by Chuck Ross
The Justice Department’s inspector general told Attorney General William Barr on Friday that he completed his investigation into possible FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the Trump-Russia probe, according to the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee.
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins disclosed the development in a letter calling on House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler to invite the inspector general, Michael Horowitz, and FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify before the panel once his report is released.
“Earlier today, Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz notified Attorney General William Barr of the completion of his investigation into possible abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance of Act (FISA) by DOJ officials during the 2016 presidential election,” wrote Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.
“After the DOJ has a chance to review and comment on the report, it will be sent to the Judiciary Committee and made public.”
Horowitz, an Obama appointee, opened an investigation March 28, 2018, into the FBI’s applications for FISA warrants against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page. He informed several congressional committees June 25 that the investigation was “nearing completion,” and that his office had interviewed more than 100 witnesses and reviewed more than 1 million documents in the probe.
The FBI relied heavily on the infamous and unverified Steele dossier in applications for the warrants.
The special counsel’s report severely undercut dossier author Christopher Steele’s claim that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between the Trump campaign and Russian government.
The special counsel said there was no evidence of a conspiracy involving the Trump team. There was also no evidence that Page or any other Trump associates acted as agents of Russia.
Republicans have accused the FBI of mishandling the dossier, and failing to disclose to FISA Court judges that the DNC and Clinton campaign had hired Steele to investigate Trump. Investigators with the OIG reportedly interviewed Steele in London, where he is based, in early June.
“We must act swiftly to address concerns outlined in the Inspector General’s report,” Collins wrote to Nadler.
“Accordingly, I write to request you schedule a hearing as soon as possible following Congress’s receipt of the report. Further, I request that you invite Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray to discuss the findings of the investigation at that hearing.”
The report will now go through a classification review to determine what information will be made public.
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Chuck Ross is a reporter for the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Background Photo “Department of Justice Building” by Coolcaesar. CC BY-SA 3.0.