Following his testimony on Tuesday before the House Subcommittee, Attorney General William Barr appeared on Wednesday before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee.
Much like Tuesday hearing, this hearing had questions regarding the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report, and it’s impending release with redaction’s.
Asked about the upcoming release of the report Barr explains he hopes to have the report with the redaction’s released “hopefully next week.”
Pressed on how Barr, not Mueller, reached the conclusion that President Trump did not commit Obstruction, he said, he would explain more in detail after the release of the report.
SEN @ChrisVanHollen: You concluded Trump didn’t obstruct justice. Do you agree with Mueller that the ‘evidence presents difficult issues of law and fact’?— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 10, 2019
BARR: I’m not commenting on the Mueller report
VAN HOLLEN: But *you* exonerated Trump, not Mueller!
BARR: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ pic.twitter.com/DoldoHnccE
As the News Blender reported on March 24th, Barr released what he called a summary of the principle conclusions based on the Mueller Report.
He writes as to Obstruction of Justice, “Mueller, “did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction,” he adds that he and Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, “concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president.”
For what it’s worth: Barr says in part, when further pressed to explain how he reached the conclusion that President Trump did not commit Obstruction of Justice, in his summary, he answers, “I did not put my view of the report [in?],” he then shakes his head appearing confused by the question, which is as I stated, how did he-Barr, not Mueller reach the conclusion that President Trump did not commit criminal Obstruction of Justice. He finishes by again stating he will explain himself after the reports release.
Barr goes on to explain that he is “reviewing” how the original investigation into Russian and the Trump campaign started, adding, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he is asked if he thought spying occurred on the Trump campaign members and he says, “I think spying did occur,” he goes on to say as a point of clarification, “I’m not saying that improper surveillance occurred.”
The question came about based on reports that Barr has a “team” investigating how the investigation was started. Toward the end of the above clip he says, “I haven’t set up a ‘team’ yet,” and he adds, “this is not an investigation into the FBI.”
Asked again about his comments regarding spying he says he wants to make sure, “there was no unauthorized surveillance.”
For What It’s worth.
There is some reporting that one of the concerns Barr has over the original investigation was how come the Trump campaign wasn’t warned about Russia’s attempt to infiltrate the campaign(s) to interfere with the 2016 election. The closest thing I can come up with is an exchange he has with Senator Lindsey Graham regarding the FISA app process.
AG William Barr tells @LindseyGrahamSC it concerns him that the Trump campaign wasn’t briefed about potential targeting by a foreign entity & he wonders why Trump wasn’t briefed with concerns like @SenFeinstein was when she had a Chinese spy on her staff. pic.twitter.com/K14kaMjvWD— Robby Starbuck (@robbystarbuck) April 10, 2019
In December of 2017 NBC News reported that “In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter.”
The article goes on to say, “The candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns, the officials said.”
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Judiciary Campaign chairman responded to Barr’s “spying” comments via Twitter.
Opinion: This is just an interesting article that explains I thought tied in with “spying.”