The Inspector General at the Department of Justice is expected to release a report soon that will shoot down claims by the president that the FBI spied on his campaign. The report, which is due on December 9, will focus on the Russia investigation, according to The New York Times.
The Times noted in their report that the version of the report that their sources had seen was not the final draft.
The theory that Trump’s campaign was spied upon has been one of grievances over the past few years. That conspiracy theory has been echoed by his allies in Congress and on Fox News.
The president has sometimes spun the conspiracy theory to peddle claims. In March of 2017, he declared that President Barack Obama tapped his phones “during the very sacred election process.” Trump offered no evidence for his claim. The Times reports that the IG report will show Trump’s March accusation was false.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Trump’s accusations are based on some truths: Carter Page — a former Trump advisor — was under surveillance by the FBI. Trump and his defenders argue that the feds illegally obtained the warrant to spy on Page.
The FBI suspected that Page was being courted by the Russians. The warrant was released in a set of documents in July of 2018. In their application for the warrant, a document read: “The F.B.I. believes Page has been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”
Page was among the key figures in the Russia investigation, largely because of his deep contacts in Russia. In a 2013 letter, Page claimed that he was an “informal advisor to the staff of the Kremlin.” Though Trump has claimed that the FBI’s surveillance of Page is proof that his campaign was spied upon, Page was being monitored as early as 2013 — long before he came into Trump’s orbit.