Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) asked Attorney General William Barr about the unprecedented counterintelligence investigation of the Trump presidential campaign at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.
HAWLEY: Let's talk a little more about spying. Counterintelligence investigations like the one we now know the FBI launched against candidate Trump and President Trump, those are designed to thwart spying and sabotage, is that correct?
BARR: That's correct.
HAWLEY: To your knowledge has the FBI ever launch aid counterintelligence investigation of another president that you're aware of?
BARR: Not to my knowledge.
HAWLEY: So it's safe to say that to your knowledge this move was completely unprecedented?
BARR: to my knowledge.
Hawley asks Barr about the hatred investigators had for Trump supporters:
HAWLEY: Speaking of particular individuals who were involved, I have to say I've listened to this testimony all day today, and to me, maybe the most shocking thing I've heard is this. The chairman read it earlier. August 26, 2016 -- this is a text message from Peter Strzok, a top counterintelligence investigator, who we now know started this counter-spy investigation against the president of the United States.
Peter Strzok says, "Just went to a southern Virginia Wal-Mart. I could Smell the Trump support." Smell is capitalized. "Just went to a southern Virginia Wal-Mart. I could Smell the Trump support."
In my view, do you want to know what's really going on here? Do you want to know why the counterintelligence investigation really happened? Do you want to know why we're all really sitting here today? That's why, right there, is because an unelected bureaucrat, an unelected official in this government who clearly has open disdain, if not outright hatred for Trump voters like the people of my state, for instance. I could "Smell" the Trump support? Then tried to overturn the results of a democratic election. That's what's really going on here. That's the story. That's why we're here today.
I cannot believe that a top official of this government with the kind of power that these people had would try to exercise their own prejudices, and that's what this is, it's open, blatant prejudice, would try to use that in order to overturn a democratic election. And to my mind, that's the real crisis here, and it is a crisis. If there is not accountability, if this can go on in the United States of America, then my goodness gracious, we don't have a democracy anymore.