President Donald Trump on Monday, May 18, said he was “surprised” by Attorney General William Barr’s comments that he does not expect the review of the origins of the Russia probe will lead to a “criminal investigation” of either former President Barack Obama or former Vice President Joe Biden.
“I think Obama and Biden knew about it. They were participants, but, so I’m a little surprised by that statement,” President Trump told reporters.
Barr earlier in the day said he didn’t expect U.S. Attorney John Durham’s work to lead to a criminal investigation of either Obama or Biden.
“As for President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said at a press conference. “Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”
Barr added, “The Durham investigation is trying to get to the bottom of what happened,” and it will “determine if there were any federal laws broken, and if there were, those who broke the laws will be held to account.”
The president wouldn’t say if he is disappointed if there is no criminal investigation into Obama and Biden but said he has no doubt of their involvement in the origins of the Russia probe.
“I don’t know about being disappointed or not,” he said. “But I have no doubt that they were involved in this hoax. One of the worst things ever to befall this country, in terms of political scandal. I have absolutely no doubt that Obama and Biden were involved and, as to whether or not it was criminal, I would think it would be very serious. Very, very serious. It was a takedown of a president, regardless of me—It happened to be me. And in my opinion, it was an illegal takedown.”
“If it was me, I guarantee that they’d be going after me. In his case, they’re not so—I think it’s just a continuation of a double standard. I’m surprised by it,” President Trump added. “I’m going to let the attorney general make all of those decisions. I am going to stay out of it because it is the appropriate thing to do. I wouldn’t have to stay out of it as you know, but I’ve decided to stay out of it.”
The president and Barr’s comments come as recently released documents showed Obama administration officials alleged abuse of power during the course of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. New documents indicated Obama was aware of the details of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone call with then-Russia Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Then, a newly declassified list showed 39 Obama-era officials involved in seeking to unmask Flynn’s identity, including Biden and Obama’s chief of staff.
President Trump insisted Obama was involved in “the biggest political crime in American history” and called on the former president to testify before Congress.
100% correct! https://t.co/ijkl89Q5Xj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2020