Attorney General William Barr has said he believes that US intelligence agencies spied on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.
"I think spying did occur," Barr said, speaking to senators during a hearing on Wednesday, according to Reuters. "But the question is whether it was adequately predicated, and I am not suggesting that it wasn't adequately predicated…I am not suggesting those rules were violated, but I think it is important to look at that. And I am not talking about the FBI necessarily, but intelligence agencies more broadly."
"I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal — it's a big deal," Barr stressed.
Barr also promised not to withhold any derogatory information on Trump contained in the Mueller report, saying concerns about the reputations of individuals not charged in the probe don't apply to "office holders," including the president.
Earlier on Wednesday, a source speaking to the Wall Street Journal said that Barr had asked the Justice Department to investigate the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, with the probe said to be aimed at examining the decisions and actions of officials involved during the probe's early stages. A separate review, ordered by the DoJ's inspector general, is probing whether the FBI and federal prosecutors abused their powers in obtaining warrants to surveil Trump campaign associate Carter Page, with that inquiry expected to be wrapped up by May or June.
Following the release of his four page summary of the Mueller report late last month, Barr promised to make a redacted version of the 400 page report available to Congress in April. He reiterated the promise Wednesday, telling senators that the report would be released within a week.