Politics: Watchdog report on Russia probe nears public release - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Watchdog report on Russia probe nears public release

01:45  13 november  2019
01:45  13 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

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The Justice Department's watchdog is nearing the release of its report on the early stages of the FBI's Russia investigation, a document likely to revive debate about a politically charged probe that has shadowed President Donald Trump from the outset.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's watchdog is nearing the release of its report on the early stages of the FBI's Russia investigation, a document likely to revive debate about a politically charged probe that shadowed President Donald Trump's administration from the outset.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department's watchdog is nearing the release of its report on the early stages of the FBI's Russia investigation, a document likely to revive debate about a politically charged probe that shadowed President Donald Trump's administration from the outset.

President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, to travel to Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)© Provided by The Associated Press President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019, to travel to Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The inspector general in recent days has invited witnesses and their lawyers who were interviewed for the report to review portions of a draft this week and next, a critical final step toward making the document public, according to multiple people familiar with the process who insisted on anonymity to discuss it.

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Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News. In a separate review of the Clinton email probe , Horowitz said he found no evidence that Page and Strzok's political opinions influenced their work or the outcome of

As part of that process, the people will have opportunities to raise concerns or suggest potential edits, making it unclear precisely when in the coming weeks a final version could be ready for release. Inspector General Michael Horowitz told Congress in a letter last month that he did not expect a lengthy review period and that he intended to make as much of the report public as possible, with minimal redactions.

The release of the report is likely to coincide with House impeachment proceedings scrutinizing the Trump administration's efforts to press Ukraine into investigating Democratic rival Joe Biden. Any finding of problems by the inspector general in how the FBI gathered and collected evidence in investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia could at least temporarily buoy Trump and other Republican supporters eager to turn the page from the congressional scrutiny now imperiling his White House.

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Their probes often involve interviews with dozens of witnesses and can produce reports months or even years after a problem comes to light. Inspector general nears release of report on Justice Department’s handling of its probe into Hillary Clinton’s email use.

Trump has long insisted that the investigation into his campaign was a "hoax" and "witch hunt," asserting without evidence or elaboration as recently as last month that law enforcement officials had done "really bad things."

A key question examined by the inspector general has been the FBI's process for applying for, and receiving, a secret warrant to monitor the communications of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The warrant was renewed multiple times by judges, but Republican critics of the Russia probe have decried the fact that the FBI relied in part in its application on uncorroborated information obtained by Christopher Steele, a former British spy who had been paid by Hillary Clinton's campaign to conduct opposition research.

The government did disclose to the court the political loyalties of the people who hired Steele, according to Democrats on the House intelligence committee who released their own memo last year aimed at countering Republican allegations of law enforcement misconduct.

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The Department of Justice inspector general has reportedly completed a draft of his report on the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation

The FBI opened its investigation in July 2016 after receiving information that a Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, had disclosed to an Australian diplomat that Russia had thousands of stolen emails that would be potentially damaging to Clinton, an election opponent. U.S. officials have said the emails were hacked by Russian intelligence operatives and given to WikiLeaks, which released them ahead of the election.

Papadopoulos, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Trump's campaign, had learned from a Maltese professor, Joseph Mifsud, that Russia had "dirt" on Clinton in the form of the stolen emails. Papadopoulos later pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Mifsud.

A spokeswoman for Horowitz declined to comment on Tuesday. Horowitz himself refused to answer questions about the report and its timing at an unrelated news conference last week. The inspector general provided a draft copy to Attorney General William Barr in September, and the Justice Department has since been conducting a classification review.

DOJ inspector general scheduled to testify about Russia report

  DOJ inspector general scheduled to testify about Russia report Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 11 to discuss the findings of his report into the opening of the Russia investigation, Chairman Lindsey Graham announced Monday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "Mr.

Clinton has said the probe contributed to her 2016 presidential election loss to Republican Donald The U.S. Justice Department's internal watchdog will release a long-awaited report on Thursday on the He now represents Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's probe into whether Russia

The report will be released to the public , pending a classification review by the Intelligence Community. “Last January, we set out to investigate Russian active Schiff, following the committee’s vote to release the Republican report Thursday, called the Russia probe a “sad chapter,” and called

Horowitz's team has reviewed over one million records and conducted more than 100 interviews, including several who were interviewed in the last few months, the inspector general has told Congress.

The investigation is one of several inquiries into the origins of the FBI's investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The investigation was ultimately taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller, who identified multiple points of contact between Russia and Trump campaign associates but found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy to tip the 2016 election in Trump's favor.

Mueller ultimately charged a half dozen Trump aides and 25 Russians accused either in the hacking of Democratic emails or in a covert social media campaign aimed at spreading disinformation.

Barr, meanwhile, has appointed U.S. Attorney John Durham to conduct a separate investigation that has since turned into a criminal matter, according to a person familiar with the situation. It's unclear what potential crime is being looked at.

The Justice Department has said Trump recently made several calls at Barr's request to foreign leaders, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to help the attorney general with the current Durham probe of the investigation.

Barr also traveled with Durham to Italy in August and September, and the two met with Italian intelligence officials to seek information about the activities of FBI agents assigned there, Italian Premier Giuseppe Conte has said. Mifsud and Papadopoulos first met in Italy in 2016.

Horowitz himself has undertaken multiple investigations of FBI activities in the last few years. Last year, he released a report criticizing former FBI Director James Comey for his handling of the investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server, though he also concluded that none of his decisions were tainted by political bias.

He has more recently criticized Comey for his handling of memos documenting private interactions with Trump, though the Justice Department declined to prosecute.

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Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP and Michael Balsamo at http://www.twitter.com/MikeBalsamo1

Former FBI lawyer under investigation after allegedly altering document in 2016 Russia probe .
A former FBI lawyer is under criminal investigation after allegedly altering a document related to 2016 surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, several people briefed on the matter told CNN. © Mark Wilson/Getty Images North America/Getty Images WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 02: Carter Page, former foreign policy adviser for the Trump campaign, speaks to the media after testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on November 2, 2017 in Washington, DC. The committee conducting an investigation into Russia's tampering in the 2016 election.

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