On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr revealed in a Senate committee hearing that he was planning to investigate whether the FBI was "spying" on President Donald Trump's campaign — an unsupported conspiracy theory that Trump loyalists have been pushing for years.
In conversation with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), a member of the Judiciary Committee, expressed outrage.
"I have not seen any improprieties with the FBI or CIA, but I do see impropriety by our attorney general even suggesting there was spying without knowledge and without proof," said Cohen. "Unless he has proof, he shouldn't put out any kind of information or thought like that that could lessen the public's respect for our FBI or Justice Department and our judicial processes. He's the head of the Department of Justice and is putting it into a light that is not favorable in the public's eyes, saying somebody in that area might have done spying. That's wrong."
When Blitzer noted that the DOJ inspector general is already investigating the matter, Cohen pointed out just how absurd it is for Barr to devote legal resources to opening a second investigation.
"There's so many more important things for him to be doing right now, with white nationalists rising and hate crimes," said Cohen. "We saw racial insignias painted at the fire at Highlander Institute, which was burnt to the ground two weeks ago, a place where Dr. King and Rosa Parks and many environmentalists and labor leaders have trained for years ... similar to what was at Christchurch, similar to what was seen at Charleston at that church.
"There's so many things to be investigating that are really a threat to the American public's safety," said Cohen.