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Barr: I Think Spying on Trump Campaign 'Did Occur'

He plans to investigate whether it was lawful
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2019 11:13 AM CDT
Attorney General William Barr appears before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee to make his Justice Department budget request, Wednesday, April 10, 2019, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(Newser) – Attorney General William Barr was back on Capitol Hill Wednesday and said he believes the government did spy on the Trump campaign and plans to investigate whether it was lawful. Now that the Russia investigation has wrapped up, Barr intends to review the origins of the FBI's investigation of the campaign. NBC News reports Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen asked Barr why, and he replied, "For the same reason we’re worried about foreign influence in elections ... I think spying on a political campaign—it’s a big deal, it’s a big deal."

Barr cited rules adopted in the wake of spying on anti-Vietnam War advocates and said, "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." "You’re not suggesting that spying occurred?" said Shaheen. After a pause, Barr replied in the affirmative: "I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I'm not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated. But I need to explore that." Politico reports he later added, "I have no specific evidence that I would cite right now. I do have questions about it."

(Read more William Barr stories.)

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