Donald Trump: Russia Investigation 'an Attempted Coup' by 'Dirty Cops'

Attorney General William Barr gestures as he speaks before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request

The US attorney general William Barr made an explosive declaration in Washington on Wednesday that he believed there was "spying" under Barack Obama's administration on Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign.

Wednesday, USAG William Barr said that he believes "spying did occur" on Donald Trump's Presidential campaign, suggesting the origins of the Russian Federation investigation may have been mishandled and aligning himself with the President on the matter.

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

U.S. Attorney General William Barr might be warming to the idea of a federal law that protects state-legal cannabis programs, a development that could provide a notable boost to federal marijuana reform.

Barr said in his letter that Mueller did not establish that the Trump campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russian Federation.

"What I'm most interested in is getting started, hopefully the attorney general, he mentioned it yesterday".

Barr also said he expected to release a redacted version of Mueller's almost 400-page report next week - possibly a slight change from the estimate he gave Tuesday, when he said the release would be "within a week".

AG Barr was asked about spying by Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS).

"The question is whether it was adequately predicated, and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated", he said. 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.

BRIAN SCHATZ: I think the word spying could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out.

"You'll recall that the special counsel did spin off a number of cases that are still being pursued", Barr told lawmakers.

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.

That second part of the answer - which can be unpacked only with some deep familiarity with the origins of the intelligence probe, the requirements of getting Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, and whether those warrants count as "spying" - was somewhat lost behind Barr's verbiage.

Facing the intensifying concerns from Democrats that he may have whitewashed Mueller's findings, Barr has moved to defend, or at least explain, his handling of the process since receiving the special counsel's report. He says that he's putting a team together of people at the Justice Department to look into this.

He is likely to be asked to further explain himself at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, though it's unclear how much more he will say. And they got caught.

Barr already tipped his hand in January 2019 when appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing.



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