Donald Trump has directed the intelligence community to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr’s investigation into alleged spying on members of the Trump campaign, The Hill reports.
President Trump and his allies have long alleged that unlawful spying had taken place during the 2016 presidential race, accusing the Democrats and intelligence officials of conspiring in order to protect then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and damage Trump.
The directive, therefore, comes as no surprise, especially since Trump has claimed that unlawful spying activities in 2016 led to the launching of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and related matters.
Mueller found no Trump-Russia conspiracy and refused to charge the president with obstruction of justice.
In a statement, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the following.
“Today’s action will help ensure that all Americans learn the truth about the events that occurred, and the actions that were taken, during the last Presidential election and will restore confidence in our public institutions.”
She also said that Trump gave Barr “full and complete authority” to declassify information related to the probe. Barr’s willingness to investigate the matter also comes as no surprise, given that the attorney general has indicated that he agrees with the president’s assessment.
“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal,” he said during congressional testimony, prompting widespread criticism from Democratic lawmakers, who continue to accuse the attorney general of legitimizing what they describe as a conspiracy theory.
Some in the intelligence community have disputed the president’s claims, however. Trump-appointed FBI Director Christopher Wray said that he would not use the word “spying” to describe the government’s activities.
President Trump expands power of attorney general to declassify government secrets in review of 2016 campaign investigation https://t.co/MlPobLAcAj
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 24, 2019
But, the investigation is underway and intelligence officials have been directed to “promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with” his probe.
The war between Obama-era intelligence officials and President Trump has been brewing for quite some time, but ever since the wrapping up of Mueller’s probe, Trump’s attacks have intensified. The commander in chief has accused his adversaries of launching a “coup” in order to damage his presidency.
Trump has gone as far as accusing former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI officials Lisa Page, Peter Strozk, and Andrew McCabe, and others of treason. As The Inquisitr reported, during an impromptu press conference yesterday, Trump doubled down on the accusations, seemingly suggesting that Comey and others deserve the death penalty.
Launched under false pretenses, the Mueller probe was an “insurance policy just in case crooked Hillary loses,” according to Trump.