CNN did not air the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who testified on Wednesday concerning Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses by the Obama administration directed against the 2016 Trump campaign.
The Federalist’s Sean Davis tweeted, “Instead of airing the hearing live, as the network did for every single mind-numbingly boring impeachment hearing, CNN is offering commentary from former Obama administration adviser Jim Sciutto, who is implicated in the Russian collusion hoax.”
Instead of airing the hearing live, as the network did for every single mind-numbingly boring impeachment hearing, CNN is offering commentary from former Obama administration adviser Jim Sciutto, who is implicated in the Russian collusion hoax. https://t.co/FOJjmyWOY9
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 11, 2019
“CNN and MSNBC stopped following the IG hearing after about 30 minutes, and both refused to cover the opening statements by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.,” The Federalist reported.
“The decision does not align with the recent live hearing coverage standard both networks have held for the last few months, giving endless air time to the impeachment hearings lead by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif, and Rep. Jerry Nadler.”
After giving their air time COMPLETELY over to Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff for the past few weeks, CNN IS NOT AIRING the start of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on Horowitz’s IG report. #StopTheMadness pic.twitter.com/CxF3X7zkdt
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 11, 2019
Ari Fleischer — former White House press secretary for George W. Bush — noted CNN’s double standard.
“CNN is not taking the Senate Horowitz hearing live. Unbelievable. A perfect example of how bias works. It’s not just what they cover. It’s what they don’t cover,” he tweeted.
“CNN, after covering weeks of opening statements by Adam Schiff (D) and Jerry Nadler (D), doesn’t cover the opening statement of Lindsey Graham (R) at the Horowitz hearing. I can’t figure out what the difference is. Unless it has something to do with the item in parentheses.”
CNN, after covering weeks of opening statements by Adam Schiff (D) and Jerry Nadler (D), doesn’t cover the opening statement of Lindsey Graham (R) at the Horowitz hearing. I can’t figure out what the difference is. Unless it has something to do with the item in parentheses.
— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) December 11, 2019
B. Jay Cooper — a former George H.W. Bush and Reagan administration official, who does not support President Donald Trump — responded to Fleischer tweeting, “Seems they are just not covering the partisan opening statements but will cover his testimony. So no free political advertising. Fine with me.”
Fleischer shot back, “Remind me. Did CNN take Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler’s opening statements live? Don’t defend their double standard.”
Graham, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took the FBI and the DOJ to task for its surveillance operations conducted against the Trump campaign and administration.
In questioning Horowitz, Graham said, “Let’s put it this way, if you don’t have a legal foundation to surveil somebody and you keep doing it, is that bad?”
“Absolutely,” Horowitz responded.
“Is that spying?” Graham followed up.
“It’s illegal surveillance,” Horowitz answered.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on FBI surveilling the Trump campaign: “Let’s put it this way, if you don’t have a legal foundation to surveil somebody and you keep doing it is that bad?”
IG Michael Horowitz: “Absolutely.”
Graham: ”Is that spying?”
Horowitz: “It’s illegal surveillance.” pic.twitter.com/cYLZ3JjMJ3
— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) December 11, 2019
In his opening statement, Horowitz testified that while the FBI followed proper protocol in opening Crossfire Hurricane — the counterintelligence investigation directed at the Trump campaign — the FBI and the DOJ failed in multiple instances to adhere department policy in obtaining a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The IG said the Crossfire Hurricane team “failed to meet the basic obligation to ensure that the Carter Page FISA applications were ‘scrupulously accurate.'”
“We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the four applications: seven in the first FISA application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application,” Horowitz said.
He noted one of the major failings was not revealing to the court information the FBI had access to casting doubt on the reliability of dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele for the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign, which was used to obtain the FISA warrant.
Attorney General William Barr told NBC News in an interview that aired on Tuesday that the Trump campaign “was clearly spied upon.”
Barr further stated the evidence FBI relied on to launch Crossfire Hurricane in July 2016 was “very flimsy.”
“From a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state — principally the law enforcement agencies and the intelligence agencies — both to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of the election,” he said.
Barr told NBC News he has tasked U.S. Attorney John Durham with looking into not only how Crossfire Hurricane was launched, but why the investigation of Trump officials continued after the election, given the fact that no evidence of collusion was unearthed after months of probing.
On Monday, Durham released a statement, disagreeing with Horowitz’s finding that the launch of Crossfire Hurricane was properly predicated.
The statement read, in part, “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.”
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