'A big mistake': Ex-federal prosecutor slams Barr’s ‘joke’ investigation into the Russia probe — and explains why Kamala Harris made him ‘squirm’

'A big mistake': Ex-federal prosecutor slams Barr’s ‘joke’ investigation into the Russia probe — and explains why Kamala Harris made him ‘squirm’
Image via CSPAN Screengrab

Elie Honig, who served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, on Tuesday explained why he believes Bill Barr’s investigation into the origins of the Russia probe “is a joke” — and knocked the attorney general for his glib response to Sen. Kamala Harris’ line of questioning during his May 1 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Honig explained that Donald Trump doesn’t need to directly ask Barr to open an investigation when the president  is “out there every day on Twitter and making public declarations that ‘we need to look into this, this is the real conspiracy.’”

“It doesn’t require a direct conversation from the president in order for Bill Barr to know what he wants and Bill Barr is I think nothing if not tuned into the president’s political wishes,” Honig said. “And I really think Bill Barr is making a big mistake here.”

Reminded by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that he previously described Barr’s investigation as a joke, Honig replied, “I said it is a joke — that is the PG version.”

“[Barr’s] acting as a political operative first and a serious prosecutor second,” Honig continued. “This is the opposite of what real prosecutors do. In real life when you are prosecuting a case, sometimes you learn that some other office or some other agency has an overlapping investigation. And what we do then is we de-conflict. You sit down with the other agency and make sure all on the same page and not replicating effort or running into each other.”

“Here Barr is throwing a new investigator into the mix,” Honig explained. "It is the opposite of what a serious prosecutor would do.”

Honig also slammed Barr’s lack of candor during a now-infamous exchange with Harris, who sites on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barr was stumped by Harris’ line of questioning as she demanded to know whether someone in the White House “suggested” he open any investigations.

“Bill Barr is a very smart person,” Honig began. “And he gets asked about whether the White House or the president directed him to open an investigation and all of a sudden he can’t hear and understand basic English — like what ‘suggest’ means — and his answer is, ‘I don’t know.’”

“How do you not know?” Honig demanded. “So I’m very suspicious of that response and I — it could well be this is what Barr had in mind when Sen. Harris was asking this which caused him to squirm so badly.”

Watch the video below, via CNN:

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