The Washington Post reports:
Attorney General William P. Barr said Wednesday he thought “spying” on a political campaign occurred in the course of intelligence agencies’ investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election — a startling assertion by the nation’s top law enforcement official.
At a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barr was asked about his statement a day earlier that he would review how the FBI launched its counterintelligence investigation that sought to determine whether Donald Trump’s associates were interacting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal,” said Barr, noting that there are long-held rules to prevent intelligence agencies from collecting information on domestic political figures.
NBC News reports:
Barr said that he grew up during the Vietnam War when there was spying on anti-war advocates by the U.S. government and there were rules put in place to ensure there’s an adequate basis for it. “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated [now], but I think it’s important to look at that. I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,” he said.
Shaheen then asked, “You’re not suggesting that spying occurred?” Barr paused for several seconds and replied, “I think spying did occur,” though he didn’t elaborate further. Barr declined to elaborate further when Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., chairman of the panel, asked what the basis was for Barr’s remarks. “There is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss the basis,” Barr said.
Attorney General William Barr, appearing before Congress for a second straight day on Wednesday, said the government spied on the Trump campaign and said he would look into whether any rules were violated https://t.co/xFnvUJ5VG0
— The New York Times (@nytimes) April 10, 2019
William Barr appeared to back up Trump’s assertion that the Justice Department “spied” on his presidential campaign, and he suggested that the DOJ was gearing up to investigate the origins of the counterintelligence probe into Russian election interferencehttps://t.co/bKrFtT2Qa2
— POLITICO (@politico) April 10, 2019