William Barr, who served as attorney general under Donald Trump and has since become a vocal critic of his former boss, on Tuesday roundly dismissed the ex-president’s claim that the Justice Department investigation into his mishandling of classified materials after he left the White House is a witch-hunt.
“In fact, they approached this very delicately and with deference to the president,” Barr told Gayle King on “CBS Mornings.”
The investigation would have “gone nowhere” if Trump had simply returned the documents when the government asked, Barr continued. “But he jerked them around for a year and a half.”
There is “no excuse for what he did here,” Barr said of Trump, adding that “whether it’s a crime or not, remains to be seen.”
Barr said an indictment for Trump in the documents case appeared to be “near.”
“I’ve said for a while that I think this is the most dangerous legal risk facing the former president,” he added.
He also described Trump as “almost unique in his inability to attract voters” as he “repels people other than his core base.”
Barr said he doubts Trump can win the GOP nomination, even though polls show him as the current Republican front-runner. If Trump somehow does end up the Republican nominee, Barr said he’d vote for him because he prefers his policies to those of President Joe Biden.
Watch the interview here:
“This is not a case of the DOJ conducting a witch hunt”: Former Trump AG and author Bill Barr speaks about the special counsel investigation into the former president, adding that he would “bet” an indictment is near. https://t.co/6WAO7ix0n2pic.twitter.com/teoTtod6pt
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) June 6, 2023