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Barr Transcript - CBS Interview.
Barr: "The opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office but he could've reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity but he had his reasons for not doing it, which he explained."
DOJ "doesn't use our powers of investigating crimes as an adjunct to Congress. Congress is a separate branch of government and they have processes, we have our processes. Ours are related to the criminal justice process we are not an extension of Congress's investigative powers."
"We have to determine whether there is clear violation of the law and so we applied the standards we would normally apply. We analyzed the law and the facts...and determined that both as a matter of law, many of the instances would not amount to obstruction."
"We didn't agree with the legal analysis- a lot of the legal analysis in the report. It did not reflect the views of the department. It was the views of a particular lawyer or lawyers and so we applied what we thought was the right law but then we didn't rely on that."
"We would have to prove corrupt intent, the report itself points out that one of the likely motivations here was the president's frustration with Comey saying something publicly and saying a different thing privately and refusing to correct the record."
"I'm going to make the decisions based on the law and the facts and I realize that's intention with the political climate we live in because people are more interested in getting their way politically."
"I would have to, as a matter of law, make sure that grand jury material was redacted because regardless of the political posturing that's going on it's not lawful for me to just make that public."
"Because we were not involved in the investigation we would have no way looking at the report of determining what was grand jury material and what wasn't, so we had for a period of weeks been asking the special counsel's office to highlight the stuff."
CRAWFORD: For a period of weeks you had asked for this material?

BARR: Yeah even before the March 5 meeting we had asked or raised the subject--
CRAWFORD: You expected the special counsel's office to redact that material, so to point out what should be redacted --

WILLIAM BARR: Right. Right.

CRAWFORD: So the four-page summary would have been unnecessary?

BARR: Correct.
BARR: Bob had assured me that he had not reached a decision that there was a crime committed but was not willing to pursue it simply because of the OLC opinion and that remains the fact. That's what his position is. That's consistent with what he said yesterday.
BARR: Bob did not make a decision that there was a crime. He didn't get into the analysis at all. Part of the reason for that was his judgment about the OLC opinion coupled with other things he just didn't think it was proper exercise of his authority.
BARR: it's up to Bob, but I think the line he's drawing which is that he's going to stick what he said in the report is the proper line for any Department official.
On Foreign Interference in 2016 Election

CRAWFORD: Right because it's just hard to understand why it wasn't taken more seriously.

BARR: Right.

CRAWFORD: Why do you think it was not?

BARR: I have no idea. That's one of the things I'm interested in looking at.
BARR: Surely the response should have been more than just, you know, dangling a confidential informant in front of a peripheral player in the Trump Campaign.
BARR: These counter-intelligence activities that were directed at the Trump Campaign, were not done in the normal course and not through the normal procedures as a far as I can tell. And a lot of the people who were involved are no longer there.
CRAWFORD: You're saying that spying occurred. There's not anything necessarily wrong with that.

BARR: Right.

CRAWFORD: As long as there's a reason for it.

BARR: Whether it's adequately predicated.
BARR: it's just as dangerous to the continuation of self-government and our republican system, republic that we not allow government power, law enforcement or intelligence power, to play a role in politics, to intrude into politics, and affect elections.
BARR: there is that tendency that they know better and that, you know, they're there to protect as guardians of the people. That can easily translate into essentially supervening the will of the majority and getting your own way as a government official.
BARR: the use of foreign intelligence capabilities and counterintelligence capabilities against an American political campaign to me is unprecedented and it's a serious red line that's been crossed.
BARR: I'm not saying there was not a basis for it, that it was legitimate, but I want to see what that basis was and make sure it was legitimate.
BARR: I want to see, what were the standards that were applied. What was the evidence? What were the techniques used? Who approved them? Was there a legitimate basis for it?
BARR: Huber had originally been asked to take a look at the FISA applications and the electronic surveillance but then he stood back and put that on hold while the Office of Inspector General was conducting its review.
BARR: He [Huber] was essentially on standby in case Mr. Horowitz referred a matter to him to be handled criminally. So he has not been active on this front in recent months and so Durham is taking over that role.
BARR: The other issues he's [Huber] been working on relate to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully we'll be in a position to bring those to fruition.
CRAWFORD: This is his [Huber] role, it's done?

BARR: Right.

