Barr considering possible rule changes at DOJ in wake of Russia investigation: report

Attorney General William Barr is considering changes to Justice Department protocol because of the surveillance of U.S. citizens in the investigation of the 2016 election, remarks likely to add to the debate around President Trump’s charge that his campaign was spied upon.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Barr confirmed that he was reviewing the Justice Department rules that surrounded the investigation, while offering no specifics on what changes could be on the way for the agency.

{mosads}“Government power was used to spy on American citizens,” he said. “I can’t imagine any world where we wouldn’t take a look and make sure that was done properly.”

“Just like we need to ensure that foreign actors don’t influence the outcome of our elections, we need to ensure that the government doesn’t use its powers to put a thumb on the scale,” Barr continued.

The attorney general made headlines in April when he discussed spying on the Trump campaign during a congressional hearing. Democrats objected to the use of the word, and Barr has faced criticism since then for describing the surveillance as spying. 

But the attorney general has defended his remarks, saying he didn’t believe the term spying had a pejorative meaning.

His comments about possible impropriety at the Justice Department come the same day as some of Trump’s harshest rhetoric yet concerning the investigation into his campaign: In a series of tweets Friday, the president referred to the probe as “treason” and called for jail time for those responsible.

“My Campaign for President was conclusively spied on. Nothing like this has ever happened in American Politics. A really bad situation. TREASON means long jail sentences, and this was TREASON!” the president wrote Friday morning.

Barr has been the target of ire for weeks from congressional Democrats who argue he has worked to protect Trump in the wake of the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

Some Democrats have accused Barr of misrepresenting the contents of Mueller’s findings in his official summary released to Congress, as well as in his testimony before lawmakers and have called for his subsequent resignation.

Tags Donald Trump Mueller investigation Robert Mueller William Barr
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