Attorney General William Barr has reportedly commissioned a “team” to assess why the FBI began spying on then-candidate Donald Trump’s presidential election campaign in 2016.
Although a separate inspector general report on whether the FBI abused its surveillance powers is anticipated by May or June, another investigation is well underway, according to a Tuesday report from Fox News.
Barr apparently made reference to the team Tuesday while testifying before Congress.
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr said at the hearing. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Says AG Barr ‘Pretty Upset’ Over FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation)
Republicans want to know what prompted the FBI to seek FISA warrants and to conduct a serious counterintelligence operation against the Trump campaign and many of its members. Now that the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller is over and the Russian collusion conspiracy theory appears discredited, questions remain as to if there was any compelling evidence to warrant an FBI investigation.
It was revealed that the agent who began the probe, Peter Strzok, was emphatically anti-Trump and was having an affair with for FBI lawyer Lisa Page. (RELATED: Peter Strzok’s Boss Thought Extramarital Affair Made Him Vulnerable To Foreign Intelligence)
Page insisted there was nothing unusual about the FBI initiating surveillance based upon a “small amount of evidence.”
Former FBI Director James Comey also admitted that surveillance on the Trump team began when the bureau “didn’t know whether we had anything,” an absence of information that continued until Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, Fox News notes.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Barr testified that he was concerned about the FBI’s “conduct” in the summer of 2016 period. Barr had not testified before Congressional representatives since he was confirmed as attorney general. He promised to deliver the Mueller report — with portions redacted for privacy and security concerns — in around a week.