The long-awaited DOJ watchdog report said FBI investigators mishandled parts of an application to monitor a Trump campaign aide, but otherwise the probe was justified.
But the report not only found that the investigation was not affected by partisan bias, but it also identified something else: pro-Trump communications from agents involved in cultivating a confidential source during the investigation.
"I consider there can be no debate amongst fairly minded individuals, significantly attorneys, about how the system bought off the rails, however for my part grew to become a prison enterprise to defraud the FISA court docket", Graham seethed, "to disclaim American citizen Carter Web page his constitutional rights, and to proceed an operation in opposition to President Trump as president of the United States of America".
U.S. Atorney General William Barr levelled blistering criticism at how the Russian Federation investigation was conducted, saying Tuesday that it was based on a "bogus narrative" that the Trump campaign might have conspired with Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential election.
WITTES: I actually think the one person in Trump world who has a bit of a claim of vindication from this report is actually Carter Page.
Those statements were put to the test by a Justice Department watchdog report that found much for Trump to claim as validation, like deep-rooted faults in how agents investigated ties between his 2016 campaign and Russian Federation.
According to the Inspector General's account, Mr Steele told investigators that, if anything, he was "favourably disposed" towards the Trump family, since he had visited a Trump family member at New York's Trump Tower and "been friendly" with the family member for "some years".
It is worth pointing out that the Horowitz report demonstrates how easily the FBI can open an investigation with only the slightest "articulable factual basis", and that FBI and Justice Department guidelines make no requirement for higher standards for "allegations potentially impacting constitutionally protected activity, such as First Amendment rights". He said no one at the White House requested that the FBI investigate members of the Trump campaign.
Durham said Monday that his findings, while still in progress, differ from the inspector general's. 'I think we have to wait until the full investigation is done'. However, the report said that the disclosure would not have prompted the court to reject the application.
Rep. Devin Nunes on Tuesday, while responding to inspector general Michael Horowitz's findings, called for either shutting down the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court system or taking action to fix it. Those emails, which were hacked from Democratic email accounts by Russian intelligence operatives, were released by WikiLeaks in the weeks before the election, in what U.S. officials have said was an effort to harm Clinton's campaign and help Trump.
The DOJ IG report released Monday cleared both Page and Stzrok of wrongdoing in their roles in the FBI's investigations.
Maybe, the president and his cohorts said, Horowitz would turn up evidence of a vast conspiracy, launched by the FBI's "deep state", to undermine Trump. Wray was sworn in as FBI director in August 2017, replacing Andrew McCabe, who had been leading the bureau in an acting capacity after Trump fired James B. Comey.
"I think that's the kind of label that's a disservice to the men and women who work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who I think tackle their jobs with professionalism, with rigor, with objectivity, with courage", he said.
© Jacquelyn Martin/AP FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Wray, for his part, has kept a mostly low profile, rarely speaking in depth about the Russian Federation investigation that he inherited or engaging in public conflicts with a White House that harbors skepticism about perceived political bias in the USA intelligence community.
Mr. Horowitz said what he found in his investigation was troubling enough that he has opened another audit of the FBI's Woods Procedures.