Yesterday’s release of a report by the Department of Justice’s Investigator General was originally anticipated to be a monumental occasion. The belief was that, during the 2016 election, the FBI exploited their authority by utilizing unfit evidence as the basis for a FISA warrant application that was later used to spy on the Trump campaign. This was proof outright of the “Deep State” according to many.
Yet the report has dropped and no smoking gun was found. Sure, the FBI’s work was shown to be rife with clerical errors and strange decision-making, but the IG did not conclude that any political bias was present in the proceedings.
Attorney General Bill Barr is now weighing in, and his take is a more than a little bit different.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr said on Tuesday he is still not fully convinced that the FBI acted without bias when it opened its 2016 investigation into possible links between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.
In his first interview since a report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulting the FBI for missteps in how it sought to put a former Trump campaign adviser under surveillance, Barr said he still has doubts about the FBI’s motives to pursue what he called a “baseless” investigation.
The AG didn’t mince his words:
“I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press,” Barr said.
“I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”
Barr also said he was disturbed by the FBI’s reliance on a dossier penned by former British spy Christopher Steele in order to obtain a wiretap to monitor the campaign adviser Carter Page, saying the dossier was “complete rubbish” and a “complete sham.”
Supporters of President Trump are likely to gravitate toward Barr’s understanding of the report, and will undoubtedly parrot his call for further investigation into the matter.
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