Attorney General William Barr told lawmakers he was putting together a team to look into how the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation Finto Presidential Donald Trump came to be.
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr told the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday.
The White House and Republicans have long claimed the probe into the Trump team began in 2016 under former FBI Director James Comey was sparked by the controversial Steele dossier. Investigators said it began earlier after Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat in London that Russian operatives had offered dirt on Hillary Clinton.
Even as Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who essentially replaced Comey, led his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and any coordination with members of the Trump team, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz started scrutinizing the process under which a FISA warrant was obtained to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who was suspected to be a target of compromise by Russian operatives.
The IG report should be completed by May or June, “so hopefully we'll have some answers from Inspector General Horowitz on the issue of the FISA warrants,” Barr said.
The attorney general also told lawmakers he would deliver a redacted version of Mueller’s report on his findings to Congress within a week. When pointedly questioned, he declined to say whether he had shared the Mueller report with the White House.