President Donald Trump’s own FBI Director, Christopher Wray, pushed back on repeatedly debunked claims that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign while testifying on Capitol Hill on Tuesday morning.
Attorney General Bill Barr has revived Trump’s “Spygate” conspiracy theory multiple times in an effort to delegitimize the damning Mueller report.
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“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Barr said last month during a Congressional hearing. “I think spying did occur.”
Except that it didn’t occur. The FBI secured FISA warrants which were signed by FISA judges allowing the federal law enforcement agency to conduct surveillance on Trump’s campaign due to probable cause of possible Russian infiltration.
The FBI did their job, not something criminal.
And even Wray backed his agency on Tuesday after Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) asked him about Barr’s spying accusation.
“I was very concerned about his use of the word ‘spying,’ which I think is a very loaded word,” Shaheen began. “It conjures up a criminal connotation. When FBI agents conduct surveillance against alleged mobsters, suspected terrorists and other criminals, do you believe they are engaging in spying when they are following FBI investigative policies and procedures?
“That’s not the term I would use,” Wray replied. “I Believe the FBI has engaged in investigative activity and part of investigative activity is surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes and to me the key question is making sure it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”
Here’s the video via Twitter.
FBI Director Christopher Wray pushes back on Bill Barr’s use of the loaded term “spying” to describe investigation of Trump campaign.
“That’s not the term I would use… to me the key question is making sure it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.” pic.twitter.com/65HI19vzIa
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 7, 2019
Needless to say, Trump and Barr are likely to be disappointed with that answer because they are trying to demonize the FBI investigation into allegations of Russian interference in 2016, an investigation that Trump repeatedly sought to obstruct at least ten times according to the Mueller report.
They think they can wipe away the crimes he committed by arguing that the investigation was illegitimate. But the FBI clearly followed procedure, had enough evidence to ask for a warrant and got those warrants signed by FISA judges and Justice Department officials, including Trump’s own Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who also appointed Mueller in the first place.
This real witch hunt against the FBI should not be tolerated and Barr should be ashamed of himself for doing Trump’s bidding.
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