AG Barr Cameos on Bagpipes, Surprises US Attorneys

By Reuters

Attorney General William Barr, displaying a little-known talent, played “Scotland the Brave” on his bagpipes on June 26, joining in with the New York City Police Department’s famed Pipes and Drums of the Emerald Society.

The performance by the band, set up by U.S. attorneys in Maryland and Virginia as a surprise for Barr, occurred at a Justice Department conference in Washington.

Barr, named attorney general by President Donald Trump and confirmed by the Senate in February, is a competitive bagpiper.

Barr said afterward that when he learned of the pipe band’s appearance, despite the attorneys’ efforts to keep it under wraps, he decided to do them one better and join in.

“I’m very proficient at, dare I say the word, spying,” he said, in a joking reference to comments he made earlier this year at a Senate hearing when he testified that intelligence agencies spied on Trump’s 2016 campaign.

President Donald Trump Presents Public Safety Officer Medal Of Valor
President Donald Trump (L) shakes hands with Attorney General William Barr before presenting the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on May 22, 2019. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Spying on Trump Campaign in 2016 ‘Did Occur:’ Barr

Barr said that spying on Trump Campaign in 2016 “did occur” while testifying before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, April 10.

“I think spying did occur, yes. I think spying did occur,” he confirmed when Sen. Shaheen asked if he suggested that spying occurred.

During the hearing, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) questioned Barr on the alleged special team. “News just broke today that you have a special team looking into why the FBI opened an investigation into Russian interference into the 2016 elections. I wonder if you can share with this committee who’s on that team? Why you felt the need to form that kind of team and what you intend to be the scope of their investigation?”

Barr replied that he wants to pull everything together from the various investigations at the Capitol and in the Justice Department and see if there are any remaining questions to be addressed.

“As I said in my confirmation hearing, I am going to be reviewing both the genesis and the conduct of intelligence activities directed at the Trump campaign during 2016. And a lot of this has already been investigated, and a substantial portion of it has been investigated and is being investigated by the office of Inspector General,” he explained.

When asked why he felt a need to do that, he said: “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal. It’s a big deal.”

Epoch Times reporter Ivan Pentchoukov and Allen Zhong contributed to this report.