Republican Congressman John Ratcliffe confirmed Attorney General William Barr was looking to the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation and was willing to charge any Obama-holdovers who may have acted improperly.
According to the Washington Examiner, the Republican Congressman told Fox News during an interview on Sunday that Barr and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz were looking into whether any individuals in the FBI or the Justice Department committed crimes during the investigation.
And, if they did commit a crime, then they would be charged, Ratcliffe definitively said.
“I think the first thing we need to do is make sure we don’t do what the Democrats have done,” he told Sunday Morning Futures host Maria Bartiromo. “They accused Donald Trump of a crime and then they try and reverse engineer a process to justify that accusation.”
“So I’m not going to accuse any specific person of any specific crime, I just want there to be a fair process to get there. What I do know as a former federal prosecutor is that it does appear that there were crimes committed during the Obama administration,” he alleged.
Ratcliffe, as a member of both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, was able to participate in both hearings on Wednesday when former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified. During the hearings, the lawmaker questioned Mueller on the various aspects of his investigation which were not included in the final report, including expository evidence damaging of Democrats or of the investigators themselves.
“Now the things that Bob Mueller said he didn’t know about and his team clearly didn’t look at, those are things that would be fair for Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to look at. Because we know that things happened in the Obama administration that haven’t been answered. There’s been no accountability for that yet,” Ratcliffe said via the Washington Examiner.
“Well, the special counsel told us … that they didn’t do it. And if they didn’t do it, the only place we can get the answers is from the Justice Department right now,” the lawmaker continued. “The American people want that. Their faith and trust, Maria, has been shaken in our Justice Department, and the only way to get that back is for there to be real accountability with a very fair process.”
“Again, I have supreme confidence in Bill Barr’s ability to deliver that. And at the end of the day, wherever the outcome may be, as long as we know that the process was fair, the evaluation was fair, justice will be done. Look, the truth always defends itself,” he concluded.
According to the report, Ratcliffe pitched three aspects Barr and Horowitz could immediately begin to investigate:
The first related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn. “You talked earlier about Michael Flynn. His phone call with the Russian ambassador was a highly classified NSA intercept. Someone in the Obama administration leaked that call to the Washington Post. That’s a felony,” he said.
Ratcliffe suggested investigators also look into conflicting congressional testimony between Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. Fusion GPS was the opposition research firm behind British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s dossier, which was full of unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia and was used extensively by the FBI in Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act applications before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to justify surveillance of Page. Ohr acted as an unofficial back channel between Steel and the FBI. “Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS in talking about the Steele dossier, said under oath that he and Bruce Ohr did not meet until after the election. Bruce Ohr said under oath that they met three months before the election. One of them is not telling the truth. We need a process to identify that,” Ratcliffe said.
The third area of interest, Ratcliffe said, is former FBI Director James Comey’s memos on his interactions with Trump before he was fired in May 2017. “Where it all started, Jim Comey. He admitted that he leaked his confidential conversations with the president to a reporter. Did that include classified information? We need a fair processes to find out answers to that,” Ratcliffe said.