Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, Dec. 9, issued a statement in response to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) report of the inspector general.
“Inspector General Michael Horowitz uncovered “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in FISA applications that precipitated one of the greatest abuses of investigative power in our lifetime,” the vice president said.
The Justice Department’s internal watchdog delivered on Monday the investigation report about the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. The long-awaited report found “serious performance failures” up the bureau’s chain of command that Republicans are citing as evidence that President Trump was targeted by an unfair investigation.
Mike Pence continued, “Since the day President Trump announced his candidacy, career bureaucrats at the Department of Justice sought to undermine this president and our administration—including falsifying information and suppressing the truth.”
“What took place here should never happen again to any President or any Administration in the future and those responsible should be held accountable,” he added.
The inspector general identified 17 “significant inaccuracies or omissions” in applications for a warrant and later renewals from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The watchdog found that the FBI had overstated the significance of Steele’s past work as an informant and omitted information about one of his sources who he said “may engage in some embellishment.” Those errors, the report said, resulted in “applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case.”
The report also details that the FBI used an informant to set up and record a September 2016 meeting with a high-level Trump campaign official. The official wasn’t identified by name, but was not a subject of the Russia investigation, the report said.
President Trump, in remarks at the White House, said the report showed “an attempted overthrow and a lot of people were in on it.” He added, “It’s a disgrace what’s happened with the things that were done to our country.”
But FBI Director Chris Wray noted that the report did not find political bias but that it did identify problems that are “unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution.”
Both the prosecutor Barr and Durham issued statements disputing the inspector general’s conclusion that there was sufficient evidence to open the FBI investigation.
“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.
Durham, in a brief statement, said he had informed Horowitz that he also didn’t agree with the conclusion that the inquiry was properly opened, and suggested his own investigation would back up his disagreement.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press