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Politics Report will clear FBI of misdeeds in Russia investigation

23:45  07 december  2019
23:45  07 december  2019 Source:   latimes.com

Berlin Assassin Trail Could Lead to Russia, German Authorities Say

  Berlin Assassin Trail Could Lead to Russia, German Authorities Say German prosecutors now believe the murder of a Chechen rebel in Berlin this summer was likely linked to the Kremlin, according to an official familiar with the investigation, putting pressure on Berlin to punish Moscow. The German government has so far declined to speculate on the identity of the suspected killer, an unidentified Russian man who was arrested by German police just after the murder on Aug. 23.

So, the report that an FBI lawyer is under investigation for falsifying a document related to this But it’s not clear how Horowitz will assess some of this misconduct or exactly how harshly he’ll Either way, the Inspector General’s report will probably not be the final word on the Russia investigation .

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, who has written extensively on the Trump- Russia probe as a columnist for National Review, said that just because the president’s name was not put on a file or a surveillance warrant does not mean the Comey FBI was not investigating him.

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has determined that political bias did not influence the federal investigation of potential links between Russia and the Trump campaign in 2016, according to people familiar with the matter, countering White House claims of deliberate partisan influence.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz appears at the launch of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The Justice Department is forming a special group of prosecutors and watchdogs from several agencies to fight bid-rigging, price fixing and other fraud that hurts competition in federal government contracting.  (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)© ASSOCIATED PRESS Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz appears at the launch of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force at the Justice Department in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. The Justice Department is forming a special group of prosecutors and watchdogs from several agencies to fight bid-rigging, price fixing and other fraud that hurts competition in federal government contracting. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

FBI wiretap of Trump campaign aide was riddled with errors, but Russia probe was legally justified, IG report finds

  FBI wiretap of Trump campaign aide was riddled with errors, but Russia probe was legally justified, IG report finds DOJ IG Michael Horowitz's report, released Monday, debunks claims by Trump that political bias influenced FBI's decision to launch Russia probe in 2016.The voluminous report, released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, identified 17 separate inaccuracies across three surveillance applications, effectively inflating the justification for its monitoring of foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

A separate investigation is being conducted by John Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah. According to the report issued by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the FBI opened its investigation , acting It is not clear when the other two investigations launched by the Department of Justice under either Barr

The Special Counsel investigation was an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and suspicious links between Trump associates and Russian officials

Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who will release his long-anticipated report Monday, also found that the FBI had enough evidence to justify obtaining a foreign intelligence warrant in 2016 to conduct secret surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser who had multiple contacts with Russian officials, the people said.

The report’s findings are expected to effectively reject or dismiss the most explosive allegations from President Donald Trump and his allies — that FBI officials and agents broke rules and laws in their pursuit of evidence, and deliberately sought to derail Trump’s candidacy.

FBI wiretap of Trump campaign aide was riddled with errors, but Russia probe was legally justified, IG report finds

  FBI wiretap of Trump campaign aide was riddled with errors, but Russia probe was legally justified, IG report finds DOJ IG Michael Horowitz's report, released Monday, debunks claims by Trump that political bias influenced FBI's decision to launch Russia probe in 2016.The voluminous report, released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, identified 17 separate inaccuracies across three surveillance applications, effectively inflating the justification for its monitoring of foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

The FBI 's criminal probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election is increasingly touching on the multiple roles of senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on both the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team.

After lengthy investigations , officials also believe that a hacking of Democratic emails was aimed at At least one part of the investigation has involved Paul Manafort, Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman Election officials in several states have reported what appeared to be cyberintrusions from Russia

But the report also will provide grist for other criticism, and thus may create new partisan friction even as Trump battles an impeachment inquiry in the House.

Horowitz uncovered cases of FBI agents and lawyers acting in careless and unprofessional ways, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the report’s conclusions.

Trump and Republicans are eagerly awaiting the report, with the president saying he expected it to be “historic.”

“Now, what you’re going to see, I predict, will be perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country,” the president told Fox News last month.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing Wednesday into Horowitz’s findings.

The report will be released as the House Judiciary Committee holds its second impeachment hearing into whether Trump abused his power when he pressured Ukraine to announce investigations of his political foes. Lawyers for the House Intelligence Committee will present findings of that panel’s investigation.

Barr: Horowitz report shows FBI launched Trump campaign investigation on 'thinnest of suspicions'

  Barr: Horowitz report shows FBI launched Trump campaign investigation on 'thinnest of suspicions' Attorney General William Barr said that a newly released Justice Department watchdog report showed that the FBI launched an "intrusive" investigation of President Trump's campaign "on the thinnest of suspicions." Barr also said that the report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz showed that, in his opinion, the FBI had an "insufficient" basis to justify steps taken in the investigation into the Trump campaign in 2016, putting him at odds with Horowitz, who concluded in the report that the bureau had an "authorized purpose" to open the investigation.

The Russia investigation was opened after the FBI was told of statements made by a then Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, that the Russians possessed hacked Hillary Clinton emails. Papadopoulos’s alleged comments were key because they were made well before any public

The IG report found there was no conspiracy against Trump in the 2016 Clinton investigation , but it detailed a sequence of events Horowitz himself is still tasked with investigating the FBI 's handling of the Trump- Russia investigation , in which Republicans allege they abused the foreign surveillance

After two months of depositions and hearings, Democrats on the Intelligence Committee concluded that Trump improperly “solicited the interference of a foreign government, Ukraine, to benefit his reelection.” In a minority report, Republicans argued the process was unfair and that it showed no evidence of impeachable offenses.

