Barr Confirms Multiple Intel Agencies Implicated In Anti-Trump Spy Operation By Mollie Hemingway for The Federalist
“Spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” Attorney General William Barr told a Senate committee on Wednesday morning. Barr’s comments came in the context of potential Justice Department reviews of the Trump-Russia investigation and how it began in 2016.
While it is important that the top law enforcement in the United States publicly acknowledged that the Obama administration and its intelligence agencies surveilled its domestic political opponents during the heat of a presidential election, it is what he said next that was most startling: that the CIA and other federal agencies in addition to the FBI may have been involved. “I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly,” he said.
The FBI, which has incredibly friendly relations with the media, has taken the brunt of the public outcry against the anti-Trump operation. That project included the use of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, national security letters, human informants, and strategic leaking to craft a narrative of treasonous collusion with Russia to steal an election from Hillary Clinton. It even included leaks of classified records from former FBI director James Comey, which he said was done for the purpose of launching a special counsel investigation as retaliation for his firing.
There have always been indications that the operation went far beyond the FBI, however. For example, former CIA director John Brennan, now an MSNBC contributor, separately briefed Sen. Harry Reid, (D-Nev.) about the operation. Reid understood that move was undertaken so he could publicize the Russia investigation to influence the ongoing presidential election campaign.
Former director of national intelligence James Clapper, now a CNN contributor, admitted to discussions with media outlets about the investigation. The U.S. embassy in London was used contrary to established protocol to funnel hearsay that was used as a pretext to officially launch a wide-ranging investigation against the entire Trump orbit. Clinton-connected officials in the State Department were also used to disseminate unverified gossip and allegations about Trump throughout the federal government.