A growing scandal that President Donald Trump labeled “Obamagate” on social media threatened to upend the 2020 general election if presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden were investigated.
Despite the controversy, Attorney General William Barr said Monday that he did not expect investigations into the origins of the FBI’s Russia investigation to lead to criminal probes into Biden, nor former President Barack Obama.
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Trump has said he believes Obama had committed potential election meddling crimes, and some of Trump’s supporters have encouraged criminal inquiries into Obama and Biden for what they say are criminal abuses of power during the 2016 presidential election.
Unfounded allegations by officials in the Obama administration, liking Russian election meddling to Trump’s presidential campaign, made cable news headlines for years.
It eventually led to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump and his political allies, which concluded there was no evidence of collusion between Trump and foreign powers.
Barr signaled Monday that he would not be swayed by political pressure to investigate Biden or Obama, and did not believe that the criminal investigation into the early days of the Russia probe being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham would lead to investigations into either of the former executives.
“Whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man,” Barr said.
Barr said, “We cannot allow this process to be hijacked by efforts to drum up criminal investigations of either candidate.”
Ultimately, the decision will come down to Durham’s findings. Barr was sharing an opinion, not fact.
Should Durham’s investigation uncover serious evidence of wrongdoing, that could all quickly change.
Trump hasn’t backed down from the accusations against Obama and Biden, agreeing with a conservative media ally on Twitter late Sunday that Obama was “the most corrupt president in US history.”
100% correct! https://t.co/ijkl89Q5Xj
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2020
The Horn editorial team and The Associated Press contributed to this article