Former Attorney General William Barr said Friday he is “disappointed” that special counsel John Durham failed to get a conviction in his case against ex-Clinton lawyer Michael Sussmann, but added several reasons why he is “happy” with how the probe into the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation has turned out so far.
BlazeTV host Glenn Beck interviewed Barr on Friday and asked the two-time attorney general for his thoughts on where Durham’s investigation goes next.
Barr said that there are “two different goals” for the Durham probe. The first is to “lay the facts bare” and get some “accountability” for the FBI’s handling of the Trump-Russia probe by showing the American people how it was conducted.
“The other goal, obviously, would be to punish people to the extent that you can achieve convictions,” Barr said. ” That latter goal is more difficult, because of the way the system operates. The high standard of proof. You need admissible evidence. And, you know, D.C. juries are not the most favorable forum for these cases, by a long stretch. And I think everyone recognized that.”
Sussmann, a former Perkins Coie lawyer, was indicted on one count of lying to the FBI in September 2016 when he presented since-debunked evidence that the Trump Organization had ties to a Russian bank.
Durham’s prosecutors alleged that Sussmann had pretended to be a concerned citizen without disclosing that he was working for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
They claimed that Sussmann went to the FBI with unverified information so that the bureau would open a case against Donald Trump and that the Clinton campaign subsequently used leaked information from the investigation to attack her Republican rival ahead of the presidential election.
However, a Washington D.C. jury found Sussmann not guilty of the charge.
Barr said that Durham knew “there would be a tough jury” but likely “felt he had the duty to bring this case.”
“I’m disappointed, in the outcome. But I am actually happy, that [Durham] blew up the case,” he told Beck.
He continued: “I think it actually achieved a lot of progress on the issue of getting at the truth. He shed a lot of light, and demonstrated the central role play by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. And also, the very troubling behavior of the FBI leadership, that — that duped its own agents about the source of this information. And that’s a lot of progress.”
Barr said he is looking forward to the trial of Igor Danchenko later this year.
This is an excerpt from TheBlaze.
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