As America reopens from coronavirus lockdowns and protests and riots engulf American cities, Attorney General William Barr is hard at work on Obamagate. According to award-winning journalist Adam Housley, “as many as 16-17” criminal referrals will be headed to the Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign in 2016.
“Criminal referrals have already been sent to the Justice Department and the overall number may reach as many as 16-17 by the end of next week. Investigators are working on additional ones as we speak and some are targeting the Mueller probe and how [retired Gen. Michael Flynn was] investigated,” Housley tweeted.
Housley explained that the criminal referrals are coming from Congress “and are much more detailed than any before.”
“This is coming from people with direct knowledge of the ongoing investigations. These same sources say this targets agency folks and McCabe may be one. What’s interesting is to see how this will differ, if at all, from what [U.S. Attorney John] Durham is doing,” Housley added.
On Saturday, The Washington Examiner reported that House Intelligence Committee Republicans were preparing to send Obamagate criminal referrals to the DOJ. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) had sent eight referrals to Barr last spring, and he told Fox Business last week that House Republicans have enough evidence for “at least another five, possibly as many as 10” recommendations for prosecution as three U.S. attorneys review various aspects of the Russia investigation.
Nunes said he and his colleagues plan to send the referrals withing the next “week to 10 days or so.”
“We now are looking at the overall Gen. Flynn investigation and how that was conducted and the rest of the Mueller team,” the congressman said. “And then, of course, as new information has come to light from the information that was declassified by acting Director of National Intelligence Ric Grenell, that information has also shown that there are other people who have lied or misled Congress or have, I think in some cases maybe, lied by omission, documents that were kept from Congress.”
Echoing Trump, Nunes has claimed Obama administration officials abused the government’s intelligence powers in an attempted “coup” against Trump. He teased that Republicans would escalate the investigation if they win back control of the House in November.
“We’ve got about 40 people that are on that list,” he said, without naming anyone. “So, hopefully, if Republicans are put back in charge, we will be able to subpoena those people, but right now, we can’t.”
Grenell was replaced by former Rep. John Ratcliffe late last month after the Texas Republican was confirmed by the Senate. During his three-month tenure as head of the U.S. Intelligence Community, Grenell declassified long-sought-after documents related to the case against former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and forced the hand of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff to release dozens of witness transcripts from the panel’s own investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Schiff accused Grenell of “selective declassification for political purposes.”
According to Housley, Barr is aiming “to avoid a constitutional crisis” and so he has proceeded quietly.
Obamagate broke open last month after the apparent perjury trap set for Michael Flynn revealed the ugly depths to which the Intelligence Community would sink to maintain the narrative that Trump colluded with Russia in 2016. The transcripts of House Intelligence Committee testimony revealed that most of the intelligence actors in the investigation did not have any evidence to suspect collusion. The mostly-unredacted scope memo laying out the reasoning behind appointing Special Counsel Robert Mueller has laid bare the utter baselessness of the case against Trump.
The protests and riots over the death of George Floyd have sucked up the airwaves, but Obamagate remains a developing scandal with many potential criminal investigations.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.