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AG Barr: Trump Campaign “Was Clearly Spied On” – Never Colluded With Russian, But This Person Did

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AG Barr: Trump Campaign “Was Clearly Spied On” – Never Colluded With Russian, But This Person Did

Attorney General William Barr slammed the Obama administration for their behavior back during the 2016 election.

During an interview with NBC News, AG Barr named officials in the Obama administration for the way they were in communication with the Russians during the so-called meddling that took place. The interviewer asked Barr why he felt that the FBI opened a full-blown investigation with only paper-thin bit of evidence.

Here is how that conversation went:

WILLIAMS: Mr. Attorney General, why do you say that the FBI opened the investigation of the Trump campaign on the thinnest of suspicions?

BARR: Well, I’m glad to get into the issue of predication, but let me just start out by saying that I think you have to put this in context. I think the heart of the IG’s report really focused on how the investigation was conducted once it got going.

And that is especially the very serious abuses of FISA that occurred, much of which has been, in my view, not accurately reported by the press over the last day.

But in one area I do disagree with the IG, and that was whether there was sufficient predication to open a full-blown counterintelligence investigation, specifically using the techniques that they did, to collect intelligence about the Trump campaign.

WILLIAMS: Well — well, as a policy matter, why — why not open an investigation on a thin pretext? I guess, on the one hand, you could say it’s a presidential campaign, it’s very sensitive, you need better evidence. On the other hand, you could say, it’s a presidential campaign, we have to be very careful, there could be a threat to our political process.

BARR: Well, I think — I think probably, from a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state, principally the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies, both to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election.

As far as I’m aware, this is the first time in history that this has been done to a presidential campaign, the use of these counterintelligence techniques against a presidential campaign.

And we have to remember, in today’s world, presidential campaigns are frequently in contact with foreign persons. And, indeed, in most campaigns, there are signs of illegal foreign money coming in. And we don’t automatically assume that the campaigns are nefarious and traitors and acting in league with foreign powers. There has to be some basis before we use these very potent powers in our core First Amendment activity.


Photo Credit: Office of Public Affairs

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