William Barr Will Interfere in the Election to Boost Trump, Says MSNBC Analyst: 'A Ruthless...Political Hack'

A national affairs analyst for MSNBC has accused Attorney General William Barr of being a "ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug," predicting he will try to interfere in the American election to benefit President Donald Trump.

Barr has lashed out at Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report on the FBI's handling of its investigation into individuals associated with the Trump 2016 campaign and Russian election meddling, and, unsatisfied with its conclusions, is awaiting the results of a separate probe.

The IG report found no evidence of political bias or improper motivation in the opening of the investigation, named Crossfire Hurricane. Bit it was critical of how the FBI handled FISA applications to place Carter Page, a Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, under surveillance.

"I think there were gross abuses...and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI," Barr told NBC News in an interview on Tuesday. "I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith."

U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham is running Barr's secondary investigation into the FBI's Russia investigation, which became the inquiry led by special counsel Robert Mueller, and its intelligence-gathering processes. Durham's investigation was launched in May.

The attorney general told NBC News he thinks Durham's investigation will reach "an important watershed perhaps in the late spring or early summer," which is a few months out from the 2020 election in November.

Following Barr's interview, John Heilemann, a national affairs analyst for MSNBC, excoriated the attorney general on Lawrence O'Donnell's The Last Word program Tuesday night.

"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug," Heilemann said, giving the example of how Barr allegedly "mischaracterized the Mueller report."

"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and he continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," Heilemann said.

He later continued: "The most terrifying thing...is this notion that this outside probe that he is running, he promised us that we could come to a crescendo of some kind this Spring, which is telegraphing—given the political intent and the kind of political behavior that we have seen from him—that we are going to see Bill Barr try to interfere in the American election come this Spring when he is going to bring out...a cooked investigation to try to advance Donald Trump's political interests. I would bet every dollar of my bank account that we're going to see that whenever this report comes out."

The justice department did not respond immediately to Newsweek's request for comment.

Attorney General William Barr investigation 2020 election
U.S. Attorney General William Barr speaks about the Justice Department's Russia investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign, during the Wall Street Journal's annual CEO Council meeting, at the Four Seasons Hotel on December 10, 2019 in Washington, DC. Mark Wilson/Getty Images