Blumenthal Demands AG Barr Recant Belief That FBI Spied On Trump

David Krayden | Ottawa Bureau Chief

Democratic Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal is demanding that Attorney General William Barr “retract his unfounded, irresponsible claim that American law enforcement ‘spied’ on the Trump Campaign.”

Blumenthal made the remarks in a Wednesday tweet and insisted that “the only spies interfering in the 2016 campaign were Russian ones.”

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee judge Brett Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 4, 2018. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Barr appeared to try to clarify what kind of spying occurred on Wednesday during testimony before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. (RELATED: Lindsey Graham Says AG Barr ‘Pretty Upset’ Over FBI’s Hillary Clinton Email Investigation) 

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr told Democratic New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

“You’re not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?” Shaheen asked.

“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” Barr said. (RELATED: AG Barr’s Testimony Revives ‘Spygate’ Debate)

That didn’t sit well with Blumenthal, who further tweeted that Barr has “absolutely no evidence that our nation’s own law enforcement officers did anything unlawful during their investigation into Russian meddling in our democracy. To recklessly suggest otherwise is deeply offensive — & worse, it is dangerous.”

U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus and U.S. Attorney General William Barr participate in a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates for the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S. April 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Administration Lee Lofthus and U.S. Attorney General William Barr participate in a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the proposed budget estimates for the Department of Justice in Washington, U.S. Apr, 10, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott

Barr reportedly also indicated Tuesday that he would be assembling a “team” of investigators to assess whether the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign.

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. With the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller over and the Russian collusion conspiracy theory appearing discredited, questions remain as to what, if any, compelling evidence existed to warrant an FBI investigation.

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Tags : federal bureau of investigation richard blumenthal russia spygate william barr
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