Attorney General Bill Barr dropped a bomb on the left on Wednesday during his testimony to the Senate Appropriations Committee, saying he has reason to believe there was spying on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said to Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
“You’re not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?” Shaheen followed up.
“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” Barr said.
“I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that,” he added.
Later in the hearing, Barr implied that he had information that made him believe that without authorization, the FBI was monitoring the Trump Campaign.
“I believe there is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss it,” Barr stated.
The Daily Caller reported:
Barr was discussing his plans to investigate the FBI’s decision to open a counterintelligence investigation against Trump campaign associates. The bureau used confidential informants and relied heavily on the Democrat-funded Steele dossier as part of the investigation, which was code-named Crossfire Hurricane.
President Donald Trump and other Republicans have dubbed the counterintelligence probe “Spygate,” especially regarding the FBI’s use of an informant named Stefan Halper. Halper, a former Cambridge professor, made contact with at least three Trump campaign advisers, Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.
Democrats have bristled at the term “spy” to describe the FBI’s confidential human sources.
Barr said that he plans to form a team to gather information from the Justice Department and Capitol Hill related to the FBI’s investigation, which was formally opened on July 31, 2016.
As the hearing continued, Barr made it clear that he had plans to investigate the FBI.
“I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that,” Barr noted.
“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of the intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016,” he said.
“This is not launching an investigation of the FBI,” he added. “To the extent there were any issues at the FBI, I do not view it as a problem that’s endemic to the FBI. I think there was probably a failure among a group of leaders there at the upper echelon, so I don’t like to hear attacks of the FBI.”