In light of a new report from the New York Times earlier this week detailing an FBI “honey trap” of sorts that was allegedly set for Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, Vice President Mike Pence appeared on Fox News this morning to discuss allegations the campaign was spied on in 2016, including during the presidential transition process.
The Hill reports:
Pence is doubling down on President Trump’s calls for a probe into the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying that the public “has a right to know” how the investigation began. Trump has suggested bias was involved.
“We’ve got to get to the bottom of how all this started,” Pence said in an interview with Fox News’s Sandra Smith. “The American people have a right to know how this investigation even began.”
“And as the attorney general said when he testified before Congress, there was spying. We need to understand why there was [and] whether there was a sufficient predicate,” he continued.
When asked by Smith whether he believed he had also been spied on, Pence replied: “Well, I think we need to find out.”
Watch the interview segment below:
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Last month, Attorney General William Barr stunned Democrats when he said that he believed the Trump campaign was indeed spied on and vowed to conduct a thorough review of all available information in order to make a more conclusive determination:
“I think spying did occur,” Barr said during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing. “But the question is whether it was adequately predicated and I’m not suggesting it wasn’t adequately predicated, but I need to explore that.”
“I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016,” Barr told lawmakers. “A lot of this has already been investigated and a substantial portion that’s being investigated is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the department.”
As to that upcoming Inspector General’s report, President Trump talked about it last week on a segment of Sean Hannity’s program:
President Donald Trump used the word “blockbuster” to describe the Inspector General’s forthcoming report on the FBI’s use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to surveil Trump’s 2016 campaign amid concerns of Russian interference.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating whether the FBI abused FISA procedures in its targeted Russian-related surveillance operations, including on at least one former member of Trump’s campaign, foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
The FBI applied under FISA to conduct surveillance on Page—who has denied any wrongdoing—because it believed he had conspired with the Russian government, according to its application in October 2016. It also filed sought renewal warrants after Trump took office.
Horowitz is expected to report his findings in either May or June. Trump and his allies accused former senior members of the FBI, including ex-director James Comey, of obtaining FISA warrants by deceiving the court about the intelligence on which its applications relied.
House Oversight Committee member Mark Meadows (R-NC) said in April “it’s highly likely” we’ll see more criminal referrals once the report is released:
“We’re fully anticipating that the [DOJ inspector general’s] report will come out as Attorney General Barr said in the next four to six weeks, and I think it’s highly likely that we’ll see criminal referrals coming from them that will correspond with what Chairman [Devin] Nunes has already put forth,” Meadows said.
Horowitz, by the way, is an Obama appointee from back in 2012 so it’s going to be interesting to see how Democrats spin the results of his investigation once the details are made available.
As I wrote last week in response to Joe Biden’s absurd claim that the Obama-Biden administration was scandal-free, it was actually plagued with scandals, and the biggest one – “Spygate” – may soon be revealed depending on what we learn from the IG’s report and Barr’s review.
—Sister Toldjah is a former liberal and a 15+ year veteran of blogging with an emphasis on media bias, social issues, and the culture wars. Read her Red State archives here. Connect with her on Twitter.–