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AG Barr Disputes Central Finding of IG Report on FBI Investigation of Trump Campaign

Attorney General William Barr attends a Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony in honor of former Attorney General Edwin Meese in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., October 8, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Attorney General William Barr disputes one of the central findings of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign, namely, that the FBI had enough information to justify opening the investigation, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

The FBI began its investigation on July 31, 2016, after receiving information that George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign official, bragged to members of Australian intelligence that the campaign had obtained dirt on rival Hillary Clinton from Russian operatives. The agency also obtained a FISA warrant to investigate another campaign official, Carter Page, in a process the report is expected to detail.

Barr believes the FBI did not have enough information to begin its investigation of the Trump campaign, and believes the CIA and other U.S. agencies may have information that would change Horowitz’s conclusion.

The IG report is set to be released on December 9, and is currently in the revision process. The FBI and the inspector general declined to comment.

Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Barr’s “excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves.”

“Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters,” Kupec continued.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

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