Bill Barr dropped a bombshell during Wednesday's hearing with the Senate when he said that he thought spying of the Trump campaign did occur. Backlash was fast and furious.
In this interview, Rep. Ted Lieu, a former prosecutor himself, talked about the usage of that word, the Barr letter and what Mueller may have meant by using the word "establish" when discussing a crime.
Here is a bit of the exchange:
KEILAR: I wonder first, what did you think of Barr use this word "spying" to describe surveillance of the Trump campaign Russian contacts that, in his word, could have been properly predicated?
LIEU: I thank you for your question.
With every passing day, Bill Barr looks less like an independent thinker and more like a pawn of the president. We know that it's been nearly three weeks since Robert Mueller completed his report. Bill Barr still hasn't released it. We know that Bill Barr believes it is the mission of the Department of Justice to defend congressional laws, yet he's doing the bidding of Trump by suing to overturn the law that protects pre-existing conditions. And now he's engaged in conspiracy theories by saying that somehow the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. That's not what happened at all. These were surveillance warrants approved by the deputy attorney general, who happens to be Republican, authorized by four judges, FISA judges, who also happen to be Republicans. This was authorized surveillance.
KEILAR: Barr said he didn't know if this spying was adequately predicated or justified. Barr's loaded language aside, is this an important question to answer because there was no collusion that was found in this when you look at Barr's summary of the Mueller report.
LIEU: So we know that Robert Mueller believed that there was not evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that the president engaged in a conspiracy with the Russians. That doesn't mean that members of his campaign didn't engage in activities that were collusive or the president may have engaged in collusive type activities that did not rise to the level of a federal crime.
As an aside, let me just say for the 1,563th time how annoyed I am that media outlets are taking Barr's clearly slanted summary letter as a truthful and honest representation of the 400 page Mueller report. They are literally feeding right into the narrative the Trump White House wanted - total exoneration. Until we see the report, nothing can be taken as truth. There is a reason they are hiding it and trying every delay tactic in the book to keep the public, or even Congress, from seeing it - THE BARR LETTER IS A FARCE.