Politics: Justice Department praises watchdog's upcoming report on Russia inquiry amid reported criticism by Attorney General Barr - - PressFrom - US
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Politics Justice Department praises watchdog's upcoming report on Russia inquiry amid reported criticism by Attorney General Barr

07:30  03 december  2019
07:30  03 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Justice Department lauds inspector general ' s work in advance of anticipated report on Russia inquiry , due to be released Dec. Her statement comes in the wake of a Monday night report that Attorney General William Barr has expressed disagreement with a key finding by Inspector General

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department late Monday lauded an upcoming report by the agency's inspector general that is expected to conclude that the FBI's surveillance of a Trump campaign aide was legal.

"The inspector general’s investigation is a credit to the Department of Justice," said Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec of the report, which is set for release Dec. 9. "His excellent work has uncovered significant information that the American people will soon be able to read for themselves."

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has told Justice Department officials that he is skeptical of a conclusion by the department ’ s Should Mr. Barr rebut the inspector general ’ s assessment, due out next week in a highly anticipated report , Mr. Trump’ s allies will most likely use

Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department ’ s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report — that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign

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Her statement comes in the wake of a Monday night report that Attorney General William Barr has expressed disagreement with a key finding by Inspector General Michael Horowitz: that the FBI had sufficient basis to launch an investigation into members of the Trump campaign.

The Justice Department statement did not refer to that report by The Washington Post, but it urged the American people to "draw their own conclusions."

"Rather than speculating, people should read the report for themselves next week, watch the inspector general’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters," Kupec said in the written statement.

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department ’ s internal watchdog intends to complete by May or June his investigation into aspects of the Russia inquiry , including whether law enforcement officials abused their powers in surveilling a former Trump campaign aide, Attorney General William P. Barr told

Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department ’ s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report — that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign

Horowitz is scheduled to testify about the report's findings before the Senate panel on Dec. 11.

Trump and his Republican allies have trumpeted the report, with the president claiming it would prove the FBI abused its authority. The report is not expected to support his claim.

The president has repeatedly asserted that the inquiry into Russia's interference in the 2016 election was a "witch hunt" orchestrated by political enemies. As the report's release has drawn near, he has stepped up the rhetoric. In an interview on "Fox and Friends" last week, he accused the FBI of "spying on my campaign."

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Horowitz's report will be made public amid a fast-moving impeachment inquiry into allegations that Trump withheld military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure its government to open an investigation into the family of Democratic rival and former Vice President Joe Biden.

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WASHINGTON — Attorney General William P. Barr has assigned the top federal prosecutor in Connecticut to examine the origins of the Russia investigation, according to two people familiar with the matter

The attorney general has privately said he doesn’t think the inspector general can conclude yet that the FBI had enough information to open probe It’ s not yet clear how Barr plans to make his objection to Horowitz’ s conclusion known. The inspector general report , currently in draft form, is being

And it comes amid criticism from Democrats that the Justice Department, under Barr's leadership, has become a tool against the president's political enemies. 

Release of the inspector general's report follows revelations in October that a related – and equally politically charged – examination of the origins of the Russia investigation has shifted to a criminal probe.

The inspector general's review centered on the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page during the early stages of its investigation into Russian interference and possible ties to the Trump campaign.

Horowitz launched his review in March 2018 in response to requests from lawmakers and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The inspector general looked into whether the FBI violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, when it sought a judge's permission to wiretap Page.

Page, who had longstanding connections to Russia, admitted meeting with Kremlin officials in July 2016, when he was the Trump campaign's foreign policy adviser. 

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The attorney general has privately said he doesn’t think the inspector general can conclude yet that the FBI had enough information to open probe of a Trump campaign aide in 2016. President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr in September.

Attorney General William Barr confirmed on Wednesday that an internal watchdog ’ s report on the origins of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s dealings with Russia during the 2016 election is “imminent.” The highly anticipated report , led by Justice Department Inspector General Michael

Horowitz also examined the FBI's relationship and communication with Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer. He was hired by a research firm working for the campaign of then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and he compiled a now-infamous "dossier" alleging links between Russia and the Trump campaign. 

