Update: U.S. Attorney John Durham on August 14 charged a former FBI attorney with making a false statement.
Original story below.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said that there “will be a development” in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe into the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign on Friday.
“There are going to be significant developments on this before the election,” Barr told Fox News host Sean Hannity Thursday night.
“But we’re not doing this on the election schedule,” he noted. “We’re aware of the election. We’re not going to do anything inappropriate before the election. But we’re not being dictated to by this schedule.”
Barr said that the development would not be “earth-shattering,” but provide “an indication things are going along at a proper pace, as dictated by the facts in this investigation.”
Barr told Hannity that the investigation is going quickly, despite some delay due to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic. He added that he is “satisfied” with the progress Durham has made.
Last month, Barr said that the November elections will not delay Durham’s investigation and pending report.
Durham was appointed by Barr in May 2019 to examine the origins of the FBI’s Russia-Trump collusion investigation, code named “Crossfire Hurricane.” The investigation seeks to determine whether intelligence collection on the 2016 Trump campaign by top Obama-administration officials was “lawful and appropriate,” and is assessing whether the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page was free of improper motive.
The investigation was designated a formal criminal investigation in October 2019, which gives Durham’s team the ability to issue subpoenas, impanel a grand jury, compel witnesses to give testimony, and bring federal criminal charges. This includes targeting the conduct of current and former senior FBI officials who were involved in obtaining a warrant in October 2016 to surveil Page and sending at least two spies to target Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
Barr had signaled in May that he was not expecting former President Barrack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden to face criminal indictments as a result of Durham’s investigation, saying “I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concern over potential criminality is focused on others.”
He told Hannity on Thursday that “if people crossed the line, if people involved in that activity violated criminal law, they will be charged” if the Department of Justice feels that it can prove a crime beyond a reasonable doubt.
White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said in July that he was expecting criminal charges to come out of Durham’s investigation.
The FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign was launched in July 2016 to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, including possible links between Russia and any political campaigns.
The investigation was taken over in May 2017 by then-special counsel and former FBI Director Robert Mueller. By April 2019, he concluded that the investigation found no evidence to establish that Trump or his campaign had knowingly conspired or coordinated with the Russian government to sway the outcome of the election, although the Russian government was found to have interfered in the 2016 election.
President Donald Trump recently repeated his allegation that previous administration officials had spied on his campaign “both before and after” his presidential victory, and committed treason in doing so.
“They spied on my campaign, which is treason. They spied both before and after I won. Think of that. Using the intelligence apparatus of the United States to take down a president,” Trump said during a live phone interview with Fox Business.
“It’s the single biggest political crime in the history of our country.”
Janita Kan, Ivan Pentchoukov, and Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.