WSJ Columnist: Here's What the Press Left Out When AG Barr Said No Criminal Probe Will Be Opened Against Biden

Posted: May 22, 2020 4:10 PM
WSJ Columnist: Here's What the Press Left Out When AG Barr Said No Criminal Probe Will Be Opened Against Biden

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been exposed. He was in on the unmasking of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. What did he know and when did he know it? Flynn has been exposed as a victim of an FBI run amok, with new documents showing a plot to entrap the former Trump official based on a phone call he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. This call, coupled with the debunked Democrat-funded opposition research project called the Trump dossier, provided the basis for the FBI to target Flynn in their counterintelligence probe. There was no evidence for them to do so. We know this. Former FBI Director James Comey sure knew it but went ahead anyway, which led to the general pleading guilty to bogus “lying to the FBI” charges; the agents who interviewed Flynn felt he didn’t lie, by the way. It was a witch hunt propped up by a hoax.

So, with Attorney General Barr announcing that neither former Vice President Biden or former President Barack Obama would face criminal charges for their role in this fiasco, even though both men were in a meeting where the latter issued a marching order to protect the FBI probe from the incoming Trump administration virtually at all costs, the press seemed to miss the second part of the statement. It’s not shocking. This is the same press that believed the Trump-Russia collusion myth for over two years. The same press that couldn’t really parse what the DOJ IG really said about bias within the FBI/DOJ in his report about FISA abuses. And the same press that is just insufferably stupid when it comes to covering the Trump administration.

Did Obama know? Well, based on this January 5, 2017, meeting, he sure did. Why didn’t Obama rein it in? Well, as Kimberley Strassel at The Wall Street Journal noted, it’s because he supports “politicized justice.” And that’s where she says Trump should politicize to the fullest for the 2020 campaign season. Remind voters that Obama’s DOJ ran amok, violated the rights of American citizens, and was totally unapologetic about it—and how Biden was there cheerleading it all on for years. This is what will be resurrected with a Biden presidency. In all, Biden will face his reckoning with the American voter (via WSJ):

“Based on the information I have today,” he [Barr] said, “I don’t expect Mr. Durham’s work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man.” But the press largely ignored the fuller context of Mr. Barr’s remarks. He reminded Americans that our system provides for two methods of accountability—political and criminal—and it’s dangerous to mix the two.

The attorney general noted that for decades “there have been increasing attempts to use the criminal-justice system as a political weapon.” He specifically cited the “grave injustice” of a “law-enforcement and intelligence apparatus” that advanced “a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president.” That narrative was provided to the FBI by Democrats and the Hillary Clinton campaign, making the FBI’s Trump investigation the purest expression of politicized justice.


While their actions may not rise to a “crime,” both men [Obama-Biden] may be guilty of an outrageous abuse of power. Such abuses require political accountability, through elections.

It’s a powerful point, one largely missing in the Russia-collusion scandal. The Justice Department’s inspector general excoriated the behavior of former FBI leaders like James Comey and Andrew McCabe. But whatever happened to Mr. Obama’s brag that “the buck stops with me”? Mr. Obama appointed Mr. Comey, despite many warnings (including on these pages) that he had a record of prosecutorial excess and bad judgment. Another Obama appointee, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, failed in her responsibility to keep Mr. Comey in line.

The former president didn’t clean up this mess because the Obama-Biden administration—and Democrats in general—are fine with politicized justice. Ms. Lynch’s predecessor, Eric Holder, proudly declared himself an “activist” attorney general and pursued ideological campaigns against churches, corporations and state voter-identification laws. Politics permeated every Obama agency, from the Internal Revenue Service, which terrorized conservative nonprofits, to the Environmental Protection Agency, which bullied developers.

Mr. Biden’s support of this approach, and his own rah-rahing of the FBI and intelligence abuses, deserves center stage in the campaign.


Mr. Biden has been mum on the inspector general’s report outlining the FBI’s outrageous manipulation of the court—which happened on the Obama-Biden watch.

In Mr. Barr’s comments is some subtle advice for Mr. Trump. The president’s constant pressure on the Justice Department to pursue the prior administration only undercuts the Durham probe. Mr. Trump would do far better to make the politicization of the Obama-Biden Justice Department a main campaign point—and to warn Americans that a President Biden would again unleash prosecutors to pursue political targets, while covering up any further revelations about the 2016 abuses and killing any chance at reform.

Flynn was railroaded. It has become clear as the Special Counsel’s Office leaked a fake story to the media in order to shred attorney-client privilege in the Paul Manafort investigation. It’s a long, disturbing tale of how Democrats will shred constitutional norms to satisfy their agenda, to make their assumptions feel more grounded in reality. In this case, they assumed the Kremlin colluded with the Trump campaign to win the 2016 election when, in fact, it was Hillary Clinton who just lost because she was a terrible candidate.

A lot of liberal media folks, Democrats, and left-wing judges obfuscated or helped the former administration pivot from horrible scandals. They whine when Trump tweets about their shoddy coverage. Barack Obama seized the phone records of Associated Press reporters and tried to say that former Fox News reporter James Rosen was pretty much a spy for reporting on a story about North Korea that was leaked. Trump just verbally abuses the press, which is deserved. Obama actually weaponized the state to go after such people. It’s time to take that trip down memory lane, and Joe Biden was right there whether he remembers or not.