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DOJ Inspector General Has Concluded FISA Abuse Probe


- September 13th, 2019
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Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Friday notified the attorney general that he has concluded his investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses by the Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 election, and is finalizing his report.

U.S. Representative Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, revealed the development in a letter to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) Friday afternoon.

Collins called on the Democrat to invite Horowitz and FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify before the panel once his report is released.  The report will be sent to the Judiciary Committee and made public after the Justice Department and FBI have had a chance to review it and make any necessary redactions.

“As you know, FISA oversight falls squarely within the Judiciary Committee’s jurisdiction. We must act swiftly to address concerns outlined in the Inspector General’s report,” Collins wrote.

Accordingly, I write to request you schedule a hearing as soon as possible following Congress’s receipt of the report. Further, I request that you invite Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray to discuss the findings of the investigation at that hearing.

In accordance with the Committee’s jurisdiction under House Rule X, it is critical that the Judiciary Committee be the first House committee to query the Inspector General about his findings and Director Wray about steps he is taking to ensure any abuses do not reoccur. Members of the Judiciary Committee on both sides of the aisle have unique expertise regarding FISA, making our Committee best equipped to directly address the concerns contained in the Inspector General’s report.

In March 2018, Horowitz launched the investigation into whether the FBI improperly used former British spy Christopher Steele’s unverified Clinton/DNC/Obama–financed opposition research to secure a FISA warrant on Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page. Although he is an Obama appointee, Horowitz has a reputation for being a thorough and fair nonpartisan.

In a letter dated September 13 to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Homeland Security and Judiciary committees, as well as the House Judiciary and Oversight and reform committees, Horowitz noted his team has conducted more than 100 interviews and reviewed over one million records as part of its investigation.

“We have now begun the process of finalizing our report by providing a draft of our factual findings to the department and the FBI for classification determination and marking,” Horowitz wrote. “This step is consistent with our process for reports such as this one that involve classified material.”

Joe diGenova, a former U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, claimed last month that all four FISA warrant extensions against Page had been found to be illegally obtained.

“I can report categorically that the inspector general has found that all four FISA warrants were illegal. They were based on false information supplied to the FISA Court. And Michael Horowitz has concluded that all four FISA warrants were illegal,” diGenova told WMAL.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said earlier this week that he expected Horowitz to report that all four FISA warrants were illegally obtained.

Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked Jordan for a “yes or no prediction” on the inspector general’s report at the end of an interview Monday night. “I think he will. Michael Horowitz does good work,” Jordan said. Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett concurred, saying, “Absolutely.”

Of course, until the report is publicly released, such predictions should be viewed with a grain of salt. That day is coming soon, according to Fox News’ chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge, Friday afternoon.

“We are officially in the endgame,” Herridge reported. She said that one of the “lingering stumbling blocks” is how much of the report will be made public and how much will be redacted.

“Republicans want as much public as possible,” Herridge said. She added that her sources are telling her that there will be a declassification of records prior to the release of the IG report that will allow the report to be as public as possible.

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