Barr says 'I think spying did occur' against Trump campaign

Henrietta Brewer
April 11, 2019

At the House hearing, Barr bluntly defended himself, arguing that portions of the document need to be redacted to comply with the law. He said he could be open to eventually releasing some of the redacted material after consulting with congressional leaders, but maintained he had no plans to seek a judge's approval to disclose grand jury material.

The Democrats are demanding that they see the full report and all its underlying evidence, though Trump and his Republican allies are pushing back.

The attorney general appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee to discuss his department's budget request - normally a sleepy affair - but Democrats, in particular, were more interested in asking questions about the report.

The move from Mr Barr indicates he could well investigate claims that the initial investigation into the US President was biased from the start, according to Bloomberg.

"This process is going along very well and my original timetable of being able to release this by mid-April stands", Barr said.


His appearance came as President Putin made his first public comments on the...

The ostensible goal of the hearing was questioning Barr about the budgetary requests of the Department of Justice, but committee members wasted no time addressing what chairman Rep. José Serrano, D-N.Y., called "the elephant in the room".

Democrats say they will not accept any redactions. They repeatedly confronted him about his choice to release a four-page letter that suggested Trump had been cleared of all wrongdoing in lieu of the full report, and raised concerns that Barr will abuse his redaction power to hide any information in the full report that would be politically damaging to the president.

That letter said that Mr Mueller did not find a criminal conspiracy between Russian Federation and Mr Trump's associates, and that Mr Barr did not believe the evidence in the report was sufficient to prove the president had obstructed justice.

Barr said in the summary that Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice and instead presented evidence on both sides of the question.


National Review contributing editor Andy McCarthy reacts to Attorney General William Barr's testimony on the Mueller report.

"I'm operating under a regulation that was put together during the Clinton administration and does not provide for the publication of the report, but I'm relying on my own discretion to make as much public as I can", he said. Democratic lawmakers expressed frustration after the hearing that Barr wouldn't answer certain questions, such as whether the White House had been briefed about the Mueller report.

Democrats also pressed Barr about redactions related to grand jury proceedings.

If I were John Brennan, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Orr, Andy McCabe, or any of the other Obama administration officials involved in the "counterintelligence" spying that fueled the discredited Russian Federation collusion conspiracy theory, I'd lawyer-up, because this will be intense for the snake-oil merchants who brought disgrace to the most revered investigative and law enforcement agencies in the world.

"Although the House is expected to be in recess that week, I think we can agree this business is too important to wait, and members of the committee will surely return to Washington at such a critical moment in our country's history", he said. Barr said his department had an idea of what would be coming from the Mueller team and therefore had a matter of weeks to think through how it would draft the March 24 letter to Congress.


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