Top Democrats Up In Arms Over Barr’s ‘Spying’ Comment

on January 17, 2019 in Washington, DC.
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is part of a Congressional delegation scheduled for an overseas trip, speaks to members of the media January 17, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington,... WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who is part of a Congressional delegation scheduled for an overseas trip, speaks to members of the media January 17, 2019 at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. In a letter to Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), President Donald Trump announced the postponement of the trip to visit U.S. service members in Afghanistan, and a stop in Brussels to meet with NATO officials. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) MORE LESS

Attorney General William Barr’s comment that he thinks “spying did occur” by intelligence agencies on the Trump campaign quickly reverberated outside the Senate committee hearing room, raising the hackles of top Democrats.

“The top law enforcement officer of the country should not casually suggest that those under his purview engaged in ‘spying’ on a political campaign,” House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) said in a statement. “This type of partisan talking point may please Donald Trump, who rails against a ‘deep state coup,’ but it also strikes another destructive blow to our democratic institutions.”

Schiff’s fellow chairman Jerry Nadler (D-CA), head of the House Judiciary Committee, also immediately expressed his displeasure.

Barr somewhat softened his comment later on in the hearing, reclassifying “spying” as “unauthorized surveillance” which would rule out the FISA warrant of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

He said he had “no specific evidence” of spying to reference.

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