DOJ Inspector General Finds 17 Errors or Omissions in Carter Page FISA Applications
(Win McNamee / Staff / Getty Images)
The Justice Department watchdog excoriated the FBI for relying upon British ex-spy Christopher Steele's dossier in obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants to monitor onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who released a report earlier this week showing his findings regarding allegations of surveillance abuses, also found the FISA process was significantly flawed and marred by serious mistakes and missteps, but determined that the initiation of the Trump-Russia investigation itself was not influenced by political bias.
Horowitz's findings provide Trump and his allies fodder in their criticism of FBI and DOJ officials who investigated him, while Democrats, who have defended the FBI's actions, are engaged in an impeachment effort examining whether the president abused his office.
Attorney General William Barr seized on Horowitz's findings, declaring in a lengthy statement that the report shows the FBI's counterintelligence investigation was conducted in an inappropriate manner given the evidence the bureau had on hand.
"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," Barr said in a statement.
In stark contrast, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, the Democrat who is taking a leading role in the impeachment proceedings, said Horowitz's report "debunks conspiracy theories" and "affirms that DOJ and FBI had an authorized purpose to conduct temporary surveillance as part of the investigation.”
The inspector general "identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications and many errors in the Woods Procedures" which guide the FBI's FISA process, according to the 476-page report.
"These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to the National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence and failing to flag important issues for discussion,” Horowitz said.
But Horowitz’s team “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations” into Page, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort in the summer of 2016.
WIBC host Tony Katz commented on the latest developments Wednesday afternoon:
"Everything about the Mueller investigations and the origins was political and meant to go after the dully-elected President of the United States. There can be no debate about this: it was political from beginning to end. It didn't start political? Sure, but it sure as bloody hell ended that way, to quote Lindsey Graham.
"Horowitz's testimony was a bad and ugly day for the Democratic party. How do we know that? Because CNN didn't cover it. They avoided it. You know why? Because it's miserable to their cause."
Click the link below to hear Tony's full interview.