wrong person,” said the president. “If you look at Comey, if you look at McCabe, if you look at probably people higher than that, if you look at Strzok, if you look at his lover, Lisa Page, his wonderful lover.”
Days later, Comey responded to President Trump’s comments, denying in a Washington Post opinion-editorial titled, No ‘treason.’ No coup. Just lies — and dumb lies at that — that FBI ever spied on the Trump campaign, claiming it was merely “good people trying to figure out what was true, under unprecedented circumstances.”