E. Patriot – On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr appeared before the House Judiciary Committee.
AG William Barr on why the DOJ is reviewing the FBI's Trump-Russia probe: "I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal." pic.twitter.com/tHVcF1dGd4
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) April 10, 2019
Congresswoman Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) asked a question to assess whether Barr was intent on pursuing the evidence that suggests an illegal spying effort on the Trump campaign by the DOJ and FBI.
Rep. Shaheen: “And, can you share with us why you feel the need to do that?”
A.G. Barr: “Well, for the same reason we’re concerned about foreign influence in elections. We want to make sure that during elections… spying on a political campaign is a big deal.
“The generation that I grew up in, which was the Vietnam War, a period where people were concerned about spying on anti-war people and so forth by the government.
“And there were a lot of rules put in place to make sure that there was 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.
“I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily but intelligence agencies more broadly.”
The implications of an illegal spy campaign, if that is what is Barr finds, would shake the intelligence community to its core. Until Barr took over, no one in a position of authority seemed to have the stomach for risking such fallout.
Barr, perhaps recognizing his place in history, seemed to confirm his intention to discover if the surveillance on the Trump campaign that took place was based on legally obtained FISA warrants.
Or, was the spying that occurred a rogue operation by members of the Obama administration intended to derail Donald Trump?
We gained further insight into what was going on at the FBI as they moved to secure FISA warrants once we got an opportunity to review the transcript of former FBI General Counsel James Baker.
The transcript of Baker’s second round of questioning by House members had been released prior to Barr’s testimony on the morning of April 10th, by Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA).
Today, the transcript of James Baker's second interview with @JudiciaryGOP is now available to the American public. To read the full transcript, visit https://t.co/cI0L4k8Laj. pic.twitter.com/5WubQUlcez
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) April 10, 2019
What was revealed is a potentially explosive rebuke of former FBI officials’ contention that surveillance on the Trump campaign was minimal and only performed because of evidence that Trump was working with Russia in some undetermined way.
Given that the Special Counsel concluded that no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion ever surfaced, it’s hard to determine what evidence might’ve been presented to the FISA court that justified the surveillance that ensued.
Where did the evidence, as thin as it had to have been, come from?
Back in February of this year Former Justice Department attorney Sidney Powell appeared on investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s Full Measure to discuss the likely illegal manner in which that evidence was collected and then manipulated by officials.
Powell and Attkisson discussed FISA court Judge Rosemary Collyer’s scathing 99-page rebuke of the utter disregard for the law that was shown in allowing access to the NSA database to be violated by third-party contractors:
General Counsel Baker’s testimony – or more precisely his refusal to answer – appeared to confirm concerns that FBI investigators were playing fast and loose with applications to the FISC for surveillance warrants:
At that point Baker’s counsel asked for more information. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) obliges:
NSLB refers to the National Security Law Branch that provides legal guidance on these matters.
WUD is the stenographer’s phonetic spelling for would.
The suggestion that there may have been up to 17 FISA applications under consideration is a staggering revelation. Credence was given to Congressman Meadows’ suggestion when Baker refused to answer.
If there had been no additional FISA applications against members of the Trump campaign team that were being considered, the great likelihood is that Baker’s attorneys would’ve allowed him to answer.
There appears to be good reason for Attorney General Barr’s determination to see all the evidence before simply moving on from exposing what may be the greatest criminal conspiracy in the history of presidential politics.
AG William Barr says he believes "there was spying" on the 2016 Trump campaign. pic.twitter.com/mpEwQY5x4i
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) April 10, 2019
“I think spying did occur. Yes, I think spying did occur.
“The question is whether it was adequately predicated. I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.
“I think it is my obligation.”