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

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    Attorney General William Barr reacts as he appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. Barr said Wednesday that he was reviewing the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation. He said he believed the president’s campaign had been spied on and he was concerned about possible abuses of government power. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office, and amid intense speculation over his review of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, Attorney General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

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    In his first appearance on Capitol Hill since taking office, and amid intense speculation over his review of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, Attorney General William Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee, on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Published April 10. 2019 01:33PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Attorney General William Barr declared Wednesday he believes “spying did occur” on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, suggesting the origins of the Russia investigation may have been mishandled and aligning himself with the president at a time when Barr’s independence is under scrutiny.

Barr, appearing before a Senate panel, did not say what “spying” had taken place. He later said he wasn’t sure there had been improper surveillance but wanted to make sure proper procedures were followed. Still his remarks give a boost to President Trump and his supporters who insist his campaign was unfairly targeted by the FBI.

Barr was testifying for a second day at a congressional budget hearing that was dominated by questions about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation. Barr said he expects to release a redacted copy of Mueller’s report next week, and Democrats have repeatedly expressed concern that his version will conceal wrongdoing by the president.

Barr, who was nominated to his post by Trump four months ago, was asked about spying by Republican Sen. Jerry Moran. He said that though he did not have specific evidence of wrongdoing, “I do have questions about it.”

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said.

Asked by Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen if he believed spying on the campaign occurred, Barr said, “Yes I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated.”

Barr said he is reviewing his department’s actions in investigating Trump. A separate investigation is being conducted by the Justice Department inspector general into the early days of the FBI’s Russia probe, which Barr said he expects to conclude sometime around May or June.

“I feel that I have an obligation to ensure government power was not abused,” Barr said.

Asked again about spying at the end of the hearing, Barr tempered his tone “I am not saying improper surveillance occurred. I am saying I am concerned about it, and I am looking into it,” he said.

Barr’s reference to “spying” may refer to a secret surveillance warrant that the FBI obtained in the fall of 2016 to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, who has not been charged with any wrongdoing and has denied being a Russian spy. That warrant included a reference to research that was conducted by an ex-British spy who was funded by Democrats to look into Trump’s ties to Russia.

Critics of the Russia investigation say the warrant on Page was unjustified and have also seized on anti-Trump text messages sent and received by one of the lead agents involved in investigating whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia.

At the White House on Wednesday, Trump repeated his claim that the investigation was illegal.

“It was started illegally. Everything about it was crooked. Every single thing about it. There were dirty cops,” he said.

He falsely claimed that the Mueller report had found “no obstruction.” While a four-page letter released by Barr summarizing Mueller’s main conclusions said the special counsel did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump associates around the time of the 2016 election, it also said Mueller had presented evidence on both sides of the obstruction question and ultimately did not reach a conclusion on it.

Barr said he did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice. Democrats said they were concerned that Barr’s letter portrayed the investigation’s findings in an overly favorable way for Trump.

Barr’s statement Wednesday that he expected to release a redacted version of Mueller’s nearly 400-page report next week marked a slight change from the estimate he gave Tuesday, when he said the release would be within a week.

Though he said the document will be redacted to withhold negative information about peripheral figures in the investigation, he said that would not apply to Trump, who is an officeholder and central to the probe.

Comments
Wait... What? Say it ain't so now!
On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch met privately with former President Bill Clinton on board a parked private plane at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Arizona, to talk about...
The plot thickens...
Ans then, how much did the first Kenyan POTUS know?
Heads are going to roll.
The Democrats need to lawyer up, but, Feds seized Porn Star Lawyer, Avenatti's $4.5 million plane amid another tax scandal. He'll have to go by rail.
Spying did occur. Now watch as Democrats who would accept nothing less than a comprehensive two year “no stone unturned” Mueller investigation clamber and poise to minimize any need to bother to look into this any further. Why waste time, money, resources? Why chase water over the dam? Well, now it is a matter of restoring credibility. The coup against President Trump has failed. With some crooked people in high places and the media it almost succeeded. Now it is time to investigate it.
We'll hear who can, and can not be trusted (pelosi), from those who should have never been trusted in the first place (dems). ha ha ha
Bar will assemble a solid team, and heads better roll. Just Saying
In real, non-paranoid loser News. Some Republican thug will have PSP knocking on his door very soon.
Republicans don't typically rely on thuggery. Mob Rule, Resist, Protesting, and Thuggery are tools for fools (communist dems). The Right is called "The Right", for good reason... Right?. You my friend, are confused... again. Get some sleep, put the keyboard down.
Have a nice day Digger.
DO keep the blinders on. You have been drawn in to hate President Trump in part due to your mental vulnerabilities and a never ending fake news cycle. Now, as the sun rises, you are blinded by reality that you still can’t realize. You developed into a hater that isn’t even aware of it. If you were smarter, you would be able to see. Wait as things develop, your ignorant little world will be rocked to the core. Instead, you insult Phantom Republicans on a non-ending basis. Maybe reality will knock on your door very soon. Yea, like that will happen...ever. You, DO, are a rude condescending ignorant punk. If you used your brain instead of your mouth you would learn something. I am going to stick your lies right back down your throat. Clean up your dirty act.
The media will now throw the Dems to the curb. The dems are no longer useful to the media.
I thought this headline was interesting...
"Greg Craig, ex-Obama White House counsel, indicted for alleged false statements about his knowledge of Ukraine"
Heads are rolling.
I think the media is complicit in this. They are shell shocked over the unexpected results. I think the media will still keep going as if nothing happened. I predict that Hillary will all of a sudden require hospitalization. This is always a great sympathy ploy. The press will deny, deflect, and divert attention to other important stories, like Trump Tax Evasion, or other “important events.” The media should apologize. That will never happen. They are embarrassed and want to cover this up. Never! This will be funny as it develops.
You're correct on this being embarrassing for the media. Rush said it best, it was an attempt of "Persecution by public insinuation". The media failed to properly use the "useful idiots" of the Democrat Party. Though, the devil still uses the left minute by minute.

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