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Justice Dept. IG Completes Probe on Alleged FISA Abuse

Justice Dept. IG Completes Probe on Alleged FISA Abuse
Carter Page (Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 13 September 2019 06:15 PM

The Justice Department inspector general told Congress on Friday that his office had completed a review on whether the FBI followed the law and its policies in applying for a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Congress in a letter that his office had "reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews" in its inquiry and was in the early stages of completing its report, The Hill reports.

News of Horowitz's letter was also disclosed by Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.

Collins called on Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., to hold a hearing on the results of the inspector general's investigation.

According to the Hill, Horowitz said he had submitted a draft of the "factual findings" of the investigation to the Justice Department and FBI for a classification review.

The inspector general's office would then prepare final classified and public drafts of the report, he said.

"The team has reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed," Horowitz wrote, according to The Hill.

"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 provided no details of his findings, nor did he say when a report might be released.

He did, however, say he would update Congress on his progress when possible.

The letter was sent to the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate Oversight and Judiciary Committees.

In May 2018, Horowitz's office disclosed a review of whether the Justice Department and FBI complied with legal requirements and internal protocols in applying to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) Court for a warrant related to "a certain U.S. person."

The individual was not named by the IG, but was widely known to be Page, the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser who was included in the FBI's initial Russia investigation.

Republicans have long accused the FBI of abusing its powers in obtaining the FISA warrant to spy on Page because officials did not fully disclose the Democratic origins of the unsubstantiated dossier by former British spy Michael Steele.

Horowitz's office interviewed Steele last summer as part of its review, according to news reports.

A heavily redacted version of the Oct. 2016 Page warrant the Justice Department released last year showed that FBI officials believed Page to be "the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government," The Hill reports.

Other news reports had indicated that the FBI had obtained intelligence that the Russians had tried to use Page and other Trump surrogates to infiltrate the 2016 campaign.

The FBI became interested in Page after he spoke at a Moscow university in July 2016, criticizing U.S. policy regarding Russia, raising concerns that he might have been compromised.

Page was never charged in the subsequent Russia probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.

In his Friday letter to Nadler, Collins said that the Judiciary Committee must "act swiftly to address concerns outlined in the inspector general's report."

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The Justice Department inspector general told Congress on Friday that his office had completed a review on whether the FBI followed the law and its policies in applying for a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.Inspector...
fisa, probe, justice
530
2019-15-13
Friday, 13 September 2019 06:15 PM
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