Inspector General Horowitz to Testify Next Month on Alleged FISA Abuses: Graham

Updated: 2019-11-18 20:50:02

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) announced on Nov. 18 that the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will be testifying next month on the alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses by the department (DOJ) and the FBI during the 2016 presidential election.

Graham, who is the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said Horowitz will appear publicly on Dec. 11 to discuss his findings from the investigation.

“I appreciate all the hard work by Mr. Horowitz and his team regarding the Carter Page FISA warrant application and the counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign,” Graham said in a statement.

“Mr. Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 11, where he will deliver a detailed report of what he found regarding his investigation, along with recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better,” he added.

Horowitz has been investigating the FBI’s use of a FISA warrant to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The FISA applications relied on an unverified opposition research dossier that was compiled by former foreign spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Top FBI and DOJ officials signed off on the FISA application to spy on Page, despite evidence that Steele’s dossier was unverified and that the former British spy was biased against then-candidate Donald Trump. The FISA application omitted the fact that the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, as well as exculpatory details of Page’s assistance to the FBI.

The dossier’s claims eventually served as the foundation of the Trump–Russia narrative generated by media outlets, anti-Trump politicians, and Obama administration officials. But none of the 103 key allegations contained in the Steele dossier were verified by former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation.

Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr told a conference in Tennessee that the release of Horowitz’s report on the FISA abuses is “imminent.”

“It’s my understanding that it is imminent,” Barr said, reported The Hill. “A number of people who are mentioned in the report are having an opportunity to right now to comment on how they’re quoted in the report, and after that process is over—it should be very short—the report will be issued.”

Horowitz told lawmakers in a letter in September that he had submitted a draft report to the attorney general and is preparing a final draft.

In his letter, Horowitz said his team had reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews noting that several of the witnesses only recently agreed to be interviewed.

It was reported back in June that Steele had reached a deal with the inspector general to answer questions about his work for the FBI.

Horowitz wasn’t the only one probing the alleged misconduct into surveillance of the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Earlier this year,  Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in Connecticut to investigate whether spying on Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 was adequately predicated.

Durham will scrutinize the conduct of several current and former senior FBI officials, including former Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. Those officials were involved in obtaining a warrant to spy on Page and deployed at least two spies to target Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.

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