by Daveda Gruber:
On Tuesday FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to Congress. Wray disagreed with Attorney General William Barr and applied a different term than Barr who used the word “spying.”
When asked if FBI agents engage in “spying” when they follow FBI policies and procedures, Wray told lawmakers on the Senate Appropriations Committee “That’s not the term I would use. Lots of people have different colloquial phrases. I believe that the FBI is engaged in investigative activity, and part of investigative activity includes surveillance activity of different shapes and sizes, and to me the key question is making sure that it’s done by the book, consistent with our lawful authorities.”
In a hearing last month Barr stated, “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. …Spying on a political campaign is a big deal.”
The statement was later clarified during the hearing by Barr when he said, “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”
Even President Trump has alleged that the bureau engaged in spying against Trump associates during the 2016 presidential campaign.
Barr’s remarks were broadly criticized by Democrats. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., accused Barr of “peddling conspiracy theories.”
Trump allies have noted that there is documented evidence that the FBI obtained surveillance warrants to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page. There have been numerous reports disclosed that reveal the use of an informant and others to gather information during the early days of the probe.
A source has brought to light that in his remarks, Barr was not trying to fuel conspiracy theories or play to the conservative base.
The source said, “When he used the word spying, he means intelligence collecting.” He also noted Barr’s history as a CIA analyst in the 1970s. “He wasn’t using it in a pejorative sense, he was using it in the classic sense.”
On Tuesday when he was asked directly by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., whether he believes the FBI spied on the 2016 Trump campaign, Wray deferred his response to the ongoing investigation by Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Wray said, “I want to be careful about how I answer this question here because there is an ongoing inspector general investigation. I have my own thoughts based on the limited information I’ve seen so far but I don’t think it would be right or appropriate to share those at this stage because I really do think it is important for everybody to respect the independent inspector general’s investigation, which I think this line of questioning starts to implicate, and I think it’s very important for everybody to be able to have full confidence in his review.”
Later on he added, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence” of illegal surveillance into the Trump campaign in the 2016 election, but he said that he has been in “close contact” with Barr about helping him get to bottom of how the Russia investigation began.
You can see/hear Wray speak here:
In my humble opinion, the investigation should lead right to the Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s Presidential Campaign via the Steele Dossier.
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