Inspector general to testify about report on FBI's Russian Federation probe

CNN Skips Live Coverage of Hearing on FBI Misconduct		7,594CNNJoshua Caplan11 Dec 2019

CNN Skips Live Coverage of Hearing on FBI Misconduct 7,594CNNJoshua Caplan11 Dec 2019

Two separate U.S. Department of Justice reviews are likely to reach opposite conclusions about whether the FBI investigation of Donald Trump's 2016 campaign had sufficient cause to look into any ties with Russian Federation, an official watchdog told Congress on Wednesday.

He insisted that the FBI should not feel comforted by his findings and pointed out the absence of evidence for some of the most sensational claims by President Donald Trump and his supporters: that the investigation into ties between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation had been opened for political reasons or that agents had infiltrated his election bid.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., holds up a copy of the "Steele Dossier" during a hearing with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019, to look at the Inspector General's report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

That comment seemed to refer to a finding in the report that there were significant "omissions" in the FBI's application for a wiretap of Carter Page, a Trump campaign official.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, in an exclusive broadcast interview Monday with ABC News, lamented "actions described in this report that [he] considered unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution". Durham issued a statement disputing some of Horowitz's conclusions. "I made a decision to take my power back."After Page spoke out, Trump lambasted her again on Twitter."When Lisa Page, the lover of Peter Strzok, talks about being "crushed", and how innocent she is, ask her to read Peter's "Insurance Policy" text, to her, just in case Hillary loses", Trump tweeted."Also, why were the lovers text messages scrubbed after he left Mueller".

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Speaking to reporters at the White House over the weekend, President Trump said Giuliani hadn't briefed him on the findings yet, but said there's "a lot of good information".

Trump hailed the report as vindication for his long-running accusations that the FBI's former leaders schemed to carry out a coup to remove him from office - accusations Horowitz's findings implicitly reject.

The FBI then used confidential human sources - a "permitted" but more intrusive technique - to "interact and consensually record conversations" with Papadopoulous and Page.

"Never happened before in the history of our country, and we're really wise to it", he said.

That was a "pretext", Horowitz said, to collect information that might be relevant for the investigation.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the Ranking Member, said the IG report "conclusively refutes" claims of political motivation by President Trump and strong suggestions of that from Attorney General Barr.

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"I think it is an extraordinary thing when the most powerful law enforcement agency, maybe the world, is able to effectively intervene and influence a presidential election at the behest and with the cooperation of another political party", Hawley concluded.

Wray, the FBI director, announced the bureau would implement 40 changes, particularly when it comes to how it handles informants and applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Still, surveillance under FISA is legal, and the report said the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not "infiltrate" or otherwise spy on the Trump campaign.

"We need to rewrite the rules of how you start a counterintelligence investigation and the checks and balances we need", he added.

"The report separately found some problems with respect to specific, and later in time, applications for FISA surveillance of Carter Page", Daskal told us.

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