A long-awaited Department of Justice report on the FBI’s investigation of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign concludes that the work was justifiable and not motivated by political bias against the president.
The report asserts that the agency mishandled some of its formal applications to conduct an inquiry into connections between Russia and officials in the Trump campaign, but says the overall rationale for it was nonetheless justified.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he found enough problems with the FBI’s requests to a national security court that he is launching a separate inquiry into how the agency obtains warrants to surveil U.S. citizens.
Pundits said the report is not the smoking gun that Trump supporters hoped it would be.
It seems this latest report will be in line with other Horowitz reports. Big picture, all the Trump conspiracy theories are bogus and the investigations of Trump Co were warranted. Otoh, bad Deep State! Bad Deep State! You've been a very bad Deep State.— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 9, 2019
Trump has long maintained that the FBI treated him unfairly during the 2016 presidential campaign and singled out such players as former Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok in repeated Twitter attacks.
In an interview on Fox & Friends last month, Trump said he thought release of the report would lead to “perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country.”
In a statement released Monday, Attorney General William Barr took issue with the findings, saying, “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.”
This AG Barr statement:— Shimon Prokupecz (@ShimonPro) December 9, 2019
“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.”
The inspector general’s office said it examined more than 1 million documents from the Department of Justice and FBI and conducted over 170 interviews involving more than 100 witnesses as part of the investigation.