- US Attorney General William Barr accuses the FBI of spying on Trump’s campaign.
- Barr now wants to investigate whether the federal police had been legally authorized to investigate the possible involvement of Trump’s team with Russia.
- The Democrats consider Barr’s allegations “shocking and disappointing.”
US Attorney General William Barr wants to get to the bottom of the origins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s probe into the Donald Trump campaign. At a pre-congressional hearing, Barr said on Wednesday that he believes the FBI may have spied the Trump camp. “I think espionage took place.”
The question is whether this was sufficiently substantiated. This needs to be investigated and he will put together a team. Barr added that this was not an investigation against the FBI. Later, he made it clear that he did not want to say that improper surveillance had taken place. He was worried about it and wanted to look at it.
The FBI had begun an investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign camp and Russia in the summer of 2016. The federal police obtained permission in court to monitor former Trump consultant Carter Page, arguing that Page had been specifically recruited by the Russian government.
The investigation was later taken over by special investigator Robert Mueller, who recently completed his work. He has apparently found no evidence against Trump or his team. Barr has summarized Mueller’s final report for the public but has not published yet. At the hearing, he said the report would be published with blackened passages “hopefully next week”.
Trump has repeatedly argued that the origins of the FBI investigation should be scrutinized. On Wednesday, he said it was an “attempted coup” to force him out of office. “What they did was a betrayal.”
Democrat Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, naturally disagrees. She considers it “shocking and disappointing” that “the top prosecutor of our country derailed so much”. Barr is the US Secretary of Justice, not Donald Trump’s lawyer.