Barr says ‘I think spying did occur’ against Trump campaign

Modesto Morganelli
Aprile 11, 2019

The attorney general said he would investigate the origins and conduct of the early days of the Russian Federation investigation, a probe separate from an existing inspector general inquiry. Barr said he expected the inspector general's work to be completed by May or June.

Barr's letter announced that Mueller did not establish the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation, and that he declined to take a decision on whether President Trump obstructed justice.

Barr said he expects to release a redacted copy of the report next week.

Barr said in the summary released last month that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice, instead presenting evidence on both sides of the question.

Barr is appearing before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee one day after he testified before a House subcommittee and answered many - though not all - questions from lawmakers about the release of Mueller's almost 400 page report. "So I think it's important in our oversight role to release the full report to Congress". What Barr made clear today is that he wants to get a version of this report out so that people can see it. Barr stated affirmatively that he is still on track to release the redacted report within a week.

Barr identified four categories of redaction that the public could anticipate: (1) grand jury information, (2) information revealing sources and methods of the intelligence community, (3) information that might interfere with ongoing prosecutions and/or the presumption of a defendant's innocence, and (4) information that could affect the privacy or reputational interests of peripheral players mentioned in the report.

Asked about reports that members of Mueller's legal team were unhappy with his handling of the report, Barr said he suspected any discontent may have reflected their desire to put out more information.

Explaining the rapid turnaround for his letter, Barr said, "The thinking of the special counsel was not a mystery to the Department of Justice prior to the submission of the report".

Desperate for new soundbites to prop up this pathetic hedge, Senate Democrats turned a committee hearing that was supposed to be about the Justice Department's budget requests into a kangaroo court to attack Barr. "And then when the report came ... the deputy attorney general and I and our staffs worked closely for the balance ... of Saturday and Sunday". Aderholt referred to the claim that the Federal Bureau of Investigation used the Steele dossier as a means to obtain a warrant on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page - an intermediary that a Russian spy reportedly thought was an "idiot".

It should be noted that Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller probe, also approved the final FISA extension that is the subject of the IG investigation.

"I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016", Barr told the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.

Barr said he would elaborate at hearings scheduled by the House and Senate Judiciary committees at the beginning of next month. Brian Schatz if he wanted to rephrase his language, Barr suggested he intended no nefarious connotations but simply wanted to make sure there was "no unauthorized surveillance".

First is grand jury information, or "6 (e)" material that was obtained during grand jury proceedings, which under the law has to be redacted.

There have been concerns within the Justice Department that it is too easy to open an investigation.

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