Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday regarding his team’s report on the origins of the FBI’s probe into the 2016 Trump and the now debunked theory the campaign colluded with Russia.
It’s expected to be an explosive hearing with Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham honing in on questions regarding the 17 ‘inaccuracies and omissions’ by the bureau agents who obtained a secretive warrant to spy on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page.
“I appreciate all the hard work by Mr. Horowitz and his team regarding the Carter Page FISA warrant application and the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign,” said Graham in a statement. “Mr. Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 11, where he will deliver a detailed report of what he found regarding his investigation, along with recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better. I look forward to hearing from him. He is a good man that has served our nation well.”
Further, Graham, along with other Senate colleagues, will question Horowitz’s decision to state in his 435 page report that the decision to open the investigation “was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced” the decision. However, Horowitz pointed out in his report that the threshold to spy on an American, particularly in the case of Page, was extraordinarily low.
Horowitz began his investigation in March 2018 and released his findings on Monday. After his findings were released Attorney General William Barr and his appointed prosecutor Connecticut Attorney John Durham issued statements of harsh criticism against the FBI and the investigation by the bureau into the Trump campaign.
Barr Blasts FBI
Barr blasted the bureau’s Crossfire Hurricane team saying the agents withheld exculpatory information from the secret court, failed to adequately vet the information supplied by former British spy Christopher Steele and moved forward to spy on the Trump campaign knowing they misled the FISA court.
“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” said Barr. “It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.”
“In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source,” Barr said. “The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.”
Barr said “FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people. The Department of Justice and the FBI are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.”
Durham Disagrees With Horowitz on Origin of FBI Investigation
Durham went further, stated that he had spoke to Horowitz about issues pertaining to his report and apparent evidence Horowitz’s team has collected regarding the origination of the bureau’s probe.
“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” stated Durham. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”