“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016.”
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday he will be “reviewing the conduct” of the FBI and how it handled an investigation into the Trump campaign that started in the summer of 2016, NBC News reported.
During a House Appropriations panel hearing, Barr said he plans to examine whether any FBI misconduct occurred in the lead up to the original investigation into Trump.
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“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016,” Barr told the panel.
The FBI started its counterintelligence investigation into Russian election meddling in July of 2016, eventually wrapping that investigation into the Mueller probe that specifically examined whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
Republicans have accused the FBI of bias in its approach to the investigation, citing anti-Trump text messages that were exchanged between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The messages revealed the two plotted to undermine Trump ahead of the election.
The GOP has also pointed to the fact that opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign was used to obtain FISA warrants to surveil Trump associate Carter Page in the lead up to the election, as evidence of the FBI’s mishandling of the Russia investigation.
Rep. Devin Nunes, R-C.A., who has been conducting his own investigation into the FBI and Department of Justice, said he has evidence of misconduct including an alleged conspiracy to lie to Congress and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Barr said that although he has not yet seen Nunes’ referrals, an investigation into them would be conducted if necessary.
“Obviously, if there is a predicate for investigation, it will be conducted,” Barr said.
Barr’s investigation comes as Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., pledged the Senate will continue investigating the origins of the Mueller investigation and potential misconduct at the FBI and Department of Justice.
Barr, who provided a four-page summary of the Mueller investigation to Congress last month that determined there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, also said he plans on finishing his work to release the full redacted Mueller report to the public within a week.
Meanwhile, Democrats have demanded the Mueller report be released in full without redactions and promised to continue their own investigations into the president.
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