AG BARR : USING OPPO RESEARCH TO SPY ON A CAMPAIGN IS STRANGE
Attorney General William Barr said in an interview that aired Friday that he is investigating what role the Steele dossier played in the Russia probe, and that the salacious document had “a number of clear mistakes.”
“It’s a very unusual situation to have opposition research like that, especially one that on its face had a number of clear mistakes and a somewhat jejune analysis,” Barr told Fox News’ Bill Hemmer.
“And to use that to conduct counterintelligence against an American political campaign is a strange — would be strange development.”
In the interview, Barr spoke at length about an inquiry he launched at the Justice Department into the origins of the Russia investigation. He told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the investigation is also focusing on what information U.S. intelligence agencies gathered on Trump campaign associates before the FBI formally opened its investigation in July 2016.
The FBI relied heavily on the Steele dossier, which was funded by the DNC and Clinton campaign, to obtain surveillance warrants against Carter Page, a Trump campaign adviser. But Republicans have accused the FBI of misleading the surveillance court by relying on the dossier given that its allegations were unverified.
Christopher Steele, a former British spy, claimed in the dossier that the Trump campaign was involved in a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” with the Russian government to influence the 2016 election. He alleged that Page and other Trump associates, like Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, were at the centre of the scheme.
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