Barr: No Evidence That Trump Investigation Was Improper

Stefani Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA

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Here’s the headline that’s still on the New York Times front page:

Via Axios, here’s the full exchange:

Barr: I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. … 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. I’m not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.): But you’re not suggesting that spying occurred?

Barr: I don’t … well … I guess you could — I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur. But the question is whether it was predicated, adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.

What Barr is talking about is normally referred to as “investigation.” The FBI did indeed investigate various members of the Trump campaign, and there has never been the slightest evidence that it was improper. The case was precipitated by a tipsy George Papadopoulos telling an Australian diplomat that the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. The Australians reported the meeting and the FBI began its investigation.

So perhaps a better headline would be something like this: “Barr: No Evidence That Trump Investigation Was Improper.”

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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