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

Trump listens during a roundtable with small businesses leaders to discuss the Administrations Fall Unified Agenda Friday Dec 06 2019 in Washington DC

The deepening divide within the Justice Department was on full display.

When Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, members of both parties seemed to be talking past each other as they spoke, highlighting entirely different findings from the report and leaving with fundamentally incompatible takeaways about the FBI's Russian Federation inquiry.

"This is the untold story of the 2016 campaign", Hawley said.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he agreed with Horowitz's conclusions and has taken steps to curb the abuses outlined in the report.

"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", Durham said in an unusually political statement Monday.

We chose to look at some key conclusions from the IG report, which was based on more than 1 million documents and interviews with over 100 witnesses, in light of Barr's remarks. Senators from both parties praised a detailed, nuanced report by a widely respected, nonpartisan investigator, while pressing him to call attention to findings that back their positions.

Even so, Horowitz also repeatedly noted under questioning from Democrats that he had not found that the FBI had targeted Trump for investigation for political reasons.

"You expect it from foreign governments", Hawley said.

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Rosa Brooks, professor of law and policy at Georgetown University, told us that Barr's assessment that the suspicions were thin "appears willfully inaccurate".

"This was not a politically motivated investigation. Why didn't they tell Trump?" Horowitz said the IG report findings did not vindicate Comey from wrongdoing.

"Would it be fair to say you take issue with that statement?"

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

Notably, there were problems with the requests to surveil Page, which relied in large part on information from Steele.

But Horowitz also said the Federal Bureau of Investigation made what he described as "basic and fundamental errors" that overstated its case as it sought court approval to wiretap a Trump campaign aide. The report was silent on whether the court would have approved them with more accurate information.

"Nevertheless we found that investigators failed to meet their basic obligations of ensuring that the FISA applications were scrupulously accurate". But those problems "do not change the fact that the initial overarching decision to investigate was justified".

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.

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