Barr says 'I think spying did occur' on Trump campaign

US President Donald Trump says he has not read the Mueller report

Ever since Attorney General William Barr sent a letter to Congress last month disclosing the "principle conclusions" of the Mueller report, numerous Trump administration's critics have grown increasingly suspicious that Barr is working to protect the president from that report's findings. A separate investigation is being conducted by the Justice Department inspector general into the early days of the FBI's Russian Federation probe, which Barr said he expects to conclude sometime around May or June.

Attorney General William Barr has assembled a team to investigate how the Russian Federation investigation and other counterintelligence probes began, a US official told CBS News.

Republican Rep. Robert Aderholt of Alabama asked Barr during Tuesday's hearing if the Justice Department is investigating "how it came to be that your agency used a salacious and unverified dossier as a predicate for FISA order on a US citizen?" The network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Justice Department officials are scouring the almost 400-page document to remove grand jury information and details relating to pending investigations, among other materials. They repeatedly confronted him about his choice to release a four-page letter that suggested Trump had been cleared of all wrongdoing in lieu of the full report, and raised concerns that Barr will abuse his redaction power to hide any information in the full report that would be politically damaging to the president.

Barr said that even in providing the full report to Congress, which he said he would do by the end of the week, he still may have to black out some portions for security purposes.

Republicans, meanwhile, praised Barr's testimony.

Barr is to testify on the report itself at separate hearings before the Senate and House Judiciary committees on May 1 and May 2.

Trump Claims He Has Not Read ‘Total Waste of Time’ Mueller Report
Under the federal rules of criminal procedure, government officials are not allowed to share material from grand jury proceedings. Many Democrats and legal observers see Barr as an improper actor in the handling of the Mueller report .

The thing is, numerous pundits that you see on TV, not to mention the anchors interviewing them, the producers who book them, and the newspaper editors and headline writers who travel down those same highways, powered by ink, all come from the same dreamland. Specifically, Barr is looking into the standard for opening counterintelligence investigations. Barr then made some news by what he did and didn't say. But the issue is sure to get more attention when Barr appears Wednesday before the panel's GOP-led Senate counterpart. "I think it would strike a serious blow to our system and to our democracy if that report is not fully seen". NPR justice reporter Ryan Lucas joins me now.

Barr was asked how the Department of Justice used the flimsy Christopher Steele dossier as a predicate for an application for a search warrant before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (referring to the Carter Page warrant and the three subsequent renewals).

The redactions will be color-coded and accompanied by notes explaining the decision to withhold information, he said.

Speaking on the initial release of the report, Trump announced that it "could not have been better".

He said he had offered Mr Mueller the chance to review his four-page letter, but that Mr Mueller declined.

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