Inspector General Horowitz ‘Surprised’ by John Durham’s Statement on FISA Report

Investigation Director Christopher Wray testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the bureau's FY 2020 budget on Capitol Hill

Mr. Durham also noted that he had culled evidence from individuals both "in the USA and outside the US", highlighting the limits of the inspector general's investigation.

Barr, who past year said before Congress he believed "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign has assigned a prosecutor, John Durham, to explore the beginnings of the intelligence gathering process for the probe. He said he was not swayed by Durham's argument.

Michael Horowitz's testimony before the Senate's judiciary committee comes two days after the release of a report that identified significant problems with applications to receive and renew warrants to eavesdrop on a former Trump campaign aide in 2016 and 2017.

A spokesperson for the notoriously secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declined to comment this week after the publication of the Horowitz report.

"We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision", the IG report said.

"No, we stand by our findings", Horowitz replied.

The Office of Inspector General's (OIG) report on the FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation identified numerous troubling procedural problems, but ultimately concluded that the bureau had sufficient grounds to open a full investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation, thereby debunking years of conspiracy theories that the investigation was prompted by anti-Trump political bias. Further, he called on FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify before the committee citing a "problem" with his agency.

Attorney General William Barr disagreed with many of Horowitz's findings.

The IG report found significant errors and problems with how the Federal Bureau of Investigation prepared the applications to the court, including the critical finding that exculpatory evidence about Page was omitted. His review will likely wrap up in the spring or summer of next year, during the height of Trump's re-election campaign.

Democrats and Republicans on the Judiciary Committee chose to emphasize different aspects of Horowitz's report. But Republicans say the findings show the investigation was fatally flawed. People at the highest level of our government took the law in their own hands.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, the panel's top Democrat, said the report had knocked down Trump's accusations that a "Deep State" of bureaucrats had worked to undermine his political prospects. He said the code name for the FBI investigation, "Crossfire Hurricane", was an apt title "because that's what we ended up with - a 'Crossfire Hurricane'".

Horowitz's work on the issue is not done. He said his office is examining whether FBI agents in NY improperly leaked information to Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in an effort to pressure then-FBI Director James Comey to re-open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email use.



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