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


During Wednesday's hearing, Barr responded to a question about news reports that he had a special team looking at why the FBI opened a special investigation of Trump during the 2016 campaign.

"I think spying did occur", he said. "I think that is one of the principal roles of the attorney general".

"I'm not talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly", he said.

Coons said he is not, adding Barr's actions have "created more confusion" than it has created transparency.

As Attorney General Willaim Barr sat before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee Wednesday to discuss the Justice Department's budget 2020, the nation's top law-enforcement official said he supports a ban on marijuana around the U.S.

"I feel that I have an obligation to ensure government power was not abused". He has said he will release a redacted version of the document within a week.

In March 2017, Trump accused his predecessor in the White House, Barack Obama, of "wire tapping" the Trump Tower offices in NY before the presidential election in November 2016, claiming the former president had overseen a "Nixon/Watergate"-style intervention".

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The issue came up as Barr continued to be pressed by Democrats to give lawmakers Special Counsel Robert Mueller's full report and the evidence behind it.

The attorney general is overseeing the release to Congress of a report by Mueller about his 22-month probe into whether members of Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation during the White House race and if he obstructed official inquiries into the matter. That was one of four criteria Barr has said he is using to redact Mueller's almost 400-page report. They say that was the start of the probe that Trump calls a "witch hunt" and that Mueller took over after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. "If Barr tells him to redact anything vis-a-vis people who have not been indicted, then I'm sure that's what Bob Mueller will do".

Murkowski told Barr that there would be a group of senators willing to work with him and the Justice Department after the department's review.

Gardner said in a statement that he met with Barr earlier this year to discuss "the disconnect between federal and state marijuana laws" since most USA states and several territories and tribes allow some form of marijuana.

By "predicated", Barr likely means he will look into whether the evidence used to kickstart the FBI's 2016 investigation was solid.

Amid fresh charges by Trump that he was the target of an "attempted coup", Bill Barr told lawmakers the Federal Bureau of Investigation may have gone too far in opening a counterintelligence probe into Trump's 2016 operation.

Although he was non-specific about what he was referring to by spying, Barr mentioned the intelligence community. The dossier was paid for by the Democratic National Committee and the campaign of Trump's opponent in the election, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.