90 Miles From Tyranny : 6 Takeaways From the IG Report on FBI’s Spying on Trump Campaign

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

6 Takeaways From the IG Report on FBI’s Spying on Trump Campaign

The Justice Department’s in-house watchdog released a 476-page report Monday that criticizes some of the FBI’s actions in beginning an investigation of the Trump campaign’s connection with Russian election meddling, but does not concludes that political bias drove the agency’s probe.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report does answer many questions and verifies some suspicions about the initial FBI investigation, dubbed Crossfire Hurricane.

Attorney General William Barr, Horowitz’s boss, issued a statement Monday saying that the report shows the FBI’s “clear abuse” of the process for obtaining warrants to spy on Americans.

Horowitz is scheduled to take questions Wednesday from the Senate Judiciary Committee on his report, which arrives as the House Judiciary Committee drafts articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The demand for socialism is on the rise from young Americans today. But is socialism even morally sound? Find out more now >>

Here are six key takeaways from Horowitz’s report.

1. Surveillance Broader Than Initially Thought

Americans already knew the FBI used surveillance to keep tabs on two Trump campaign advisers. Initially, news reports made it clear that foreign policy advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos were under surveillance.

The IG report states that two others also were subject to FBI spying: retired Army Lt. General Michael Flynn, a high-level campaign adviser who would serve less than a month as Trump’s first White House national security adviser, and onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

The IG report concludes that “the quantum of information articulated by the FBI to open the individual investigations on Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn, and Manafort in August 2016 was sufficient to satisfy the low threshold established by the [Justice] Department and the FBI.”

In May 2017, about four months after Trump became president, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to complete the investigation.

Mueller determined in his final report released in April 2019 that there was no evidence either Trump or his campaign conspired with the Russian government or Russian operatives to influence the 2016 election.

2. FBI ‘Far Short’ on Facts in Applying for Warrant

On one key matter, the IG report scolds the FBI for “falling far short” on standards.

The report identifies 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” by the FBI, which it subsequently refers to as “errors,” in obtaining a warrant to surveil Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA.

“Our review found that FBI personnel fell far short of the requirement in FBI policy that they ensure that all factual statements in a FISA application are ‘scrupulously accurate,’” the report says. “We identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”

The inspector general also “determined that the inaccuracies and omissions we identified in the applications resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to Department attorneys and failing to identify important issues for discussion.”

The report continues:

Moreover, we concluded that case agents and SSAs [supervisory special agents] did not give appropriate attention to facts that cut against probable cause, and that as the investigation progressed and more information tended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the FISA applications, the agents and SSAs did not reassess the information supporting probable cause.

Further, the report notes that “among the most serious” errors committed by the FBI on FISA was the “failure to advise OI [the Office of Intelligence] or the court of the inconsistencies.”

The Office of Intelligence is part of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

3. No ‘Documentary or Testimonial Evidence’ of Political Bias, but …

Read More HERE

No comments:

Post a Comment

Test Word Verification