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Archive for April 10th, 2019

AG Barr Says He Believes ‘Spying’ on a Political Campaign Occurred in 2016

Attorney General Barr testifying Wednesday on Capitol Hill.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General William P. Barr, the latest figure to generate headlines on Capitol Hill,  said Wednesday he thought “spying” on a political campaign occurred in the course of intelligence agencies’ investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Washington Post reports:

At a hearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Barr was asked about his statement a day earlier that he would review how the FBI launched its counterintelligence investigation that sought to determine whether Donald Trump’s associates were interacting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal,” said Barr, noting that there are long-held rules to prevent intelligence agencies from collecting information on domestic political figures.

“I’m not suggesting that those rules were violated, but I think it’s important to look at that,” he said. “I’m not talking about the FBI necessarily but intelligence agencies more broadly.”

 

FBI’s Art Crime Team Gains Respect After Solving High-Profile Cases

Red “Wizard of OZ” slippers stolen from a museum.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Terrorism. Bank robberies. Government corruption.

They are among the key responsibilities of the FBI.

But the bureau has been gaining more attention for investigating crimes involving art.

Launched in 2005, the FBI’s 22-person Art Crime Team has grabbed headlines in the past few years for solving high-profile cases and recovering valuable pieces of art.

Just last year, the team of agents recovered a pair of “ruby slippers” worn by Judy Garland in “Wizard of Oz,” artwork looted by Nazis and a Marc Chagall painting stolen from an elderly couple’s Manhattan home nearly three decades ago.

“People just think what we’re doing is cool,” Supervisory Special Agent Tim Carpenter, who now runs the unit from the FBI’s Washington headquarters, told Reuters.

“I think we’ve changed a lot of perceptions, even within the organization,” he said. “So now my phone rings off the hook weekly for folks wanting to be on the team.”
Since its creation 14 years ago, the team has tracked down nearly 15,000 pieces of art valued at $800 million. More than 90 people have been convicted of art-related crimes during that period.

AG Barr Pledges to Investigate FBI, DOJ Actions in Trump Probe

AG William Barr testifies before U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Now that the special counsel investigation of Russia is complete, Attorney General William Barr is flipping the focus on the Justice Department and FBI’s decisions to investigate President Trump and his campaign.

“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr told the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee Tuesday.

The idea is to determine whether the investigation into possible collusion with Russia was motivated by an anti-Trump bias in the FBI and Justice Department.

That topic is expected to gain steam Wednesday as Barr is scheduled to appear before a GOP-led Senate subcommittee.

Trump has long complained that the investigation was a “witch hunt.”