Obama and Biden Are Not Under Investigation After Trump Cries 'Obamagate,' Says Attorney General
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said former President Barack Obama and presumptive 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden are not under investigation after President Donald Trump repeated baseless complaints about his political rivals.
On Monday, Barr addressed the issue during an unrelated press conference, shooting down the idea that the Department of Justice is investigating the former president and vice president, USA Today reported.
“The criminal justice system will not be used for partisan political ends,” said Barr, who was appointed by Trump in late 2018.
Trump, 73, has yet to explain what exactly he's accusing Obama, 58, and Biden, 77, of doing.
Trump's history of lashing out at his presidential predecessor dates back to his popularizing of the debunked racist conspiracy theory that Obama wasn't born in America and has continued throughout his presidency. Most recently as the reality star-turned-politician has laid the blame for the country's coronavirus response on Obama, who handed over the Oval Office to Trump in January 2017.
Last week, Trump complained that Obama had committed "biggest political crime in American history," but wouldn't elaborate on what he was talking about when reporters asked.
"You know what the crime is," Trump told reporters at the White House. "The crime is very obvious to everybody, all you have to do is read the newspapers.”
Obama, like other U.S. presidents before him, has largely refrained from giving a public opinion on the Trump administration since leaving office in 2017 but has made a handful of veiled references in recent weeks to the Trump administration's criticized management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The former president appeared to criticize Trump during his 2020 virtual commencement speech over the weekend, which dominated the headlines about Obama's online message to graduating seniors.
"All those adults that you used to think were in charge and knew what they were doing? It turns out that they don’t have all the answers," Obama said. "A lot of them aren’t even asking the right questions."
Following Trump's repeated attacks and his son Eric's suggestion on Fox News this weekend that Democrats were "milking" the COVID-19 pandemic in order to damage his father's re-election hopes, the Biden campaign had questions of its own about the motives behind Trump and his allies' escalated attacks on the Obama-Biden camps this month.
“Trump's campaign knows he can't run on that dismal record, so they're desperate to do whatever they can to throw up a smokescreen to try to conceal his historic mismanagement of this crisis,” Biden campaign spokesperson Kate Bedingfield said in a statement, according to The Washington Post.
At least 89,800 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus, while the New York Times reports the country surpassed 1.5 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Monday.
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a GoFundMe.org fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.