Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz called the actions of FBI agents to obtain FISA (Foreign Intelligence Act) warrants that allowed them to monitor President Donald Trump’s campaign adviser Carter Page “pretty bad.”
Horowitz offered his assessment on Dec. 11 before the Senate Judiciary Committee, two days after publishing a 476-page document on his investigation.
A little earlier, Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) reminded Senate members of Horowitz’s findings, pointing out that the FBI in 2016 based its requests to monitor the campaign of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump on the Steele dossier, even knowing that one of its main sources discredited it.
Graham also noted that one of the FBI lawyers—identified as Kevin Clinesmith by the press—”manipulated” an email to keep the investigation going in a way that was unfair to Page.
“This was not routine, do you agree with that?” Graham asked Horowitz.
“It is definitely not … it certainly better not be routine, and I don’t of any reason to think it is routine,” said Horowitz.
“Is it kind of off-the-charts bad?” Graham asked. “It’s pretty bad,” said Horowitz.
Reaction of President Trump’s former adviser
Carter Page, meanwhile, announced Monday in a Fox News interview that he hired a team of lawyers to review Inspector Horowitz’s report and file a lawsuit.
Last October, Page sued the Democratic National Committee (DNC), the law firm Perkins Coie and two of its partners, Mark Elias and Michael Sussman, in federal court in Oklahoma.
The firm Perkins Coie represented Hillary Clinton and was behind the hiring of Fusion GPS, another research firm that hired former British spy Christopher Steele to follow Trump’s campaign. Mark Elias was Perkins Coie’s direct contact with Fusion GPS, according to Daily Caller.
As for the current lawsuit, during Monday’s broadcast of “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” the presenter specified that Page would seek legal action against former CIA director and current CNN collaborator John Brennan.
‘They misled the FISA court’
“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,” Attorney General William Barr said in his analysis of Horowitz’s report.
However, Barr continued, the FBI “went ahead” with its investigation even in the face of “consistently exculpatory” evidence.
“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,” Barr concluded in his statement.
The analyst and legal commentator of Fox News, Gregg Jarrett, specified that the main source was the former British spy Christopher Steele.
Jarrett, author of the bestseller, “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump,” said that Steele put together his dossier based on rumors from supposedly anonymous sources.
“The FBI knew Steele was unreliable, yet the bureau vouched for him as credible. Evidence was concealed and the FISA Court was deceived,” Jarrett said in his column titled IG report reveals FBI misconduct and abuses in anti-Trump probe of Russia collusion hoax.