Leave it to Lindsey Graham.
Democrats and their media supporters have been trying to claim a report released by the Justice Department inspector general on Monday is some kind of vindication for the FBI’s investigation of President Donald Trump and his 2016 presidential campaign.
The South Carolina Republican wasn’t buying it for a second.
In fact, Graham took to a news conference shortly after the release of the long-awaited report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz to proclaim pretty much exactly the opposite.
The FBI’s dealings with the special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was not merely flawed, Graham said.
The “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in FBI applications for surveillance warrants from the FISA court amounted to a “criminal enterprise,” he said.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, acknowledged that there could have been a legal justification for the FBI to open its probe into whether the Trump campaign had colluded with the Russian government to win the 2016 election.
But, he argued, the same couldn’t be said for the FBI’s applications to the FISA court to start and maintain surveillance on Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
“Let’s assume for a moment it started out OK. It sure as hell didn’t end OK,” Graham said.
Senator @LindseyGrahamSC on Justice Department IG Report: “The point I want to make is, let’s assume for a moment it started out okay, it sure as hell didn’t end okay.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) December 9, 2019
“I believe there will be no debate among reasonable minded people, particularly lawyers, about how the system not only got off the rails, but in my view became a criminal enterprise to defraud the FISA court, to deny American citizen Carter Page his constitutional rights and to continue an operation against President Trump as president of the United States,” he said.
There’s no doubt — no matter how liberals try to spin it — that the Horowitz report documented serious problems with the FBI’s behavior.
As investigative reporter and Fox News contributor John Solomon has documented, the report includes at least 17 major points where the FBI either misrepresented or, more often, omitted information that an objective reader would know were critical to evaluating the bureau’s position.
They included not telling the court that one former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, who compiled the anti-Trump “dossier” on which the FBI largely depended, was “desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the U.S. President.”
Most people would think that was a fairly obvious tipoff that an important figure might have an ulterior motive beyond simply making sure the truth was told.
Liberals responded to Graham’s statement in droves, apparently believing that because the IG’s report claimed to have found no “political bias” in the FBI’s behavior, that was proof sterling that none could exist.
Anyone familiar with this story — with the Mueller saga, with the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok affair, with the FBI’s kid gloves treatment of Hillary Clinton prior to the 2016 election — knows that’s nonsense on its face.
And there were some Twitter users who understood there’s much more to the story to come.
Thank you, Sen. Graham. That’s the fair position. Even if someone thought the initial intelligence investigation was warranted, it unarguably crossed unlawful lines when it was continued with unverified information. #coup
— MainStreet Voice (@VoiceMainstreet) December 10, 2019
Call it , “criminal enterprize”, and dress it up all you want to be nice but it is nothing short of organized crime; what the Democrats have engaged in and dragged the US with them since 2016.
— Victoria Ragland (@mytweet4trump) December 10, 2019
The problem is there never was any real concern with collusion… the red light wasn’t effective because this wasn’t about fairness or justice or truth, but about removing the lawful President of the United States. Those perpetrating this treasonous crime need to be tried.
— Robert N, M.Ed. (@rnstacct) December 10, 2019
The “significant inaccuracies and omissions” documented in the IG report weren’t trifling matters.
They speak directly to the conscious behavior of the men and women of the FBI who wanted to the FISA court to believe a version of reality that did not comport with all the facts the FBI had at its disposal.
Anyone with even a vague of understanding of the word “honesty” would understand that.
Graham gives the FBI the benefit of the doubt by saying the investigation could have started out properly.
But he’s right that it “sure as hell didn’t end OK.”
And leave it to Lindsey Graham to make that crystal clear.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.