DOJ Inspector General Testifies On FBI Probe Of Trump Campaign

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The New York Times reported that while the report strongly criticized the FBI's handling of a wiretap application, it exonerated former bureau leaders of Trump's accusations that they staged a "deep state" conspiracy to damage his campaign.

According to the 476-page report released on Monday, investigators found no intentional misconduct or political bias surrounding the launch of the Trump-Russia investigation or the efforts to seek the controversial FISA warrant to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in the early stages of that probe.

President Donald Trump at a Pennsylvania rally on Tuesday night attacked the FBI in the wake of the release of a report that found no evidence that the Russian Federation investigation was motivated by anti-Trump bias. He said his office is examining whether FBI agents in NY improperly leaked information to Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in an effort to pressure then-FBI Director James Comey to re-open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's email use.

"Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report's conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened", Mr. Durham said in a statement.

The department's Inspector General Michael Horowitz told lawmakers that he and a US prosecutor conducting a separate review disagreed about a fundamental question of the politically sensitive inquiry.

Senator Kamala Harris ripped Attorney General Bill Barr this afternoon as she questioned DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz.

"We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams, on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations, after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI", Horowitz said. Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page is suing the FBI and the Justice Department for releasing texts critical of Donald Trump that she sent to a colleague, which saw her fired from the Mueller inquiry.

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Republican senators repeatedly asked about another criticism Horowitz leveled at the FBI - that the bureau sent a representative from its Russian Federation investigation team to a strategic intelligence briefing that intelligence officials gave to both the Hillary Clinton and Trump campaigns, including to Trump himself and aide Michael Flynn, who later became the administration's national security adviser.

Both CNN and MSNBC eventually broadcasted Inspector General Michael Horowitz's opening statement.

During his testimony, Horowitz reiterated his findings that there were major faults in the FISA applications the Federal Bureau of Investigation submitted to surveil Carter Page.

An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment. "Simply put, the FBI investigation was motivated by fact, not bias". Durham said Monday that his findings, while still in progress, differ from the inspector general's.

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he agreed with Horowitz's conclusions and has taken steps to curb the abuses outlined in the report. Democrats seized on the finding that the probe was not tainted by political motivations.

"If you read this document, the first thing you would think of is they got something on Donald Trump", he said.

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