Attorney General Bill Barr has assembled a "team" to investigate the origins of the FBI's counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign, an administration official briefed on the situation told Fox News on Tuesday.
Barr told lawmakers at a contentious hearing on Tuesday that he was reviewing the bureau's “conduct” in particular during the summer of 2016.
Republicans have repeatedly called for a thorough investigation of the FBI's intelligence practices and the origin of the since-discredited Russian collusion narrative following the conclusion of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe -- and they now appeared to have assurances that such a review was underway.
Barr's explosive testimony marked his Capitol Hill appearance since revealing the central findings of Mueller’s investigation. Barr was grilled by Democrats on the handling of that summary.
Mueller's investigation completed last month without securing the indictment of a single American for collusion with Russia or obstruction of justice -- "despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign."
“I am reviewing the conduct of the investigation and trying to get my arms around all the aspects of the counterintelligence investigation that was conducted during the summer of 2016,” Barr said at the hearing.
President Trump greets then-FBI Director James Comey at the White House on January 22, 2017. (Reuters)
Barr was also questioned about the initial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants approved to surveil members of the Trump campaign, including former Trump aide Carter Page.
The FBI's ultimately successful warrant application to surveil Page, which relied in part on information from British ex-spy Christopher Steele – whose anti-Trump views are now well-documented – cited Page’s suspected Russia ties.
The FBI incorrectly assured the FISA court on numerous occasions that other sources independently corroborated Steele's claims but did not clearly state that Steele worked for a firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign.
Fox News exclusively obtained internal FBI text messages last month showing that just nine days before the FBI applied for the Page FISA warrant, bureau officials were battling with a senior Justice Department official who had "continued concerns" about the "possible bias" of a source pivotal to the application.
We've been told that the Justice Department's Inspector General (IG) is separately looking into whether former FBI Director James Comey mishandled classified information by including a variety of sensitive matters in his private memos. This has been one of several other ongoing investigations.
And Barr testified Tuesday that the IG was looking into the FBI's FISA application process.
A DOJ court filing on Monday night revealed that Comey incorporated into his private documents, among other key details, the name and code name of a confidential human source.
This is a developing story; please check back for updates.
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This article (below) has great back story information PLUS the Epoch interview of Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer!
Fox News' Greg Re, Jake Gibson,Brooke Singman contributed to this report.