April 23, 2019

Inspector General's Probe of Surveillance Against Trump Campaign Almost Completed, Barr Says

16 April 2019, 10:43 | Silvia Roy

Attorney General William P. Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill

Attorney General William P. Barr appears before a House Appropriations subcommittee on Capitol Hill

'I don't trust Barr, I trust Mueller'. It is unclear how much will be blacked out.

That second part of the answer - which can be unpacked only with some deep familiarity with the origins of the intelligence probe, the requirements of getting Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, and whether those warrants count as "spying" - was somewhat lost behind Barr's verbiage.

"We fight back, and you know why we fight back?"

"I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal", said Barr. He later said during the hearing that he wasn't sure there had been improper surveillance and wants to ensure all proper procedures were followed.

Democrats have said his summary is not enough. The FBI and Department of Justice, however, relied on information other than Mr. Steele's dossier in launching its July 2016 investigation into Mr. Trump's key associates, citing a meeting that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign volunteer who pled guilty during the course of the special counsel's investigation to lying to the FBI, had with Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic at a bar in London.

His review is separate from a Justice Department inspector general investigation into the early days of the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which Barr said he expects to conclude sometime around May or June.

(6:55 PM) Tornado Watch In Effect Through Early Monday
In Monroe County, Mississippi, a 95-year-old man identified as Roy Ratliff, died after a tree fell on his mobile home. Tornado warnings remained in effect on Sunday for southeastern Alabama's Barbour and Russell counties, Oravec said.

"Um, did you say that I said that it occurred?"

When a federal appeals court judge ruled two weeks ago that Trump-era legislation and other recent actions meant the entire Affordable Care Act should be overturned, the Justice Department chose to support the ruling - rather than appeal it with a position the department had been advocating previously. We know that the Trump campaign did receive a counterintelligence briefing in the summer of 2016.

Separately, referrals by Mueller gave rise to inquiries by federal prosecutors in Washington, Virginia and NY.

Trump denounced the "dirty cops" and "bad people" at the FBI who worked to send the "crooked" investigation to a special counsel investigator. USA prosecutors in Virginia are investigating secret Turkish lobbying involving Michael Flynn, Trump's fired former national security adviser.

Stone's trial is set to begin in November and Manafort has been hit with state charges in NY, so information about those two men could be redacted.

"We're going to have to make some hard choices", Barr said. This is another way of articulating a long-standing Justice Department policy of not releasing disparaging information about a person unless the individual is indicted.

OnePlus 7, OnePlus 7 Pro expected to launch on May 14
Meanwhile, OnePlus' new phones have been leaked to death on the internet and most of the specs are already known. The very same source shared the OnePlus 7 Pro real-life images last week, along with the phone's specifications.

This is silly. There was a court sanctioned counter-intelligence investigation. Later he praised FBI Director Christopher Wray.

"It was an illegal investigation".

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

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 US election.

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