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IG Report Says FBI Had ‘Authorized Purpose’ to Probe Trump Campaign, But Did Some Things Wrong

IG Michael Horowitz, via DoJ.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department inspector general’s report dismissed some conservatives’ longstanding allegations about the investigation into the Trump campaign — including that top FBI officials were motivated by political bias and illegally spied on Trump advisers. At the same time, the report that examined the FBI’s probe into connections between Trump campaign advisers and Russia found  serious faults in other areas, the Washington Post reports.

The 434-page report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found the FBI had an “authorized purpose” in investigating the campaign. But it went on say that applications the FBI made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page contained “significant inaccuracies and omissions” and that agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to ensure the applications were “scrupulously accurate.”

Michael R. Bromwich, a lawyer for fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, noted the inspector general “found an ample factual basis for the launching of the Russia investigation,” and that those errors that were documented “took place at multiple layers below” McCabe, the Post reports.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the inspector general had “completely demolished” some of conservatives’ assertions about the origins of the probe, though his investigators did find some problems.

The ACLU weighed in, issuing a statement:

“When the Justice Department’s Inspector General finds significant concerns regarding flawed surveillance applications concerning the president’s campaign advisors, it is clear that this regime lacks basic safeguards and is in need of serious reform. While the report found that there wasn’t an improper purpose or initiation of the investigation, it also found significant problems that are alarming from a civil liberties perspective. For instance, the litany of problems with the Carter Page surveillance applications demonstrates how the secrecy shrouding the government’s one-sided FISA approval process breeds abuse. The concerns the Inspector General identifies apply to intrusive investigations of others, including especially Muslims, and far better safeguards against abuse are necessary.”

“The system requires fundamental reforms, and Congress can start by providing defendants subjected to FISA surveillance the opportunity to review the government’s secret submissions. The FBI must also adopt higher standards for investigations involving constitutionally protected sensitive activities, such as political campaigns.”

 

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