The investigation as it developed should not have been conducted by a federal prosecutor, and Attorney General Barr’s public commentary has seriously (and somewhat mysteriously) damaged the credibility of whatever Durham uncovers.
Latest in DOJ Office of the Inspector General
It appears that the facts presented in a lot of FISA applications are not reliable.
A new report released by the Justice Department inspector general found errors or lost information in all of the U.S. Person FISA applications it reviewed following its report on the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation into members of the Trump campaign. Each of the 29 applications reviewed contained inaccuracies, including missing files in four FISA applications and errors or inadequately supported facts in the 25 other applications.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) has declassified an order about the Department of Justice's handling of 2016 and 2016 applications for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The Dec. 2019 Office of Inspector General (OIG) Report about the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election devoted considerable discussion to the Page warrants.
The investigation may have taken steps that the inspector general thinks unwise, thinks should have been forbidden by policy, and thinks should have required more Justice Department consultation. But it was, in fact, about Russia. It was always about Russia. Full stop.
The Horowitz report poses a deep challenge to those of us who have broadly defended expansive surveillance authorities over the past several years. That challenge is not the one President Trump and his supporters have lodged against the FBI and its integrity.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court released a declassified order dated Dec. 5, which showed a request for information from the government by Dec. 20 regarding the FBI Office of General Counsel lawyer who altered the FISA applications of Carter Page as documented in the recent Justice Department inspector general's report. The court sought details related to other matters with which this attorney was involved and verification that he had been referred for investigation.
On Dec. 18 at 10:00 a.m., the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify before the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. Horowitz will be discussing the methodology, scope and findings of his report on four FISA applications and other aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation. A livestream of the hearing is available here courtesy of C-SPAN.
On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear testimony from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz about his recent report reviewing four FISA applications and other matters related to the FBI's investigation into whether members of the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. A livestream of that hearing is available through CBS News here and below.
Yes, the investigation had problems—some of them serious. But the problems were not political in character. There was no effort to “get” candidate Trump. There was no “insurance policy,” no coup, no treason.