Demands to “investigate the investigators” have paid off much earlier than any of us might have expected!
In testimony to Congress today, Attorney General William Barr told Congress the FBI is already under investigation for potential FISA abuse and spying violations.
Attorney General William Barr made the announcement on Tuesday that he will be looking into the conduct of the FBI during their 2016 investigation of Trump for collusion with Russia, which he stated should be complete by May or June.
Here’s the breaking news that hit Twitter:
NBC News had the following to say about the investigation:
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday that he is "reviewing the conduct" of the FBI's Russia probe during the summer of 2016, and that the Department of Justice inspector general will release a report on the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process and other matters in the Russia case in May or June.
"I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016," Barr said in public testimony before a House Appropriations subcommittee, his first since last month's release of his four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Barr made the comment during an exchange with Rep. Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., ranking member on the panel, who noted that Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., had referred eight people to the FBI for investigation regarding "alleged misconduct during the Russia investigation including the leak of classified material and alleged conspiracies to lie to Congress and the FISA court in order to spy on then-candidate Trump and other persons."
Fox News has more:
Attorney General William Barr revealed Tuesday that he is reviewing the “conduct” of the FBI’s original Russia investigation during the summer of 2016, following calls from Republicans to investigate the origins of the probe.
Barr testified before a congressional panel in what was his first Capitol Hill appearance since revealing the central findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Barr was grilled by Democrats on the handling of that summary, which stated the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election -- but he was also questioned about the initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants approved to surveil members of the Trump campaign.
Barr explained that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has a pending investigation into the FISA warrants and said the probe will be complete by May or June. He then confirmed he's personally reviewing the investigation itself.
“More generally, I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016,” Barr testified.
The comments come after House Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said over the weekend he was preparing to send eight criminal referrals to the Justice Department this week regarding alleged misconduct by DOJ and FBI officials during the Trump-Russia investigation. It is unclear whom Nunes will refer for investigation, and what the process at the Justice Department might be.
When asked Tuesday about Nunes’ referrals, Barr said he hasn’t seen them yet, but, “Obviously, if there is a predicate for investigation, it will be conducted.”
Barr’s review could dovetail with the work U.S. Attorney John Huber has been doing. In 2017, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions appointed Huber to review not only alleged surveillance abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI but also the handling of the probe into the Clinton Foundation and other matters.
But Republicans have expressed concern about Huber’s investigation, saying he’s made little progress and has not interviewed individuals they believed he should. Republicans, including President Trump, have only stepped up calls to investigate the origins of the Russia investigation with the completion of the Mueller investigation.
The day following Barr’s release of his summary of the Mueller report, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said his panel would investigate alleged FISA abuses at the start of the Russia investigation and called on Barr to appoint a new special counsel to investigate “the other side of the story.” Graham has been calling for a second special counsel since 2017 to investigate “whether or not a counterintelligence investigation was opened as a back door to spy on the Trump campaign.”
The Washington Examiner commented:
Attorney General William Barr said Tuesday he is "reviewing the conduct" of the FBI's initial investigation into the Trump campaign in the summer of 2016.
During a House Appropriations panel hearing, Barr also said he is open to reviewing criminal referrals from House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes, R-Calif., targeting eight people tied to the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation.
"I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted in the summer of 2016," Barr testified.
The FBI's original Russia investigation, which began in July 2016, was later wrapped into special counsel Robert Mueller's inquiry looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion between President Trump's campaign and the Kremlin.