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Politics

No Holds Barr: Spying Did Occur Against Trump

Democrats blast Barr for stating the obvious about FBI surveillance.

Thomas Gallatin · Apr. 11, 2019

During a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr finally called a spade a spade. He responded to a question posed by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) regarding the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign, saying, “I think spying did occur.” Barr continued, “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated, and I am not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated… But I need to explore that. I think it’s my obligation. Congress is usually very concerned about intelligence agencies and law enforcement agencies staying in their proper lane, and I want to make sure that happened. … I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly.”

Barr then noted, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal.”

It is a big deal, which is why Democrats immediately attacked Barr’s credibility. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the way, grousing, “I don’t trust Barr. I trust Mueller.” She added, “How very dismaying and disappointing that the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails. … He is attorney general of the United States of America, not the attorney general of Donald Trump.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer chimed in, “AG Barr must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up. Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the attorney general.” Though it’s not beneath any Democrat.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer charged, “[Barr] is acting as an employee of the president. I believe the attorney general believes he needs to protect the president of the United States.”

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff — the man currently in hot water for notoriously claiming to have evidence that Trump was guilty of Russian collusion while producing none — offered this downright laughable response: Barr “should not casually suggest that those under his purview engaged in spying on a political campaign,” Schiff lectured. “This type of partisan talking point may please Donald Trump, who rails against a deep-state coup, but it also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions.” Please.

The fact of the matter is that the FBI admitted to spying, as has been documented via the FISA warrants for surveillance of members of Trump’s campaign — specifically Carter Page. The only reason the Democrats are so up in arms over Barr’s use of the term “spying” is that in common parlance it evokes more sinister imagery. However, what Democrats are actually more worried about is that Barr is doing what any good AG would do — investigating the investigators to determine whether they were justified in their actions. He’s begun to turn the tables on the Democrats’ longrunning anti-Trump narrative, which could prove that the Washington establishment engaged in a coordinated effort to oppose Trump from the get-go.

(Updated.)

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