Inspector General Horowitz Scolds FBI for Trump-Russia Probe 'Failure'


Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday decried a “failure” of the FBI’s “entire chain of command” in its handling of Crossfire Hurricane counterintelligence investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign.

Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee concerning the newly released IG report that while the FBI followed proper protocol in opening Crossfire Hurricane, FBI and DOJ officials failed in multiple instances to adhere department policy in obtaining a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to surveil Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“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; even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny,” Horowitz said in his opening statement.

“We believe this circumstance reflects a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA 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.”

Horowitz explained to lawmakers his office did not expect senior leaders to know every detail of the investigation.

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“We believe that in the FBI’s most sensitive and high priority matters, and especially when seeking court permission to use an intrusive tool such as a FISA order, it is incumbent upon the entire chain of command at the organization, including senior officials, to take the necessary steps to ensure that they are sufficiently familiar with the facts and circumstances supporting and potentially undermining a FISA application in order to provide effective oversight consistent with their level of supervisory responsibility,” he said.

“That is why as you’ll see in the report, our final recommendation was to refer the entire chain of command that we outline here to the FBI and the Department [of Justice] for consideration of how to assess and address their performance failures,” Horowitz added.

Do you think Comey engaged in wrongdoing in relation to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation?

He further related that 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.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned Horowitz — who was appointed to his current post by then-President Barack Obama in 2012 — whether the IG report on FISA abuse vindicates former FBI Director James Comey.

“The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this,” Horowitz answered.

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Graham then quoted Comey from a December 2018 interview, during which the former FBI head said, “I think the notion that FISA was abused here is nonsense.”

Asked if he took issue with Comey’s statement, Horowitz responded, “Certainly our findings were that there were significant problems with the FISA.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 2,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith