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Tag: Inspector General

FBI Employees Also Exchanged Pro-Trump Text Messages During Campaign

Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump has long seized on anti-Trump text messages between two FBI employees to push his unfounded conspiracy theories that the bureau tried to undermine his candidacy.

Turns out, some FBI employees were found to have tweeted politically charged text messages in favor of Trump.

Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz revealed that he also found pro-Trump text messages between FBI employees.

“So FBI employees held personal political views that were both favorable & unfavorable toward the candidate at that time?” Sen.Dianne Feistein D-Calif., asked.

“Correct,” Horowitz responded without elaborating.

Comey Says IG Report Vindicated Him And Dispelled Trump’s Conspiracy Theories

James Comey via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey said Monday that the Inspector General’s report on Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling vindicated him and the bureau.

IG Michael Horowitz’s report concluded that the FBI’s investigation was justified and unbiased, albeit plagued with a series of missteps. The report also found that the FBI did not improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign.

“There was no illegal wiretapping, there were no informants inserted into the campaign, there was no “spying” on the Trump campaign,” Comey wrote in an op-ed for the Washington Post, adding, “the truth is finally out.”

“The allegation of a criminal conspiracy was nonsense,” he wrote.

On Twitter, Comey said Fox News canceled a planned interview with him.

“I offered to go on Fox & Friends to answer all questions. I can’t change their viewers on Donald Trump but hoped to give them some actual facts about the FBI,” Comey tweeted. “They booked me for tomorrow at 8 am. They just cancelled. Must have read the report.”

Trump Distorts IG’s Conclusions And Then Blasts FBI Director Wray for Backing Report

FBI Director Christopher Wray and John Glover. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump ripped into FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday morning, presumably for backing the inspector general’s conclusion that the bureau didn’t improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign.

“I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me,” Trump tweeted. “With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!”

Trump’s criticism is as baffling as it is predictable. Inspector General Michael Horowitz clearly contradicted Trump’s conspiracy theory that his campaign was subjected to “a major SPY scandal,” as he tweeted in May 2018.

Horowitz’s report concluded that the FBI’s investigation was justified and unbiased, albeit plagued with a series of missteps. The report also found that the FBI did not improperly open its investigation into the Trump campaign.

Wray issued a lengthy response to the repot, saying he fully accepts the “findings and embraces the need for thoughtful, meaningful remedial action.”

Trump’s attempts to distort the report’s findings didn’t sway many on Twitter.

FBI Did Not Spy on Trump’s Campaign, DOJ Inspector General Found

President Trump and AG William Barr, via DOJ.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the FBI turned rogue and spied on his campaign in 2016 in what he said was “perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country.”

The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the FBI infiltrated Trump’s campaign or launched a politically motivated investigation to undermine his candidacy, according to The New York Times and NBC News.

The findings are in a draft copy of an inspector general report that is due out on Dec. 9 as part of a larger examination of the Russia investigation.

The inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, also undercuts claims that the FBI’s pursuit of a secret wiretap on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, was politically motivated.

In April, Attorney General William Barr told a Senate committee that he suspected “spying did occur.” A few days later, Trump insisted, “There was absolutely spying into my campaign.”

But in May, FBI Director Christopher Wray took issue with the characterization that the bureau was “spying” on Trump’s campaign, saying, “I don’t think I personally have any evidence of that sort.”

Trump’s CBP Head Violated Ethics Rules While Working for the FBI

CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan, via White House.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

President Trump appointed Mark Morgan to head Customs and Border Protection in an effort to clean up the agency.

But it turns out, Morgan violated federal ethics roles while working for the FBI as deputy assistant director of the training division in 2015.

Morgan solicited sponsors to purchase booze and upscale food for FBI happy hours, even though he had been warned it violated federal rules to ask outside entities to pay for social events, the Justice Department’s inspector general found.

Morgan was the acting ICE director in June when Trump appointed him to replace John Sanders as acting head of CBP. Morgan had previously served as chief of Border Patrol before taking over as head of ICE in May.

Morgan became the first person to lead CBP without having served at Border Patrol.

His appointment was intended to bring fresh eyes into an agency that needed cleaned up.

Former FBI Lawyer Accused of Altering Document Related to 2016 Russia Probe

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A former FBI lawyer is accused of altering a document related to the 2016 Russia investigation.

The accusations are part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s actions during the Russia investigation. The report is expected to be released Dec. 9.

The former low-level FBI lawyer is accused of doctoring a document associated with the court-ordered surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, The Washington Post reports.

The allegations are contained in a draft of the report, which says the lawyer altered an email to support his erroneous claim that the FBI had factual basis for the surveillance application.

The altered report, however, did not change Horowitz’s position that there was proper legal and factual basis in the application.

Homeland Security Department Struggles Under Trump, Inspector General Warns

Homeland Security helicopter, via Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Department of Homeland Security under President Trump is struggling to execute its mission to keep the nation safe because it lacks a permanent leader, a cohesive plan and sufficient staffing, the agency’s inspector general warned in a new report.

Last week, Chad Wolf became the fifth leader of the federal government’s third-largest agency. It’s not a permanent job because he’s been named as acting secretary.

In fact, nearly one-third of the senior leadership positions are filled by “acting” officials, according to the report, which was released Monday.

“Unfortunately, many of these senior leadership positions continue to suffer from a lack of permanent, presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed officials,” Inspector General Joseph Cuffari wrote.

The agency also has a work environment “marked by high attrition, changing mandates and difficulties implementing permanent plans, procedures and programs,” the report states.

The agency’s failure to hire an adequate amount of employees has been “exacerbated” since Trump became president.

“Since its inception, DHS has had difficulties ensuring it can expeditiously hire and retain highly qualified workers,” the report states. “This situation is exacerbated by changes and vacancies in senior leadership, which are often beyond DHS’ control.”

Trump has struggled to retain rank-and-file employees and leadership because of his intense focus on immigration. Homeland Security was created, in large part, to combat terrorism after 9/11.

Andrew McCabe Failed to Convince DOJ Officials Not to Charge Him

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe faces the possibility of being charged for allegedly make false or misleading statements to internal investigators.

A top official in Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen’s office notified McCabe Thursday that his lawyers had failed to persuade Justice Department officials to drop the case, The Washington Post reports.

“The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter,” the official wrote, according to one person familiar with the case. “Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

It’s not clear yet whether McCabe, a 21-year FBI veteran and a target of President Trump’s ire, would be charged.

An inspector general’s report alleges McCabe lied on at least four occasions – three of which were under oath. After the IG’s report was issued, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired McCabe in March 2018, just before his retirement benefits would have kicked in.

McCabe took issue with the report, saying he never intended to mislead investigators.