AG Barr: James Comey Was 'Driving' FBI Efforts to Trap Flynn
Attorney general says conduct was part of pattern against Trump
Attorney General William Barr said he believes that former FBI Director James Comey was the driving force behind efforts to trap former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
During an interview with CBS News investigative reporter, Catherine Herridge, Barr said the efforts to ensnare Flynn were part of a larger pattern of conduct against President Donald Trump.
The attorney general weighed in with his thoughts after the case against Flynn were dropped on Thursday.
Unsealed FBI documents showed Flynn was set up by disgraced Buerea officials.
Herridge asked Barr if evidence revealed, “that the counterintelligence case against General Flynn was simply left open to lay a trap for lying?”
“Yes. Essentially. They had started a counterintelligence investigation during the summer, as you know, related to the campaign," Barr replied.
"But in December, the team, the Crossfire Hurricane team, was closing that and determined they had found nothing to justify continuing with that investigation against Flynn,” Barr responded.
“On the very day they prepared the final papers, the seventh floor, that is the director’s office and the deputy director’s office up there, sent down a word they should keep that open," Barr added.
"So that they could try to go and question Flynn about this call he had with the Russian ambassador.”
Barr said that for Flynn, it would have been “very typical” for someone in his position to speak with leaders of a foreign nation, especially for an incoming administration.
Barr said he believed "Director Comey and the deputy’s office," was the driving force behind trapping Flynn.
Barr added that U.S. Attorney John Durham is continuing his criminal investigation into he origins of the Russian investigation.
“This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts,” Barr continued.
“And we’re looking at the whole pattern of conduct.”
Barr said that the pattern of conduct traversed before and after the election of Trump.
“I think a very important evidence here was that this was not a bona fide counterintelligence investigation – was that they were closing the investigation in December."
"They started that process. And on January 4th, they were closing it,” Barr said.
“They initially tried some theories of how they could open another investigation, which didn’t fly. And then they found out that they had not technically closed the earlier investigation."
"And they kept it open for the express purpose of trying to catch, lay a perjury trap for General Flynn.”
“They didn’t warn him, the way we usually would be required by the Department,” Barr continued.
“They bypassed the Justice Department. They bypassed the protocols at the White House and so forth. These were things that persuaded me that there was not a legitimate counterintelligence investigation going on.”
Barr later added that there “was no underlying investigation that was legitimate” and that “the whole exercise was just about creating the lie.”