Strassel: Barr Was Right To Use Word "Spying," Seems To Understand Which Dots Need Connecting


Columnist Kim Strassel joined FNC's Sandra Smith on Friday to discuss her Wall Street Journal op-ed making the case that Attorney General Bill Barr is "bringing accountability" to the Justice Department with his declaration that he believes "spying did occur" on members of the Trump campaign and he will investigate any potential abuses of power which occurred during the 2016 election.

KIM STRASSEL, WSJ: [Attorney General Barr] made very clear in his testimony everything he was going to look into. First of all, he was right to call this what it is. It is spying. Chris Wallace said it was a "loaded term." One of the reasons it is appropriate here is we surveil bad guys, like organized crime bosses, but this was a party of one persuasion running an administration that was looking at a campaign of the other party, and that definitely merits the word "spying."

So that's what is happening here. He says he is going to look into that and see if there was unauthorized surveillance, meaning there are still some things in the FBI's timeline that do not add up. It did not start the counterintelligence investigation until July 31, [2016], but we know that there were contacts between human informants and Trump campaign members prior to that date.

Was any of that authorized? Was it legitimate? He's going to look at the role of other intelligence agencies too, he made that clear in the Senate. Not just the FBI, but what was the CIA doing? What was Director of National Intelligence James Clapper doing? There are a lot of questions that he seems to, from his testimony, understand all the dots that need to be looked at and connected.

SANDRA SMITH, FOX NEWS: Well there was some, when William Barr used the word "spying," you did sense some sort of hesitation from him before he actually said that.

James Comey has responded to the Barr testimony, he says surveillance is not spying. That was interesting. Final thoughts, Kimberly?

STRASSEL: I'm surprised to see Jim Comey so much in the press these days for a guy who claims that some of these politicians are putting their fingers on law enforcement and pressing the scales here. He seems to be doing an awful lot of that himself. I think he should step back and allow this debate about his own actions to play out.

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