Former Attorney General Bill Barr on Friday attempted to distance himself from the bombshell report that his Department of Justice spied on Democrats investigating Donald Trump.
"Barr said that while he was attorney general, he was 'not aware of any congressman's records being sought in a leak case.' He added that Trump never encouraged him to zero in on the Democratic lawmakers who reportedly became targets of the former president's push to unmask leakers of classified information," Politico reported. "Trump 'was not aware of who we were looking at in any of the cases,' Barr said. 'I never discussed the leak cases with Trump. He didn't really ask me any of the specifics.'"
The initial report by The New York Times implicated two of Trump's attorneys general.
"Prosecutors, under the beleaguered attorney general, Jeff Sessions, were hunting for the sources behind news media reports about contacts between Trump associates and Russia. Ultimately, the data and other evidence did not tie the committee to the leaks, and investigators debated whether they had hit a dead end and some even discussed closing the inquiry," the newspaper reported. "But William P. Barr revived languishing leak investigations after he became attorney general a year later. He moved a trusted prosecutor from New Jersey with little relevant experience to the main Justice Department to work on the Schiff-related case and about a half-dozen others, according to three people with knowledge of his work who did not want to be identified discussing federal investigations."