More Charges in Durham Probe Possible, Barr Says

More Charges in Durham Probe Possible, Barr Says
United States Attorney John Durham and Attorney General William Barr. (L-Department of Justice, R-Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

More criminal charges are possible in U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into the origins of the FBI’s probe of alleged ties between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, Attorney General William Barr said in a new interview.

Barr, pressed during an interview with NBC released Sept. 10 on whether Durham is nearing the end of his investigation, responded that he wouldn’t characterize where exactly the U.S. attorney from Connecticut is in the probe.

He was then asked whether he'd say it’s unlikely there will be further criminal charges.

“No, I wouldn’t say that at all, no,” Barr said, adding: “There could be.”

Former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith pleaded guilty last month in federal court to altering an email from the CIA that originally stated Carter Page, a one-time Trump campaign adviser, was an asset for the spy agency. The email, which was used to obtain spy warrants against Page, was altered to indicate that Page wasn’t an asset.

Barr said he wouldn’t get into whether Durham will release information before the Nov. 3 election and whether there could be an interim report on what the U.S. attorney has uncovered.

But he said possible criticism over a hypothetical interim report wouldn’t stop him from doing what he thinks is right.

“I don’t let that bother me. I’m going to do what I think is right and in the public interest,” he said. “As I already said, I’m conscious of the election and I don’t think any of the things that are being worked on are going to have an adverse effect on that. And I also think there’s strong public interest involved as well.”

White House chief of staff Mark Meadows said earlier this week that documents he’s reviewed recently show that key players such as former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former FBI Director James Comey “are in real trouble because of their willingness to participate in an unlawful act.”
During a different interview released last week, Barr said the Durham investigation wouldn’t impact the upcoming election.

“I have said that the American people need to know what actually happened,“ Barr told CNN. ”We need to get the story of what happened in 2016 and ’17 now out. That will be done. The second aspect of this is, if people cross the line, if people involved in that activity violated the criminal law, they will be charged.

“I will handle these cases as appropriate,“ he added. ”And I do not think anything that we do in the Durham investigation is going to be affecting the election.”