'I frankly don't even recognize the guy anymore': former prosecutor demolishes AG Barr's claim that the FBI was 'spying'
Cynthia Alksne (Image credit: MSNBC)

On MSNBC's "Hardball" with Chris Matthews on Wednesday, former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne laid into Attorney General William Barr for saying he thinks the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign.

Barr, said Alksne, is way too smart to fall for the right-wing talking points about FBI "Deep State" plots.

"The attorney general is supposed to represent the people of the United States of America, and he is not doing so," said Alksne. "Today he was completely irresponsible in the 'spying' comment, and knows full well that that investigation began when George Papadopoulos was drunk in a bar and was talking about Russian emails."

Alksne addressed the common GOP accusation that the FBI lied or misrepresented the evidence to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

"Just so people understand, to get a FISA warrant is a lot of work," said Alksne. "There is a lot of oversight in the FBI. Then it goes to the DOJ. This warrant then goes to the FISA judges. If you think of federal judges, they're all really smart. The smartest ones, the most wonky, the most detailed, those are the ones who become the FISA judges. The Carter warrant, FISA warrant, was not only given once, but three times it was renewed."

"This was not spying, this was not irresponsible by law enforcement of the United States, and for the attorney general to say so is a stain on his reputation," Alksne added. "I frankly don't even recognize the guy anymore. I am outraged he would do that to the law enforcement and to the criminal justice system in the United States of America."

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