CRAWFORD: And now Durham is going to pick up--

BARR: Yes, right.
BARR: The attorney general's responsibility is to make sure that these powers are not used to tread upon first amendment activity and that certainly was a big part of my formative years of dealing with those issues.
BARR: The fact that today people just seem to brush aside the idea that it is okay to you know, to engage in these activities against a political campaign is stunning to me especially when the media doesn't seem to think that it's worth looking into.
BARR: I had a lot of questions about what was going on. I assumed I'd get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are well satisfactory, and in fact probably have more questions...
BARR: ...and that some of the facts that- that I've learned don't hang together with the official explanations of what happened.

CRAWFORD: What do you mean by that?

BARR: That's all I really will say. Things are just not jiving, and I'm not saying at this stage that--
CRAWFORD: But you said there's a timeline concern.

BARR: Well I won't, I won't confirm that, but I'll just say that, you know, there's some questions that I think have to be answered, and I have a basis for feeling there has to be a review of this.
CRAWFORD: So there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon?

BARR: Correct. In other words, I don't believe this is a problem you know, rife through the bureau.
BARR: I think the activities were undertaken by a small group at the top which is probably one of the mistakes that has been made instead of running this as a normal bureau investigation or counterintelligence investigation. It was done by the executives at the senior level.
BARR: I don't view it as a bureau wide issue. And I will say the same thing for other intelligence agencies. And they're being very cooperative in helping us.

CRAWFORD: They're being cooperative?

BARR: Yes.
BARR: as a lawyer I always interpret the word treason not colloquially but legally. And you know the very specific criteria for treason- so I don't think it's actually implicated in the situation that we have now.
CRAWFORD: You don't think that they've committed treason?

BARR: Not as a legal matter, no.

CRAWFORD: But you have concerns about how they conducted the investigation?

BARR: Yes but when you're dealing with official government contact, intent is frequently a murky issue.
BARR: They don't realize that what they're doing is really antithetical to the democratic system that we have. They start viewing themselves as the guardians of the people that are more informed and insensitive than everybody else.
BARR: Well it's hard to read some of the texts with and not feel that there was gross bias at work and they're appalling. And if the shoe were on the other-

CRAWFORD: Appalling.

BARR: Those were appalling. And on their face they were very damning..
BARR: It might be legit under certain circumstances but a lot of that has to do with how good the evidence was at that point. And you know Mueller has spent two and half years and the fact is there is no evidence of a conspiracy.
BARR: So it was bogus, this whole idea that the Trump was in cahoots with the Russians is bogus.
CRAWFORD: So did you ask the president for authority to declassify?

BARR: Yes.

CRAWFORD: You asked the president?

BARR: Yes and also you know, the direction of the intelligence agencies to support our efforts.
CRAWFORD: So did you discuss this with the DNI and head of the CIA?

BARR: Yes.

CRAWFORD: And what's their response?

BARR: That they're going to be supportive.
BARR: I'm amused by these people who make a living by disclosing classified information, including the names of intelligence operatives, wringing their hands about whether I'm going to be responsible in protecting intelligence sources and methods.
BARR: If there is information that can be shared with the American people without jeopardizing intelligence sources and methods that decision should be made and because I will be involved in finding out what the story was I think I'm in the best [position] to make that decision
BARR: The media reaction is strange. Normally the media would be interested in letting the sunshine in and finding out what the truth is. And usually the media doesn't care that much about protecting intelligence sources and methods. But I do and I will.
On communication w/Trump

BARR: We talk to each other and if he has something to say to me I figure he'll tell me directly. I don't look to tweets for, you know, I don't look at them as directives or as official communications with the department.
BARR: I realize we live in a crazy hyper-partisan period of time and I knew that it would only be a matter of time if I was behaving responsibly and calling them as I see them, that I would be attacked because nowadays people don't care about the merits and the substance.
BARR: Any attorney general in this period is going to end up losing a lot of political capital and I realize that and that is one of the reasons that I ultimately was persuaded that I should take it on because I think at my stage in life it really doesn't make any difference.
BARR: I think it's important that we not, in this period of intense partisan feeling, destroy our institutions. I think one of the ironies today is that people are saying that it's President Trump that's shredding our institutions. I really see no evidence of that.
BARR: The idea of resisting a democratically elected president and basically throwing everything at him and you know, really changing the norms on the grounds that we have to stop this president, that is where the shredding of our norms and our institutions is occurring.
CRAWFORD: And you think that happened even with the investigation into the campaign, potentially?

BARR: I am concerned about that.

/End Transcript
That was some interview. Just...wow.
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