Top U.S. Senate Democrat says Barr should retract spying statement

Alicia Farmer
April 16, 2019

Barr wouldn't discuss the substance of the special counsel's investigation into possible connections between Russian Federation and Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, but he did explain some of what to expect when the report is released: He said the redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining any decisions to withhold information.

"The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russian Federation in its efforts to influence the 2016 USA presidential election", Mr. Barr wrote in a letter to Congress.

"The attorney general should be able to advance positions that he believes are defensible and reasonable legal positions, even if they are not positions that the attorney general would adopt if the attorney general was a judge deciding the case", Barr told lawmakers at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing.

"I don't trust Barr, I trust Mueller", Pelosi said Wednesday to the Associated Press. "Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the Attorney General".

AG Barr said he expects to release a redacted copy of SC Mueller's report next week, and Dems are expressed concern that his version will hide wrongdoing by the President.

"Once we get those comments, we'll be able to work with you on any concerns about (the bill)", he said in response to questions asked by Sen. "But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated". He later said he wasn't sure there had been improper surveillance but wanted to make sure proper procedures were followed.

BRIAN SCHATZ: I think the word spying could cause everybody in the cable news ecosystem to freak out. Barr "must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up".

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Barr, appearing before a Senate panel, did not say what "spying" had taken place but seemed likely to be alluding to a surveillance warrant the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained on a Trump associate.

Barr's answer fit in with the views of President Donald Trump and some Republican lawmakers, who have called for an investigation into the intelligence agencies and into whether a warrant was obtained against a Trump campaign official, an American citizen, with unverified information.

"Maybe he wasn't listening... but they advised him", Lemon said of the president. I am saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it.

Barr said the legislation is still being reviewed by his office but that he would "much rather. the approach taken by the STATES Act than where we now are".

He is likely to be asked to further explain himself at a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing Wednesday, though it's unclear how much more he will say.

She also accused Barr of doing Trump's political bidding in his testimony at the April 10 Senate hearing.

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