Also on Tuesday, Fox News reported that a source said Barr had assembled a “team” to investigate the origins of the bureau’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

On Wednesday, Barr testified that he hasn’t technically “set up a team” but has colleagues helping him as he reviews the case.

“I think spying did occur.”

— Attorney General Bill Barr

“This is not launching an investigation of the FBI,” he stressed. “Frankly, to the extent there were issues at the FBI, I do not view it as a problem of the FBI. I think it was probably a failure of the group of leaders—the upper echelons of the FBI. I think the FBI is an outstanding organization and I am very pleased Director Chris Wray is there.”

He added, “If it becomes necessary to look over former officials, I expect to rely on Chris and work with him. I have an obligation to make sure government power is not abused and I think that’s one of the principal roles of the attorney general.”


The FBI’s 2016 counterintelligence investigation, formally opened by Strzok, began with a “paucity” of evidence, according to former FBI counsel Lisa Page, with whom Strzok was romantically involved.

During a closed-door congressional interview, Page admitted that the FBI “knew so little” about whether allegations against the Trump campaign were “true or not true” at the time they opened the probe, adding that they had just “a paucity of evidence because we [were] just starting down the path” of vetting allegations.

Former FBI Director James Comey would testify later that when the agency initiated its counterintelligence probe into possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and the Russian government, investigators “didn’t know whether we had anything” and that “in fact, when I was fired as director [in May 2017], I still didn’t know whether there was anything to it.”

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.