I’m gonna go with a no on this one. Hopefully, Bill Barr does, too.
Chuck Schumer and Senate Democrats demanded last night that AG Barr “retract” his comments in which he admitted the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. The fact that Barr hedged and said he wanted to simply ensure there was proper cause wasn’t enough to appease his detractors.
— The Hill (@thehill) April 10, 2019
AG Barr admitted he had no evidence to support his claim that spying on the Trump campaign “did occur.”
AG Barr must retract his statement immediately or produce specific evidence to back it up.
Perpetuating conspiracy theories is beneath the office of the Attorney General.
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) April 10, 2019
This whole “there’s no evidence” thing is ridiculous. We know the FBI put human informants on the Trump campaign. We know they surveilled phone calls and emails. We also know they used a FISA warrant to retroactively pick around Trump campaign associates. Mollie Hemingway did a great breakdown on this topic back in 2018. In the article, she responds to a Times report in which anonymous FBI officials sought to get out in front of the story.
The New York Times‘ story, headlined “Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation,” is a dry and gentle account of the FBI’s launch of extensive surveillance of affiliates of the Trump campaign. Whereas FBI officials and media enablers had previously downplayed claims that the Trump campaign had been surveiled, in this story we learn that it was more widespread than previously acknowledged:
The F.B.I. investigated four unidentified Trump campaign aides in those early months, congressional investigators revealed in February. The four men were Michael T. Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said…
The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said.
(See streiff’s latest for even more examples)
These facts are not in question. To ask Barr to retract what was a truthful statement smacks of partisan desperation.
The irony here is thick enough to cut with a knife. Democrats are losing their minds over some grand jury redactions in the Mueller report, yet you mention digging deeper into the provenance of the investigation and suddenly they want zero transparency. Worse, they want officials to lie about what happened to protect the Democrat narrative, namely that the FBI was blameless in all this.
All that’s old is new again so the media are back to playing a game of semantics. Is it really “spying” if you just seize emails and listen to phone calls? Can you really call running human informants against the campaign “spying”? To normal, rational people, of course, it is. To the media, it’s a “conspiracy theory” to speak plainly on this matter. Instead, they hide behind terms like “counter-intel surveillance” to soften the blow. Just don’t call it spying or CNN will get really upset.
Only in the Trump era is a former President spying on a political candidate with the full force of the intel community not a major scandal.
…are you sure you want evidence, Chuck? https://t.co/jAd3DP8wTd
— jon gabriel (@exjon) April 10, 2019
Of course, Schumer doesn’t. He’s not about transparency or getting the facts out. He wants this buried because he knows it’ll be a political death knell in 2020 if it gets reported in the mainstream. So far, his media allies have done their level best to muddy the waters and scuttle this story. Barr needs to show the evidence to the American people and go around those who’d seek to obstruct or hide the truth.
I hope the Democrat and media reactions to this only harden Barr’s resolve to go full bore with his investigation. He shouldn’t retract anything. Instead, he should bring the full force of his investigative powers onto this topic and start naming names.
Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.
I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.