At a Senate questioning Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr suggested, without evidence, that U.S. intelligence agencies were “spying” on the Trump campaign. Former Attorney General Eric Holder took to Twitter to set the record straight.
“When there is a predicate, a legitimate basis, it’s called ‘investigating’ not ‘spying,'” Holder wrote. “I am confident that the people at DOJ/FBI conducted themselves in an appropriate way. No evidence to suggest otherwise.”
When there is a predicate, a legitimate basis, it’s called “investigating” not “spying”. I am confident that the people at DOJ/FBI conducted themselves in an appropriate way. No evidence to suggest otherwise. https://t.co/15QDByxKgM
— Eric Holder (@EricHolder) April 10, 2019
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr told senators Wednesday.
“There were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there’s an adequate basis before our law enforcement agencies get involved in political surveillance,” he added. “I’m not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that.”
When directly asked by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) if he believed spying occurred, Barr hesitated before affirming his position.
“I don’t … well, I guess you could — I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur,” he answered before immediately backtracking.
“But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated,” he said. “And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”
Watch the video below:
Attorney General Bill Barr says spying on the Trump campaign "did occur." But the question, he says, was it "adequately predicated?" He's conducting an investigation to find out. https://t.co/Zi823UT9w2 pic.twitter.com/qe5SJ6UaNT
— Justin Fishel (@JustinFishelABC) April 10, 2019
Barr later added that he had “no specific evidence” to support that the FBI or any U.S. intelligence agency spied on the Trump campaign.
Democratic lawmakers followed Holder’s lead and disputed the attorney general’s statement. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) told CNN that Barr “almost seems to be endorsing one of these theories that has been debunked time and time again.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) expressed his confusion and announced that he asked the Justice Department to clear up Barr’s comment.
These comments directly contradict what DOJ previously told us. I’ve asked DOJ to brief us immediately. In the meantime, the AG still owes us the full Mueller report. #ReleaseTheReport https://t.co/DFOP5igcnO
— (((Rep. Nadler))) (@RepJerryNadler) April 10, 2019
“In the meantime, the AG still owes us the full Mueller report,” he added.