Sol Wisenberg: Barr would be 'derelict in his duty' if he didn't investigate spying allegations

Former deputy independent counsel Sol Wisenberg on Thursday defended Attorney General Bill Barr's Capitol Hill comments that federal authorities had spied on the Trump campaign in 2016.

"It's a big deal when a presidential campaign is spied on by the government particularly when the government is in the hands of the opposition party," Wisenberg told Fox News."It doesn't mean anything was necessarily done that was wrong - and Barr has said that - but it's a big deal and he would be derelict in his duty if he didn't look into it."

Wisenberg added that Barr, who is facing accusations by Democrats that he is not acting "in the best interest of the DOJ or the country," is merely doing his job.

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"Bill Barr is all about restoring the integrity of the Department of Justice and that's part of it - to see if anything that was done was wrong," he said.

On Wednesday, Barr testified before a Senate Appropriations subcommittee that he thought "spying did occur."

"The question is whether it was adequately predicated... Spying on a political campaign is a big deal," Barr said. He later clarified, "I am not saying that improper surveillance occurred; I’m saying that I am concerned about it and looking into it, that’s all.”

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There has been mounting evidence that the FBI looked into ways to gather intelligence from within the Trump campaign, including pursuing warrants to surveil a former Trump aide in 2016.

Wisenberg, a Fox News contributor, also weighed in on President Trump's comments that the Muller investigation into him was "an attempted coup" and an "attempted takedown of a president."

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"Every president who's ever been investigated has claimed an attempted coup. Nixon said it in Watergate. Bill Clinton said it in Whitewater and Lewinsky so that's par for the course," Weisenberg said. "The president has made a number of false statements about the case. I understand that he's upset but he's made a number of demonstrably false statements."