Sunday, 21 July, 2019

4 key takeaways from William Barr’s testimony on the Mueller report

4 key takeaways from William Barr’s testimony on the Mueller report Trump urges investigation of FBI actions
Anna Jefferson | 16 April, 2019, 10:44

A separate investigation is being conducted by the Justice Department inspector general into the early days of the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which Barr said he expects to conclude sometime around May or June.

But at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill on Wednesday morning, Barr said: "I think spying did occur" on the Trump campaign.

What did the attorney general say?

LUCAS: So Barr was asked by Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen whether he actually thinks that the US government spied on the Trump campaign.

The attorney general appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee to discuss his department's budget request - normally a sleepy affair - but Democrats, in particular, were more interested in asking questions about the report.

At Tuesday's hearing, Democrats said they were concerned that a four-page summary letter of the report's main conclusions Barr released last month portrayed the findings in an overly favorable way for President Trump.

And the senator asked, "Are you going to be in a position to defend the law" now that DOJ is against it? "But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated". And there were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there was an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance, ' he added. They were spying on - a term I don't particularly like - but on what the Russians were doing. Barr "must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up".

CHANG: So President Trump has accused the Obama administration before of spying on his campaign.

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I want to show you a couple clips from Bill Barr's testimony today.

Asked Tuesday whether he ever conveyed such concerns to the White House, Barr told lawmakers he had "ample opportunity to present my views" to the White House.

A source familiar with Barr's thinking, however, said that he referred to "spying" in the "classic sense" of intelligence collection, not as "pejorative".

Shaheen then questioned Barr if he believed the bureau spied on members of the Trump campaign.

Barr said he hasn't specifically studied the States Act himself, but the Justice Department is reviewing the legislation. In other words, while saying he simply needs to "look into it", he is quite consciously validating Trump's claims of "Deep State" spying going back two years.

BARR: Is that more appropriate in your mind?

"Maybe he wasn't listening... but they advised him", Lemon said of the president.

Mr. Trump's allies have long argued that Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department officials should have disclosed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Mr. Steele's dossier was indirectly funded by the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for President, through a law firm named Perkins Coie.

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