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strong words

Former Watergate prosecutor: Barr is part of 'one big cover-up'

A former Watergate prosecutor on Wednesday accused Attorney General William Barr of assisting the White House in a cover-up.

Nick Akerman, former Watergate assistant special prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst, came to this conclusion after Barr told the Senate that he believes spying on President Trump's 2016 campaign "did occur." Barr later said that he is "not saying that improper surveillance occurred," but that he is concerned it did and plans to investigate.

"This is just all part of the White House's cover-up," Akerman responded. The best evidence of a cover-up, he argued, is the fact that Barr wouldn't say on Wednesday whether he has spoken with the White House about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report. "The reason that you see the White House changing course here is because Barr has told them what's in the report," Akerman alleged. "Somebody there has relayed to Trump what it is. This is all part of one big cover-up."

Trump has insisted he has not seen the full Mueller report, saying Wednesday he has not read it — and "I don't care." The Justice Department previously said the White House had not been briefed on the full report, but Barr would not say as much Wednesday. Barr also indicated he does "not intend" at this stage to send Congress the full, unredacted report, and Akerman predicted the public version will be so full of color-coded redactions it will "look like the New York subway system map."