Department of Justice inspector general Michael Horowitz opened an investigation Wednesday into possible FISA abuses by the Justice Department and FBI officials and the nature of contacts between the FBI and a confidential source.
Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who operates independently from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Trump administration, announced Wednesday afternoon he will launch an investigation into alleged FISA abuse during the Obama administration.
“Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person,” the DOJ Office of the Inspector General released in a statement Wednesday. “As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source. Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications.”
DOJ spokesman John Lavinsky said in a statement accompanying the announcement.
Lavinsky explained that “as part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”
Lavinsky noted that the investigation was prompted by requests from several members of Congress and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. House Republicans recently released a memo claiming widespread abuse of the FISA process on the part of the DOJ and FBI in order to obtain a surveillance warrant on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page.
The timing of the investigation and the reference to members of Congress point to Page as the U.S. person. The statement’s reference to a confidential source similarly floats concerns found in the Republican memo which found that the FBI and the DOJ did not disclose the political origins of the Steele dossier in its FISA application and revealed previously undisclosed testimony from former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe that an investigation into Page would not have occurred without Steele’s dossier.
The nature of contacts between DOJ officials and Steele during the opening of an investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign has been the nature of some controversy. The Republican memo especially expressed concern over the nature of meetings between Steele and DOJ official Bruce Ohr, whose wife worked for Steele for some time.
“If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the statement continues.
Breaking: In response to requests from AG and members of Congress, DOJ IG Horowitz says he will investigate the FBI’s request for FISA warrant on “a U.S. person”– a reference to Carter Page. Probe will include role of “confidential FBI source”-a reference to Christoper Steele.
Horowitz has also been investigating for months potential misconduct at the FBI during the criminal investigation into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. That report is due any day.
About a month ago, The Hill reported,
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that the Justice Department will investigate potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
“Yes, it will be investigated,” Sessions told reporters at the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees FISA warrants, according to the Washington Examiner.
He said looking into any abuses is the “appropriate thing” to do.
Trump has publicly pressed Sessions to open up an investigation into potential abuses of the program, which allows U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to obtain secret surveillance orders on individuals in the U.S. suspected of being foreign terrorists or spies.
The president claimed last year that the Obama administration improperly wiretapped members of his presidential campaign and transition team, though the White House has not provided any evidence to support that claim.
Allegations of FISA abuses surfaced again last month, when Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a controversial memo alleging that FBI and Justice Department officials misused their authority to obtain a surveillance order on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
It’s about time the Obama administration and those in it paid the price for all their shenanigans. Personally, I hope all those involved including Yates, Mueller, Comey, Rosenstein, Page and Strzok and others all rot in jail. It’s time to let the Americans know that just because you are employed and work in the “high levels” of government that does not excuse you from the law. No one is about the law.
Isn’t that right, Hillary?
Resources: Townhall, Daily Caller, The Hill