Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a sweeping investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, objected to conclusions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) report after the release of the department watchdog’s review, with Barr saying that the probe was launched on the “thinnest of suspicions.”
“The inspector general’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement, referring to Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Horowitz released Monday his long-awaited review concerning the origins of the FBI’s investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and any possible collusion or coordination with Russian officials.
According to Horowitz, his investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding the probe’s launch and efforts to obtain a FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. However, it flagged “serious performance failures” and identified 17 “significant inaccuracies or omissions” in applications for the warrant.
Barr said the evidence was “consistently exculpatory” and the FISA report shows a “clear abuse” of the surveillance process.
“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration,” Barr said, reported the Fox News.
“In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source,” he added.
Meanwhile, Durham, who is assigned by Barr to conduct a wide-ranging investigation into Russia’s possible ties to the Trump campaign, said he did not agree with all of the Department of Justice report.
“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” Durham said in a statement. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”
Durham’s ongoing probe has reportedly transitioned into a criminal investigation.
“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” Durham concluded.
Carter Page, on the eve of DOJ IG report set to be released on Monday, told Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” that the findings only tell “part of the story.”