Barr: Investigating Whether Trump-Russia Probe Predates July 2016 | Video

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Attorney General William Barr told FOX News anchor Maria Bartiromo on “Sunday Morning Futures” that the DOJ is investigating whether counterintelligence activities targeting the Trump campaign predate the official beginning of the FBI’s Russia collusion investigation:

BARTIROMO: So, I know that the FBI said that they started a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July of 2016.

But there’s a lot of activity before that. And in April of 2016, people arranged for George Papadopoulos to meet with Joseph Mifsud. Has Joseph Mifsud worked with Western intelligence before?

BARR: You know, I can’t get into that.

BARTIROMO: I mean, I ask because we talked about that bar conversation between Papadopoulos and someone else.

And you have to wonder, was that conversation organic, or was that conversation and the content of what Papadopoulos said planted on him?

BARR: Yes, I understand why people — why it is important to try to determine whether there was any activity before July, before the Papadopoulos wine bar conversation. I understand that.

And, so, people are looking at that. It’s significant also that the dossier was initiated before July.

BARTIROMO: Ric Grenell calls the transition period key.

What can you tell us about the transition period that we need to understand better?

BARR: Well, it depends on what the motivations were and why they were looking at it.

But it is — I would say it’s unusual for an outgoing administration, high-level officials, to be unmasking very much in the days they’re preparing to leave office. It makes you wonder what they were doing.

BARTIROMO: How do these Senate testimonies help the DOJ?

BARR: Well, they’re not — the DOJ and Congress have separate roles to play.

DOJ, we are looking at whether or not there’s been any criminal activity and investigating. And I think Congress is interested in sort of finding out what happened and disclosing it to the public. So, there are different functions that are being performed.

I don’t think that those are conducted to help the DOJ. We do our own investigations.

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