Attorney General Barr Prefers Marijuana Federalism Over the Current Confusing Mess

Erika Holt
April 11, 2019

When asked at a Senate hearing why he felt the need to further probe how US intelligence agencies conducted themselves in the Russian Federation investigation, Barr said he thought "spying on a political campaign is a big deal". "Yes, I think spying did occur", Barr replied. "I think he is doing exactly the right thing".

"I'm not talking about the Federal Bureau of Investigation necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly", he said. "You're not suggesting that spying occurred?" said Shaheen.

A separate investigation is being conducted by the Justice Department inspector general into the early days of the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which Barr said he expects to conclude sometime around May or June.

He added: "I feel I have an obligation to make sure government power is not abused".

President Trump said he has not seen or read the full version of the Mueller report.

Trump also stated that "I don't care" about the report from special counsel Robert Mueller that Barr says he will release in the coming days in redacted form.

The Mueller investigation has just wrapped up and, although the US Congress and the public have not yet seen the resulting report, Barr issued his own summary that said Mueller had not found collusion. Barr will appear before a Senate panel today where lawmakers are expected to question him again about the Mueller report. "It was an illegal investigation" launched by "dirty cops".

Last week, the House Judiciary Committee authorized a subpoena for the full Mueller report. The attorney general's testimony on Wednesday confirmed they have an ally at the Justice Department who may help with reviving questions about investigators' practices now that the worst political peril from Mueller apparently has passed.

At the Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing, Democratic Senator Brian Schatz pressed Barr on his use of the term "spying", which he called "unnecessarily inflammatory".

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Barr said he was "shocked" when he saw these texts for the first time.

Barr said he is reviewing his department's actions in investigating Trump.

"It's entirely possible that Barr will surprise us by redacting very little", Schiff conceded.

Barr plans to investigate the FBI's decision to open a counterintelligence investigation against members of the Trump campaign.

The allegation that the surveillance was illegitimate, or at least politically motivated, is part of a broader set of allegations that have collectively come to be known as Spygate.

The former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was asked on ABC in May previous year if the Federal Bureau of Investigation had indeed snooped on the Trump team.

Barr responded that he planned on "reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed against - at the Trump campaign during 2016".

Supporters of the probe insist that U.S. officials were acting appropriately and in the public interest by investigating claims over the Trump campaign's engagements with Russian-linked figures.

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