Attorney General William Barr recently unveiled that he had formed a legal team to investigate the FBI’s actions leading up to the Trump-Russia probe. This comes on the heels of Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, calling for such an investigation.
Barr’s new legal team is, according to Bloomberg, tasked with investigating the FBI’s counterintelligence efforts into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016, right around the time then-candidate Trump had clinched enough delegates to win the Republican presidential nomination.
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted,” Barr said in a Congressional hearing earlier this week.
The news of Barr’s investigation is unprecedented, according to Dr. Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California-Berkeley law school.
“I cannot think of anything like this ever before,” Chemerinsky told Grit Post in reference to Barr’s newly formed legal team. “I think it is about trying to intimidate those investigating Trump.”
President Trump said he hoped Barr would soon be “getting started on going back to the origins” of the Trump-Russia probe, adding that he was the victim of “an attempted coup,” and that those investigating him were guilty of “treason.”
“This was an attempted coup. This was an attempted take-down of a president. And we beat them. We beat them,” Trump told reporters on Wednesday. “So the Mueller report, when they talk about obstruction we fight back. And do you know why we fight back? Because I knew how illegal this whole thing was. It was a scam.”
“This was an illegal witch hunt, and everybody knew it. And they knew it too. And they got caught. And what they did was treason,” he added.
Attorney General Barr has long since been an opponent of the Mueller investigation, dating back to a legal memo he wrote in June of 2018 — approximately six months before his appointment to the top of the Justice Department. This has prompted speculation that President Trump appointed Barr to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions precisely because of his views on the Mueller probe.
Carl Gibson is a politics contributor for Grit Post. His work has been published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Houston Chronicle, NPR, and Al Jazeera America, among others. Follow him on Twitter @crgibs or email him at carl at gritpost dot com.