Republicans have complained that the FBI, in its applications to seek and renew surveillance on Page, concealed its reliance on Steele's findings. But copies of those applications released after USA TODAY and others sued showed FBI investigators did disclose to judges that Steele sought information to "discredit" Trump, and investigators had broader suspicions about Page's ties to the Russian government.

The counterintelligence investigation was launched in the summer of 2016, after the FBI learned that another campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, boasted to an Australian diplomat that Russia had offered the Trump campaign damaging information about Clinton.

Investigators also determined that Russian intelligence had stolen troves of emails from the Democratic National Committee. Papadopoulos' boast came before the Russian intrusions were publicly known.

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The US attorney general , William Barr , launched a review earlier this year to investigate Trump’ s complaints that his campaign was improperly targeted by US intelligence and law enforcement agencies during the 2016 election. Now that review has reportedly shifted to a criminal inquiry .

Justice watchdog cites investigative management challenges ahead of pending report on FBI' s "Recent and past (inspector general ) reviews have found that the department faces challenges in The reference to investigative management was highlighted by the inspector general as the only one

Special Counsel Robert Mueller took over the FBI's investigation in May 2017 and indicted three dozen individuals and entities, including six former Trump associates and campaign aides -- all of whom have either pleaded guilty or been convicted by a jury.

Mueller's report detailed a "sweeping and systematic" effort by the Russian government to intercede in the election to help Trump win, but concluded neither the president nor his campaign conspired with Russians. The report, however, portrayed the campaign as an eager beneficiary of Russian efforts. 

In April, shortly before the Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report, Barr told lawmakers he would conduct a separate examination of how the Russia investigation began and whether the government improperly "spied" on the Trump campaign.

Barr's announcement came amid Trump's escalating battle against the law enforcement and intelligence agencies that investigated him and his campaign. 

The president and his allies have long alleged that FBI officials were biased against him and spied on his campaign to damage him politically. The report is not expected to support his claim that the investigation was politically motivated.

Trump has also accused law enforcement and intelligence officials of treason.

Barr tapped Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to lead that inquiry. Durham has led high-profile special investigations, such as an examination of the FBI's handling of criminal informants in Boston during the Clinton administration.

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Attorney General William P. Barr , who has accused the F.B.I. of “spying” on the Trump campaign, has begun his own review that will include intelligence Reuters first reported the investigators’ interview of Mr. Steele. They have conducted more than 100 interviews and have begun drafting their report

Attorney General Barr to review FBI conduct during Russia probe. Attorney General Bill Barr testified Wednesday that he believes "spying did occur" on the Trump campaign in The comments follow a new report that the Justice Department ’ s internal watchdog also is scrutinizing the role of

Barr has personally overseen the inquiry, seeking assistance from law enforcement partners around the globe. 

Former law enforcement officials have dismissed accusations of spying and treason, saying the surveillance of Page wasn't unusual.

"There was no conspiracy to unseat Mr. Trump or defeat him. There was no treason. There was no sedition," James Baker said in May. He's the FBI's former general counsel and oversaw the launch of the Russia investigation. 

Former FBI director James Comey has echoed this sentiment. In a Washington Post op-ed, he wrote that the FBI properly investigated whether Americans associated with the Trump campaign conspired with Russians.

In a separate report released in August, the inspector general concluded that Comey, whom Trump abruptly fired two years ago, broke Justice Department policy by disclosing the contents of confidential memos detailing his interactions with Trump. 

Last year, Horowitz released a scathing review of the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

The 568-page report rebuked Comey's handling of the investigation and acknowledged "troubling" text messages between two former FBI officials that disparaged Trump, then a presidential candidate. But Horowitz said his examination did not find evidence that political bias affected the investigators' actions.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Justice Department praises watchdog's upcoming report on Russia inquiry amid reported criticism by Attorney General Barr

Russia Inquiry Review Is Expected to Undercut Trump Claim of F.B.I. Spying .
The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia's election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said. The determination by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to be a key finding in his highly anticipated report due out on Dec. 9 examining aspects of the Russia investigation. The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I.

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