WASHINGTON: Attorney General William Barr sparred with US lawmakers on Wednesday over whether “spying” occurred on President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, and said that a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the election would be out next week.

During questioning by senators, the Attorney General (AG) said “spying” on Trump’s campaign was carried out by US intelligence agencies, but he later recharacterised his concerns as focused on “unauthorised surveillance”.

Barr, a Trump appointee, said: “I want to make sure there was no unauthorised surveillance,” modifying his language.

He said the Justice Department would release a redacted version of the Mueller report next week.

“I’m landing the plane right now,” Barr said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing. “I’ve been willing to discuss my letters and the process going forward, but the report is going to be out next week and I’m just not going to get details of the process until the plane’s on the ground.”

Barr discussed the report after a blistering assault by Trump on the FBI investigation.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2019