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Politics DOJ watchdog to release report on Russia investigation origins: What you need to know

12:20  09 december  2019
12:20  09 december  2019 Source:   abcnews.go.com

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.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to release a report Monday rejecting President Trump's assertions that the investigation into 2016 Russian election interference was illegitimate due to political bias. The report is expected to conclude that there was adequate legal

You will need to register before adding a comment. Russia probe: DOJ inquiry into origins of investigation has shifted to criminal probe. In April, shortly before the Justice Department released a redacted version of Mueller's report , Barr told lawmakers he would conduct a separate examination

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The long-awaited Department of Justice Inspector General report examining the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election is set to be released Monday, in a moment sure to draw intense political scrutiny on the activities of law enforcement agents tasked with probing contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.

The investigation by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, first announced in March 2018, initially sought to examine the circumstances surrounding the FBI's surveillance of a then-Trump campaign adviser Carter Page -- who had lived and worked in Russia.

DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz testifies on his findings before Senate Judiciary Committee

  DOJ watchdog Michael Horowitz testifies on his findings before Senate Judiciary Committee The Justice Department's inspector general debunked claims by Trump that political bias played a role in the FBI's decision to launch Russia probe.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department ’s internal watchdog said he expects to be able to release a long-awaited report relating to the origins of investigations into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on December 9. In a letter sent on Thursday to

A Justice Department watchdog on Thursday criticized former FBI Director James Comey for violating The IG report has its origins in the tumultuous days after the 2016 presidential election The Russia Investigations : What You Need To Know About Russian 'Active Measures'. Prior to the report 's release Thursday, Horowitz established some limits about what he would conclude in it.

Horowitz's review questioned the role that a controversial "dossier" played in the FBI's investigation, a compilation of memos authored by former British spy Christopher Steele that included claims that Page and other Trump campaign officials were colluding with Russians to assist President Donald Trump in his White House run while boosting his businesses.

In October 2016, the FBI filed a surveillance warrant with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court against Page, and provided a series of materials to the court that agents said supported their belief that Page was "the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government," according to a since-declassified copy of the application.

A since-declassified copy of the warrant indicated its monitoring of Page's communications was part of a broader investigation of Russia's alleged efforts to, "undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law."

The FISA application was renewed a total of three times, each time with the approval of Republican-appointed judges, before it was allowed to expire in September 2017.

While Horowitz's investigation was initially believed to be narrowly targeted in its review of the Page FISA application, it expanded over the past year and a half into a broader review of the conduct of senior FBI and Department of Justice officials in the early days of the Russia investigation. Horowitz's original mandate noted that, "if circumstances warrant, [he would] consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review."

Trump asks where is his apology from Comey

  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.

The details of Barr's plan to reconstruct the start of the Russia investigation comes as he is His review comes on top of a DOJ Inspector General review of the use of warrants granted under the The IG report is expected in the next few months. During the Wednesday hearing, Republican senators

You will need to register before adding a comment. Washington – The Justice Department ’s watchdog is nearing the release of its report on the early The investigation is one of several inquiries into the origins of the FBI’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia .

Michael Horowitz wearing a suit and tie: Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 18, 2018. © Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, FILE Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 18, 2018. According to sources familiar with the review, Horowitz looked into whether FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who privately exchanged anti-Trump text messages while working on the Russia probe, were guided by politics in their official actions. He also probed whether senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr improperly tried to influence the probe by sharing Steele's information with the FBI, even though the agency had already received much of Steele's information from elsewhere.

Attorney General William Barr has additionally announced a separate investigation led by U.S. attorney John Durham looking at the conduct of intelligence agency officials who initiated the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.

The scrutiny has provided political fodder for many Republican lawmakers who have argued the investigation into the Trump campaign was tainted by political bias. Trump has taken that claim even further, repeatedly suggesting without evidence that Horowitz's review will be explosive and validate his unfounded claims that senior FBI and DOJ officials were looking to undermine his campaign and eventually sabotage his presidency.

"I predict you will see things that you don't even believe," Trump said in October. "The level of corruption -- whether it's (former FBI Director James) Comey; whether it's (former FBI agent Peter) Strzok and his lover, (former FBI lawyer Lisa) Page; whether it's so many other people -- (former FBI deputy director Andrew) McCabe; whether it's President Obama himself."

