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11 Dec, 2019 19:28

Justice Department chief Horowitz slams FBI for ‘serious errors’ in Russiagate investigation

Justice Department chief  Horowitz slams FBI for ‘serious errors’ in Russiagate investigation

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz blasted the FBI for “basic, fundamental, and serious errors” made in their initial Trump-Russia probe which he said amounted to a “failure” by the “entire chain of command.”

Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday to testify on the results of his 476-page report into the origins of the original FBI ‘Crossfire Hurricane’ investigation into the Trump campaign. In particular, the IG criticized the FBI for serious irregularities, inaccuracies and omissions in their FISA applications to obtain a warrant to monitor former campaign adviser, Carter Page.

One of the omissions in the FISA application against Page was relevant information that he had been an “operational contact” for another government agency between 2008 and 2013.

Also on rt.com Crossfire Hurricane in a teacup? IG report exposes gaping chasm between Russiagate inquiry and reality

While his investigation determined that the FBI complied with policy when it launched the Trump-Russia investigation, it still highlighted “significant concerns” over how it was conducted and managed. Despite the serious inaccuracies, however, Horowitz said he found no “political bias or improper motivation” in the FBI’s decision to launch the probe.

That is a conclusion disputed by Attorney General Bill Barr, who said Tuesday that the investigation was launched on a “completely bogus narrative” which was “fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press.” Barr decried what he called “inexplicable” and “intolerable” behavior at the FBI. 

However, Horowitz’s report also showed that the FBI did not possess information corroborating claims against Page from the infamous dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele. He said that the FBI could not corroborate “any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page contained in the election reporting and relied on in the FISA applications.”

Horowitz said the FBI knew as early as January 2017 that there were “potentially serious problems” in Steele’s reporting and that he may have been hired by someone associated with a rival campaign, but they used his information to obtain the FISA warrant against Page anyway.

Also on rt.com Former CIA director Brennan lied to Congress about Steele Dossier, IG report reveals

Both parties have already begun to spin Horowitz's report to fit their own narratives, with Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer saying it proved the Trump-Russia investigation was “valid.”

Republicans, meanwhile, are focusing on the findings that the investigation was plagued with fundamental errors. Trump himself lashed out at the FBI, calling its conduct a “disgrace” and “far worse than ever thought possible.”

Horowitz said his team reviewed over one million records and conducted more than 100 interviews as part of the two-year-long investigation.

On Twitter, journalist Aaron Mate pointed out that the FBI launched its investigation based on a vague tip from a friendly government, claiming that Trump advisor George Papadopoulos had “suggested the Trump team had received some kind of a suggestion from Russia” that it could assist the campaign by releasing anonymous information to damage Hillary Clinton.

“A suggestion about a suggestion was the basis for a 3-year investigation,” he wrote.

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