Barr Reveals Recognizable Names Are Being Investigated in Durham Probe


Attorney General William Barr told Fox News in an exclusive interview that there are “some” recognizable names being investigated as part of U.S. Attorney John Durham’s probe into the origins of the Russia investigation and surveillance abuses prior to the 2016 election.

Barr said that the Department of Justice was investigating some recognizable names, but not at the level of former Vice President Joe Biden or President Barack Obama.

“I think the people we are looking at are not at that level,” Barr said in the interview, which aired Tuesday.

“But names we would be familiar with?” Fox host Bret Baier asked.

“Some of them,” Barr replied.

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Baier also asked if Durham’s report would be “eye-opening for Americans.”

“I’m very troubled by what has been called to my attention so far, but I’m not going to characterize it beyond that,” Barr responded.

The attorney general also spoke about why he believes it’s so important to investigate the Russia probe’s origins.

“I think before the election, I think we’re concerned about the motive force behind the very aggressive investigation that was launched into the Trump campaign without, you know, with a very thin, slender reed as a basis for it,” Barr said.

“It seemed that the bureau was sort of spring-loaded at the end of July to drive in there and investigate a campaign.”

The DOJ is also looking into the efforts of several Obama administration officials, including Biden and Obama’s chief of staff, to obtain the identity of former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn through the process of “unmasking.”

Unmasking is the intelligence term used for those instances when American citizens speaking to foreign nationals under surveillance have their identities revealed. It takes an official request for that to happen.

“Unmasking is not by itself illegal, but the patterns of unmasking can tell us something about people’s motivations at any given point of time,” Barr said.

“So, we’re trying to take a looks at the whole waterfront on unmasking, what was done, especially in 2016.”

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When Baier asked if Barr was worried about people saying he was being political by conducting this investigation during an election year, the attorney general responded that the investigation was too important to be worried about that.

“For the first time in American history, police organizations and the national security organizations were used to spy on a campaign, and there was no basis for it,” Barr said.

“The media largely drove that — and all kinds of sensational claims were being made about the president that could have affected the election. And then later on, in his administration, there were actions taken that really appear to be efforts to sabotage his campaign. And that has to be looked at.”

Do you think the Russia investigation was politically motivated?

He added, “And if people want to say that I’m political because I am looking at those potential abuses of power, so be it. But that’s the job of the attorney general.”

Recently unsealed internal FBI documents reveal that former FBI agent Peter Strzok had ordered the investigation of Flynn to remain open after it was scheduled to be closed due to a lack of information, Fox News reported.

The documents were unsealed after FBI communications revealed bureau officials discussing their motives for interviewing Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.

The DOJ’s inspector general has also identified errors in every FBI wiretap application that has been audited as part of the investigation into the surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that a former FBI lawyer falsified a CIA email submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court in order to spy on Page.

“There’s the old saying that the wheels of justice grind slow, and they do grind slow because we have due process and we follow the process,” Barr said when asked about the possibility of criminal charges.

“But people should not draw from the fact that no action has been taken yet, that that means that people are going to get away with wrongdoing.”

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Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. A University of Oregon graduate, Erin has conducted research in data journalism and contributed to various publications as a writer and editor.
Erin Coates was an editor for The Western Journal for over two years before becoming a news writer. She grew up in San Diego, California, proceeding to attend the University of Oregon and graduate with honors holding a degree in journalism. During her time in Oregon, Erin was an associate editor for Ethos Magazine and a freelance writer for Eugene Magazine. She has conducted research in data journalism, which has been published in the book “Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future.” Erin is an avid runner with a heart for encouraging young girls and has served as a coach for the organization Girls on the Run. As a writer and editor, Erin strives to promote social dialogue and tell the story of those around her.
Tucson, Arizona
Graduated with Honors
Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, University of Oregon
Books Written
Contributor for Data Journalism: Past, Present and Future
Prescott, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, French
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Health, Entertainment, Faith