Horowitz delivered a draft version of his report the Department of Justice in mid-September, and ABC News confirmed last month that it includes at least one criminal referral. The referral alleges former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith altered a document related to Page's FISA application, though sources emphasized that the alleged alteration did not have had any material impact on the overall appropriateness of the FISA warrant.

Former FBI, CIA director slams AG Barr over reaction to DOJ watchdog report

  Former FBI, CIA director slams AG Barr over reaction to DOJ watchdog report Former FBI and CIA director William Webster posted an op-ed slamming President Trump and Attorney General Barr over their reactions to the DOJ watchdog's FISA report.Webster, who notes he is a "longtime friend" of Barr's, argued in a New York Times op-ed that both Trump and Barr's public statements attacking the FBI's actions in the investigation is "dangerous" for the bureau.

DOJ watchdog report expected to find Russia investigation valid Pensacola shooter's motive still under investigation Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz is expected to release a report

Sources say Horowitz's draft report is hundreds of pages in length and includes significant criticism of the conduct of FBI and DOJ officials involved in the investigation, however Horowitz is not expected to argue that the decision to launch the investigation was without proper cause.

a man wearing a suit and tie: US Attorney General William Barr speaks during the Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, July 15, 2019. © Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images US Attorney General William Barr speaks during the Summit on Combating Anti-Semitism at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC, July 15, 2019. Horowitz will testify regarding his findings before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, and committee chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham has said he expects the inspector general will personally make "recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better."

Republicans are expected to seize on the report as validating some of their long-expressed concerns about the investigation amid the backdrop of the ongoing impeachment inquiry over the alleged pressure campaign by President Trump to have Ukraine announce an investigation into 2020 presidential political rival and former Vice President Joe Biden..

In Tuesday's impeachment hearing in the House Judiciary committee, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz suggested, without providing evidence, that Horowitz's report would be so damning that it would shift the focus of impeachment to former President Barack Obama.

"If wiretapping political opponents is a political offense, I look forward to reading that inspector general's report because maybe it's a different president we should be impeaching," Gaetz said.

Nora Dannehy et al. standing next to a man in a suit and tie: John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, speaks to reporters on the steps of U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn. in this April 25, 2006 file photo. © Bob Child/AP, FILE John Durham, a federal prosecutor in Connecticut, speaks to reporters on the steps of U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn. in this April 25, 2006 file photo.

With Durham's investigation still ongoing, it's unlikely Horowitz's report and testimony will provide any definitive closure for critics of the investigation like Gaetz and President Trump.

"As you know, the big one that's going to come out is the Durham report," Trump told reporters last Wednesday. "And I don't know Mr. Durham. I've never spoken to him. But he's one of the most respected law enforcement or U.S. attorneys anywhere in the country. He's a tough guy."

It's unclear whether Durham has uncovered significant information beyond what Horowitz found, though in late October ABC News confirmed that his investigation had formally turned into a criminal probe, at least in part due to the criminal referral of Clinesmith, sources say.

The move provides Durham powers that Horowitz lacked, such as convening a grand jury and issuing subpoenas for witnesses and documents.

But it has also been a source of concern among Democrats who have cast Barr as an unreliable and partisan attorney general, who has made clear through his public statements of his skepticism to how the investigation was handled.

"I assumed I'd get answers when I went in and I have not gotten answers that are, well, satisfactory," Barr said in a May interview. "In fact probably have more questions, and that some of the facts that- that I've learned don't hang together with the official explanations of what happened."

A source familiar with the process said that Barr is not currently expected to offer a formal response to the Horowitz report upon its transmission to Congress that the DOJ at times includes with IG reports critical of the department.

ABC News' Mike Levine contributed reporting to this article.

Former FBI, CIA director slams AG Barr over reaction to DOJ watchdog report .
Former FBI and CIA director William Webster posted an op-ed slamming President Trump and Attorney General Barr over their reactions to the DOJ watchdog's FISA report.Webster, who notes he is a "longtime friend" of Barr's, argued in a New York Times op-ed that both Trump and Barr's public statements attacking the FBI's actions in the investigation is "dangerous" for the bureau.

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