Politics

What Is John Huber Up To? William Barr Finally Tells Us

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Chuck Ross Investigative Reporter
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Attorney General William Barr has finally settled an enduring mystery: Where is John Huber?

Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, was appointed by Barr’s predecessor, Jeff Sessions, in March 2018 to investigate whether the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the politically-charged Trump and Clinton investigations.

One focus of the probe was whether the FBI misled the federal surveillance court in applications for spy warrants against Carter Page.

But Huber has conducted his investigation largely out of public view, leading to widespread speculation about what he was actually doing. Even members of Congress have questioned what Huber was investigating, or if he was leading an investigation at all. House Republicans sent Huber a letter asking him about the status of his investigation in January.

“Your investigation has been ongoing for over nine months,” Republican Reps. Doug Collins, Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows wrote Huber on Jan. 7.

“During the course of our extensive investigation we have interviewed more than a dozen current and former DOJ and FBI personnel, and were surprised to hear none of these potentially informative witnesses testified to speaking with you.”

U.S. Attorney General William Barr testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee May 1, 2019 in Washington, DC. Barr testified on the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Barr answered many of those questions in an interview with CBS News.

Barr said that Huber is currently wrapping up an investigation related to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and has not been involved for months in anything related to the Russia probe.

“The other issues he’s been working on relate to Hillary Clinton. Those are winding down and hopefully we’ll be in a position to bring those to fruition,” said Barr, who did not describe the Clinton probe.

Huber was also initially tasked with reviewing the surveillance warrant applications taken out against Page, a former Trump campaign adviser. The investigation focused on whether the FBI misled the federal surveillance court by relying on the unverified Steele dossier to obtain spy warrants against Page. (RELATED: Who Is John Durham?)

But Huber was sidelined while Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz investigated the surveillance issue, according to Barr.

“And he was essentially on standby in case Mr. Horowitz referred a matter to him to be handled criminally,” Barr told CBS.

Barr told Congress in April that he expected Horowitz’s investigation to wrap up this month or next.

Since then, Barr appointed another U.S. attorney, John Durham, to take over the investigation that was initially handled by Huber.

“So he has not been active on this front in recent months and so Durham is taking over that role,” Barr said of Huber.

Barr has said that he is investigating government agencies’ surveillance activities against the Trump campaign. As part of that effort, Barr asked Trump to grant him the authority to declassify documents related to those surveillance activities. He also asked Trump to direct various government agencies, including the CIA and FBI, to provide documents as part of the investigation.

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