Attorney General Barr Assembles Team To Launch Wide-Ranging Probe Into 2016 FBI Spying

A team has been assembled, and a wide-ranging (and presumably years-long) probe is coming…

Bloomberg is reporting on a wide ranging probe that will be launched:

Barr told the Senate Judiciary panel that he has assembled a team to determine whether there was any improper “spying” on the Trump campaign in 2016, including whether intelligence collection began earlier than previously known and how many confidential informants the FBI used. He also suggested his focus was on senior leaders at the FBI and Justice Department at the time.

Let’s play devil’s advocate: Will this drag on for years as well, with the ultimate findings being muted and non-existent, or perhaps there may be some low-level “indictments”?

More from Bloomberg:

Barr’s review could get a boost after a report by the New York Times on Thursday that the FBI sent a trained investigator to London in 2016 to pose as a research assistant and probe Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos over possible campaign links to Russia.

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Another area Barr is probing is when the Justice Department and the FBI knew that the Democratic Party was paying former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele, who put together the dossier of allegations against Trump.

From the NYT article mentioned above:

WASHINGTON — The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?

The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

The American government’s affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it Spygate.

The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I. during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.