The dispute echoes, in some ways, the earlier investigations into the Trump campaign and Russia’s role in the 2016 election. A special counsel investigation found that Trump’s aides welcomed Russian offers of help during that race, but did not coordinate with them.

Horowitz is not investigating Trump’s efforts regarding Ukraine. Instead, Horowitz looked into the FBI’s handling of secret warrants obtained in 2016 to help determine if Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser, was working for Russian spy services.

Trump’s allies have alleged that the Justice Department failed to adequately disclose to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its application for a warrant on Page relied, in part, on unverified information from Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who compiled a dossier on Trump in 2016 that was ultimately funded by Democrats.

Comey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson'

  Comey in op-ed after IG report: 'Barr needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson' Former FBI Director James Comey criticized Attorney General William Barr in a Washington Post op-ed on Monday, saying he "needs to stop acting like a Trump spokesperson." Comey called on Barr to provide "an acknowledgement of the truth" and admit he was wrong in the aftermath of Inspector General Michael Horowitz's released report on the FBI's investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia."Well, the wait is over, andComey called on Barr to provide "an acknowledgement of the truth" and admit he was wrong in the aftermath of Inspector General Michael Horowitz's released report on the FBI's investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Figuratively, storm clouds of an FBI investigation loom large. Everyone seems to be bracing for a monsoon of truth. On the other hand, the aggressiveness of our reporting should be commensurate with revealing any breach of the sacred trust of those serving in a government funded by and for

The Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI ) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the United States and its principal federal law enforcement agency.

The inspector general also looked at whether the FBI allowed political bias to shape counterintelligence probes involving potential connections between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

Peter Strozk, the FBI agent who oversaw the initial investigation, exchanged private text messages with an FBI lawyer that were disparaging of Trump. Strozk later served as the lead agent on the investigation led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, a former FBI director.

Strozk was removed from Mueller’s team in 2017 after the text messages were discovered. He was eventually fired.

Strozk also oversaw the FBI’s much-maligned probe into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of State. Horowitz examined the handling of the email investigation and found no evidence it had been influenced by political bias.

The inspector general, however, chastised Strozk and the FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, writing that their text exchanges helped create “the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”

The FBI first obtained warrants from the FISA court in October 2016 to conduct surveillance on Page, an oil industry consultant. It renewed those warrants three more times, the last time in June 2017.

Russia's Lavrov: Moscow seeks to publish cache of 2016-2017 communications with U.S.

  Russia's Lavrov: Moscow seeks to publish cache of 2016-2017 communications with U.S. Russian Foreign Minister Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia is willing to publish a cache of communications between 2016 and 2017 that he said would clear Moscow of allegations it interfered in U.S. politics but has been blocked by the United States. © Thomson Reuters Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov takes questions during a joint news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington, U.S., December 10, 2019.

Recent reports of outspokenly anti-Donald Trump agents formerly serving the bureau in the investigation aren’t helping. It would be unfortunate if a new special counsel investigation sealed the story in secrecy for months or years longer, just as the final report of an investigation into the

Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Russia Investigation news, video, and analysis from ABC News. During the campaign, Trump asked Flynn to be one of a small group of close advisors charged with improving relations in Russia and other hot spots.

The first warrant was obtained a few weeks after Page disclosed he had left his job as an unpaid foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign amid controversy over his contacts with Russian officials. Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told CNN that September that Page was “not part of the campaign I’m running.”

Page has not been charged with any crimes. In an email to the Los Angeles Times, he wrote that the report was “an important first step in the process. It’s by no means the final word.”

Page has asked Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, to permit him to testify at the hearing Wednesday, calling the FISA warrant process a “debacle.”

Horowitz is not the only Justice Department official reexamining investigations into the 2016 campaign.

Attorney General William Barr tapped a U.S. attorney, John Durham, to conduct a parallel investigation into the Russia probes. It is not known when Durham will publish his results or whether it will result in criminal charges. Horowitz has referred at least one person to Durham for a potential criminal investigation.

That referral involves a junior FBI lawyer who doctored an email that was part of the FISA warrant process.

Former federal prosecutors and FBI agents said they don’t expect Horowitz’s report to change the dynamics or close the partisan divide in Washington.

Many Trump supporters “don’t deal in reality or in facts,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor. “They deal in conspiracy. So this report will just be further evidence of a deep-state conspiracy.”

Frank Montoya, a former FBI agent who specialized in counterintelligence, said he expects Horowitz to recommend changes to the way FISA warrants are obtained.

In a statement, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Horowitz had done “excellent work.”

“Rather than speculating,” Kupec said, “people should just 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.”

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(Los Angeles Times staff writer Christopher Megerian contributed to this report.)

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Trump asks where is his apology from Comey .
President Trump on Sunday called for an apology from FBI Director James Comey amid the release of the Justice Department watchdog's report on the FBI investigation into connections between Trump's 2016 campaign and Russia.Trump said Comey's admission on "Fox News Sunday" was only "because he got caught red handed.""So what are the consequences for his unlawful conduct," he posted. "Could it be years in jail? Where are the apologies to me and others, Jim?"So now Comey's admitting he was wrong. Wow, but he's only doing so because he got caught red handed. He was actually caught a long time ago.

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