Published: Tue, April 16, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

4 key takeaways from William Barr’s testimony on the Mueller report

4 key takeaways from William Barr’s testimony on the Mueller report

The very same congressional Democrats who maintain "Russiagate" was real are denouncing Attorney General William Barr's claim there was improper surveillance of the Trump campaign as a conspiracy theory.

Cable news and social media were abuzz with one of Barr's earlier word choices, when he told senators that he would look into the work of US intelligence agencies directed at the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election because "spying did occur". Now, he said it would be a big deal if the government had, indeed, illegally spied on a political campaign.

"This struck me like lightning that one person decide - I assume the president wants you to - made this decision and everything that was done by way of proper legislative action has been taken and signature of a president, I just don't ever recall anything like this happening in the past quarter of a century", Sen. "I need to explore that".

Barr's appearance before the committee was his second in Congress since Special Counsel Robert Mueller completed his report on March 22 about Russian interference in the USA election. Barr, who has the right to decide on publishing it, has released a summary that said that Trump had been exonerated of the Russian collaboration allegations, but did not reach a conclusion if was guilty of obstruction of justice.

CivicForumPAC Chairman Ford O'Connell said Barr is "turning out to become President Trump's best cabinet pick".

CivicForumPAC Chairman Ford O'Connell and The Daily Centrist editor-in-chief Rick Ungar on Attorney General William Barr's claim that authorities spied on the Trump campaign and how President Trump criticized Special Counsel Robert Muller's Russian Federation probe.

Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, told CNN.

Democrats accused Barr of trying to legitimise the accusations of spying on the Trump campaign.

You can not rely on the mainstream press to state clearly that this is a conscious and deliberate effort by the Attorney General to validate a conspiracy theory which has no basis and to grease the skids for punitive action against the people who were involved in the investigation.

"I'm a lawyer, I'm not in charge of health care", Barr insisted to a House Appropriations subcommittee.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called on Barr to either produce evidence to back up his "spying" claim or retract his testimony.

Barr testified before lawmakers that he thinks "there was spying" on the Trump campaign and he defined spying as "unauthorized surveillance". He said that though he did not have specific evidence of wrongdoing, "I do have questions about it".

The attorney general appeared before a House appropriations subcommittee to discuss his department's budget request - normally a sleepy affair - but Democrats, in particular, were more interested in asking questions about the report.

Barr has said he will redact information that could interfere with ongoing prosecutions. "I believe the attorney general believes he needs to protect the president of the United States". And they got caught.

Barr said that he would release it next week after redacting portions of it with intelligence material and secret testimonies that can not legally be made public.

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