Oct 14, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump declines to say whether Barr will return if re-elected

Trump and Barr

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told Newsmax in an interview Wednesday that "it's too early" to say whether he will ask Attorney General Bill Barr to return should he win a second term.

Why it matters: Barr quashed Trump allies' hopes that a sweeping review of the origins of the Russia investigation, led by U.S. Attorney John Durham, would be a pre-election bombshell containing revelations about what they allege were serious abuses by the Obama administration and intelligence officials.

  • Durham's investigation so far has netted one criminal charge — an FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to altering an email used to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
  • Barr has made clear to top Republicans that they should not expect any further indictments or a comprehensive report before Nov. 3, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.

What they're saying: "I have no comment. Can't comment on that. It's too early," Trump said about whether he would bring Barr back.

  • "I'm not happy with all of the evidence I have, I can tell you that. I'm not happy."

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that a related probe commissioned by Barr, which reviewed whether Obama administration officials improperly requested the identities of Trump officials redacted in intelligence reports, has ended without finding substantive wrongdoing.

  • "Personally, I think it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous. It's a disgrace," Trump told Newsmax in an interview airing Wednesday night. "I think it's really a horrible thing that they're allowed to get away — when they say no indictments, they actually said no indictments before the election."
  • "I had to go through elections with all those clouds over my head. But they don't because the Republicans are so nice. Personally, I think it's too bad. I think it's too bad, they're guilty as hell."
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