Attorney General Bill Barr sent chills down the spines of every Democrat in Washington on Wednesday when he asserted, based on well-established facts, that the federal government spied on the Trump Campaign. The apoplectic reactions Barr’s straightforward remark inspired among prominent liberals suggest that they know the Democrats have something to hide.
“I think spying did occur,” Barr said after Democrats on the Senate Appropriations subcommittee pressed him to categorically deny the fact. “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he added, saying he would be investigating whether the surveillance was “adequately predicated.”
Significantly, though, Barr went out of his way to clarify that “I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred,” which should have been sufficient to reassure Democrats that he isn’t just trying to retaliate for their Russia collusion witch hunt by investigating baseless claims against President Obama or his administration.
In fact, Barr even indicated that one of his motivations is to protect the reputations of the FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies, since his investigation will either confirm that they acted properly or identify the bad actors who led the agencies astray.
The accuracy of Barr’s observation that spying took place is unassailable. We’ve known for a long time that the FBI secured a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump Campaign aide Carter Page, for instance, and that the application for the warrant was improperly based in large part on an unverified dossier paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and compiled by an FBI informant.
Democrats and the mainstream media, however, reacted as though Barr had just accused them of consuming infants as a delicacy, defensively resorting to name-calling and ad hominem attacks.
Representative Jerry Nadler, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Senator Richard Blumenthal, for instance, demanded that the attorney general retract his truthful remarks about surveillance of the Trump campaign, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared that Barr was “going off the rails.”
Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin was even more unhinged, arguing that Barr should be impeached and calling him “Trump’s toady.” CNN, meanwhile, trashed the attorney general as a conspiracy theorist and a “flunky” while assuring its shrinking audience of hardcore Trump haters that there is little evidence that spying occurred.
These are the same people who called President Trump a nutcase and a liar when he complained that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower. Fixating on the semantics of Trump’s reference to wiretapping, the liberal media insisted it was a “lie” and “a conspiracy theory” because the claim did not fit the specific definition of “wiretapping,” but ignored the broader and more important question of whether the federal government had spied on a political campaign.
In his testimony on Wednesday, Barr merely confirmed what we already knew—that the Obama administration did, in fact, spy on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.
The fact that Barr explicitly acknowledged the possibility that such surveillance could have been perfectly legitimate apparently offered little solace to enraged Democrats, even though they would undoubtedly benefit from a determination that removes the cloud of suspicion from over the heads of Barack Obama and prominent members of his administration.
Considering that Democrats spent more than two years investigating collusion that never even took place, it hardly seems excessive for the Department of Justice to exert at least some effort to determine whether proper procedures were followed for activities that we know took place. The left’s irate response to that prospect only reinforces the need for a thorough investigation of the government’s surveillance of the Trump Campaign.
Did National Security Advisor Susan Rice, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, or even Barack Obama himself exploit their power to illegally weaponize America’s intelligence assets against a political opponent? That’s an extremely important question that pertains to the integrity of our entire system of government, but the Democrats seem to be afraid of the answer.
Russian collusion did not take place, but domestic spying on a presidential campaign did. Democrats were vehement about the need to investigate the former, but now they’re equally vehement that investigating the latter is utterly unacceptable. It’s almost as if they know they have something to hide.
Jenna Ellis (@realJennaEllis) is a member of the Trump 2020 Advisory Board. She is a constitutional law attorney, radio host, and the author of The Legal Basis for a Moral Constitution
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.