“So in a sense, I have more questions today than I did when I first started.”
Attorney General William Barr said in Fox News interview Friday that he is growing increasingly suspicious of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
“I’ve been trying to get answers to questions, and I’ve found that some of the explanations I’ve gotten don’t hang together,” Barr said. “So in a sense, I have more questions today than I did when I first started.”
“America’s Newsroom” anchor Bill Hemmer challenged Barr on why he is looking into how the FBI started its probe of the Trump campaign for potential collusion with Russia.
“Why does that matter?” Hemmer asked the Trump appointee.
Barr laughed slightly at the question, before composing himself and appealing to the same logic that has been used to justify the probes of Trump.
“Because I think people have to find out what the government was doing during that period,” he said. “If we’re worried about foreign influence, for the very same reason we should be worried about whether government officials abused their power and put their thumb on the scale. I’m not saying that happened, but I’m saying we have to look at that.”
Barr in March revealed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation of Trump had failed to turn up evidence of collusion. Based on the report, Barr also determined there was inadequate evidence to charge the president with obstruction of justice.
Several weeks ago, Barr appointed John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, to look into whether the FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign was “lawful and appropriate,” sources revealed Monday.
In April, Barr testified before a Senate panel that he believed “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign. “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he said.
Barr appeared to be alluding at the time to the FBI surveillance warrant on one-time Trump aide Carter Page, as well as the agency’s use of an informant during its investigation into former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos.
Current and former law enforcement officials have insisted that they did nothing wrong in investigating the Trump campaign, saying they needed to determine whether members were conspiring with Russians to interfere in the election. Democrats have suggested Barr is trying to hide damaging information about Trump, and have pledged to continue a number of congressional investigations of the president.
However, Trump and his allies have repeatedly accused the FBI and the “deep state”in general of politically motivated misconduct, and called for an investigation of the investigators. Trump has praised Barr’s comments on the matter.
Soon after Fox posted the teaser on Friday, the president warned of the possibility of “long jail sentences” for officials involved in the early stages of the investigation.
My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2019