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Should possible spying on the Trump campaign be investigated?

Barr: Spying ‘Did Occur’ on Trump Campaign – Should It Be Investigated?

by Countable | 4.12.19

What’s the story?

  • Attorney General William Barr suggested to lawmakers Wednesday that he believes President Donald Trump's presidential campaign was spied on by the Justice Department—and that he’s ordering a review of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian collusion.
"I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal," Barr said, echoing claims made by Trump. "I think spying did occur."

The exchange in full

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the ranking member on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee, asked Barr why he is looking into the origins of the investigation.

Barr: "For the same reason we're worried about foreign influence in elections, I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. I'm not suggesting those rules were violated but I think it's important to look at. . . . I think it's my obligation."

After a brief discussion about the U.S. spying on anti-war advocates during the Vietnam War, Barr continued: “I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, 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: “You’re not suggesting that spying occurred?”

Barr paused for several seconds before replying: “I think spying did occur.”

The AG did not elaborate on his claim.

What are Democrats saying?

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she’s disappointed in the AG’s comments.
“Let me just say how very, very dismaying and disappointing that the chief law enforcement officer of our country is going off the rails, yesterday and today. He is the attorney general of the United States of America, not the attorney general of Donald Trump.”
  • "I'm amazed that the AG would make that kind of statement, I think it's in many ways disrespectful to the men and women who work in the DOJ, and it shows, I think, either a lack of understanding or willful ignorance on what goes into a counterintelligence investigation," Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN.
  • House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY), who authorized the subpoena for the Mueller report, tweeted:

What do you think?

Are you concerned that the DOJ may have spied on the Trump campaign? How should it be investigated? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman

Countable

Written by Countable

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