by Kimberly Guilfoyle
The recent congressional testimony of Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz suggests there are only two possible explanations for the botched Russia collusion probe: either the FBI team responsible for the investigation were incompetent or they were corrupt.
Either way, Horowitz’s findings are a damning condemnation of the FBI and its rogue leadership under President Obama. Politics notwithstanding, the report is a dire warning about the urgent need for reform of the bureau.
Horowitz and his team “identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions” in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to spy on Trump associate Carter Page, along with “many additional errors” in procedures leading up to the FISA request — including the shocking revelation that an FBI lawyer altered email records in order to deceive the judge.
“These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to [National Security Division’s Office of Intelligence] and failing to flag important issues for discussion,” Horowitz wrote in the report.
If we are to believe, as the Democrats maintain, that political bias played no role in the FBI’s actions, then Horowitz is describing a level of incompetence that would make Inspector Clouseau blush.
Significantly, the IG report also revealed that former FBI Director James Comey’s “Crossfire Hurricane” team of investigators used the Steele Dossier — a falsified opposition research memo that was sponsored by Hillary Clinton — to substantiate its FISA request, despite widespread doubts within the bureau about the document’s accuracy.
“[I]mmediately after the Crossfire Hurricane team received Steele’s election reporting on September 19, the team reinitiated their discussions with [Office of Intelligence] and their efforts to obtain FISA surveillance authority for Page,” Horowitz wrote, adding that “the decision to seek to use this highly intrusive investigative technique was known and approved at multiple levels of the Department.”
But the scorching IG report was only the beginning — during his follow-up testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Horowitz elaborated on his findings, contradicting several media reports that took parts of the document out of context in order to downplay its significance.
In his opening statement, Horowitz underscored that his investigation uncovered several problems with the FBI’s probe of the Trump campaign, explaining that his team was “deeply concerned” about the “many basic and fundamental” errors in the investigation.
“The circumstances reflect a failure, as we outline in the report, not just by those who prepared the applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the Crossfire Hurricane chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed,” he declared.
When asked what he thought of Comey’s claim that the IG report was a vindication of the FBI’s actions, Horowitz insisted that “the activities we found here don’t vindicate anyone who touched” the collusion probe.
The IG report paints an unsettling picture of a federal agency in dysfunction. Either the FBI placed utter morons in charge of the most sensitive investigation in the bureau’s history, or the FBI has become unacceptably politicized and must be reformed at once.
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