Barr reviewing origins of FBI's Russian Federation investigation

Mueller Team Our Report Much More Damning than Attorney General Says

Mueller Team Our Report Much More Damning than Attorney General Says tweet

Attorney General Bill Barr has assembled a "team" to investigate the origins of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, an administration official briefed on the situation told Fox News on Tuesday. He told lawmakers he met with Mueller on March 4 for a preliminary discussion of the report and that Mueller's thinking was not a mystery to people he interfaced with at the Justice Department, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Barr repeatedly refused to answer a direct question as to whether the White House has seen - or will see - the full Mueller report prior to its release. Barr was grilled by Democrats on the handling of that summary, which stated the special counsel found no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian Federation during the 2016 election.

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Washington Post political columnist Paul Waldman wrote Tuesday that what's coming is "a public relations battle in which the attorney general is a key player".

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Barr said that he reviewed Mueller's evidence and made his own determination that Trump should not face obstruction charges.

Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, announced last week he was sending eight criminal referrals to Barr regarding abuses committed by the FBI and DoJ during the Russiagate investigation - including three that involve efforts to mislead and abuse the FISA courts. And intelligence committee Chairman Adam Schiff of California said Barr's comments were sure to please Trump, but strike "another destructive blow to our democratic institutions".

On Wednesday, Barr will discuss his agency's Fiscal Year 2020 budget request before the Senate Appropriations Committee. On Monday, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee agreed to also call on Mueller to testify.

"I haven't seen the referrals yet from Congressman Nunes, but obviously if there is a predicate for an investigation it will be conducted", Barr said.

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Critics of the Russian Federation investigation say the warrant was unjustified and have also seized on anti-Trump text messages sent and received by one of the lead agents involved in investigating whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russian Federation.

"As I've stated before, in order to ensure that our immigration system works properly, we must secure our nation's borders, and we must ensure that our laws allow us to process, hold, and remove those who violate our immigration laws", Barr says. Unlike them, it actually stands a chance to offer a bit of national healing.

But he also said that he's willing to talk to lawmakers down the road to see if he can provide them with more information from the investigation.

But Democrats also want as much of the special counsel's report and the evidence he gathered as they can possibly obtain.

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If Mueller does testify publicly before the House Judiciary Committee, it will be the latest in a series of wildly hyped congressional hearings that have marked the the Trump presidency, from James Comey's testimony to the Kavanaugh hearings and, most recently, Michael Cohen's appearance before the House Oversight Committee.

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