Barr wants to investigate origins of agencies 'spying' on Trump campaign

Home Legal  William Barr To Investigate FBI For Investigating Trump By Farron Cousins

CNN's chyron read: "BARR: "I THINK SPYING DID OCCUR" ON TRUMP CAMPAIGN".

I think spying did occur.

Barr would later hedge somewhat, adding "I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred".

That's what Barr is telling Congress during his testimony before a Senate subcommittee hearing.

Democrats were loaded for bear, but Barr warded off their jabs, explaining the process by which the report is being reviewed and making some news along the way.

At the White House on Wednesday, Trump repeated his claim that the investigation was illegal. "I'm not talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation necessarily but intelligence agencies more broadly".

President Donald Trump and other Republicans have dubbed the counterintelligence probe "Spygate", especially regarding the FBI's use of an informant named Stefan Halper.

However, as reported by CNN's Manu Raju, he justified his decision to personally clear the president of obstruction charges by saying, "that's generally how the Department of Justice works". The one possible exception he left open: If the chairmen of the Senate and House Judiciary Committees wanted to see the full report, Barr seems to suggest he would be willing to talk to them about that.

And he admitted Tuesday that he "was not interested in putting out summaries" of the investigators' conclusions - even though the Mueller's team had itself prepared summaries for quick release. He said there are no plans to release an unredacted version.

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz is now investigating whether or not federal investigators abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, in order to get a warrant to investigate former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The president did not name them but has previously blamed Justice Department officials and former FBI Director James Comey.

United States intelligence officials have previously said they were spying on the Russians, not the Trump campaign.

Barr, who was appointed by Trump, is already facing criticism by congressional Democrats for how he has handled the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report into the Russian Federation probe and his comments about surveillance brought more derision from Democratic senators. Barr didn't answer, insisting he has said everything he planned to say about the report until it comes out.

President Donald Trump says he has spoken to the USA attorney general about tracing the origins of the inquiry that cleared him of colluding with Russian Federation.

Barr responded that he planned on "reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed against - at the Trump campaign during 2016".

Barr told senators on Wednesday that he believed the Trump campaign had been spied on, but "the question is whether it was adequately predicated".

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