Mukasey Says Barr Will Find Out How Russia Probe Started: "We Are Going To See Accountability"

Former Attorney General Michael Mukasey, who served in the Bush administration, told FNC's Maria Bartiromo on "Sunday Morning Futures" that "we are going to see accountability" for members of the intelligence community who surveilled members of the 2016 Trump campaign and suggested Democrats were trying to discredit Attorney General Barr before an investigation can be completed. "We will find out what happened. We will find out who was responsible for what happened, which I think accounts for a lot of the reasons that people are accusing him, falsely, of making false statements to Congress," Mukasey said about Barr. "That's an attempt to discredit what he's about to do. But he's not a man easily deterred." <blockquote>MARIA BARTIROMO, FOX NEWS: Before we go into what took place this past week, your reaction to what you have heard on this program so far this morning? MICHAEL MUKASEY, FORMER U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL: Well, that was quite a tossed salad of facts that we got from Papadopoulos. But I think that he's only part of the story. And Bill Barr has said that he's going to conduct an investigation into how all of this got started. And I think that Papadopoulos is only part of it. BARTIROMO: OK, so when you say a salad of facts, tell me how you see all of this and what has taken place in the last two years. I mean, we know that this guy was -- he had outreach from all of these spies across the world. We also know that the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. What can you tell us? MUKASEY: I think we also know that it really didn't get started with Papadopoulos, as the report says, it started before that. But there's a great deal we don't know. We're going to know more when the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, issues his report. We may know more when Lindsey Graham conducts hearings in the Senate. After all of that, Mr. Barr has said that he is putting together a team to look into all of this, and he can take the results of the I.G. report -- the I.G. doesn't have subpoena power, doesn't use a grand jury, but any investigation that's conducted within the Justice Department... by a team put together by Bill Barr is going to be able to use a grand jury. They can take that information. They can whatever they get from the Graham hearings and use it to find out what really happened. BARTIROMO: If he is able to do his work. We saw what happened last week, a bit of a circus, where the Democrats are now saying that Bill Barr is being the A.G. for the president and not for the United States. So let me ask you straight out, did William Barr lie last week? MUKASEY: Straight out? No. There were two questions at issue. One came from Chris Van Hollen. He asked him whether he knew if Bob Mueller agreed with his conclusion as to obstruction, where Barr said that he would not press forward with obstruction. Because Bob Mueller refused to come to a conclusion about obstruction, the truthful answer to that was he didn't know. And that's what he said. He didn't know. He was also <A href="http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/05/02/watch_moment_in_congressional_testimony_where_ag_bill_barr_is_said_to_have_lied.html">asked by Charlie Crist whether he knew about what was upsetting various members of the Mueller team who were leaking their displeasure with the statement that Bill Barr put out on March 24</a>, where he stated the top-line conclusions that the Mueller report reached, that there was no collusion -- that is, there was no criminal agreement between the Trump campaign and the Russians -- and he reported accurately that, although Mueller said he couldn't press charges of obstruction, he said he could not exonerate the president. And, of course, it's not any prosecutor's job to exonerate anybody. But Bill Barr reported that faithfully. And so when he was asked whether he knew what was upsetting him, his truthful answer was no. BARTIROMO: Which is why Devin Nunes says this is all obstruction, obstructing an honest broker. Michael Mukasey, stay put. We're going to take a short break. I have got to ask you about the Obama White House next... Tell us a little about William Barr, as you know him. Is this obstruction on the part of the Democrats to take down an honest broker? MUKASEY: I think what it is, is an attempt to divert attention in part, and also an attempt to discredit what he intends to do by conducting an investigation into how all of this got started. And by all of this, I mean the events that were depicted in part at the beginning of your program, George Papadopoulos and the rest. BARTIROMO: Judge, I mean, the FISA warrant didn't happen until later in the year. So it's clear that there was spying going on before they actually had the warrant to do so. Is that a fair statement? MUKASEY: Well, you don't need a warrant to put an informant in to talk to somebody. However, you do need a good reason. And when you're talking about putting an agent in to talk to somebody in connection with a political campaign, you need a very good reason. And, obviously, that's what the attorney general had in mind when he wondered whether this was all properly predicated, not whether there was a warrant, but whether there was a good reason. And I think that the answer to that will -- likely will turn out to be no. There were plenty of bad reasons. BARTIROMO: Two questions real quick, before we go. First of all, people want to know how far up the chain this went. Did President Obama give the directive to all of this? I know you probably can't answer that. But, more importantly, Judge, are we going to see... accountability here for the people who perhaps did try to entrap Trump campaign members? MUKASEY: Well, we are going to see accountability. When William Barr says that he is going to conduct an investigation into how all of this got started, and he believes he has good reason to do it, he will follow through. And he said he's putting together a team of people at the Justice Department. They are going to have access to a grand jury. And we will find out what happened. We will find out who was responsible for what happened, which I think accounts for a lot of the reasons that people are accusing him, falsely, of making false statements to Congress. That's an attempt to discredit what he's about to do. But he's not a man easily deterred. </blockquote>