Attorney General William Barr confirmed Wednesday during a Senate hearing that the FBI had spies in President Trump’s campaign during the bureau’s investigation into alleged collusion with Russia.
The bombshell statement was made during his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee in a back and forth exchange with Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen. He confirmed that spying occurred against the campaign in 2016.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” said Barr.
Shaheen then questioned Barr if he believed the bureau spied on members of the Trump campaign.
“You’re not suggesting, though, that spying occurred?” Shaheen followed-up.
“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur,” AtTorney general William Barr
“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” Barr said.
“I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicted, but I need to explore that,” said Barr, who has set up a team at the Department of Justice to investigate the origins of the Obama administration’s FBI and DOJ investigation into Trump. The FBI had placed confidential informants in direct contact with members of the campaign, according to reports. The FBI’s investigation was code-named Crossfire Hurricane and concern among lawmakers has escalated over the past several years- as evidence surfaced – that the bureau used unverified information in dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, which was paid for by the DNC and Hillary Clinton campaign.
Barr also alluded to information that suggested the FBI conducted unauthorized surveillance against members of the campaign.
“I believe there is a basis for my concern, but I’m not going to discuss it,” Barr said.