October 13, 2019
Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo says her sources are telling her an extensive report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuses by the Justice Department and the FBI will be released by the end of next week.
Bartiromo, who is the first journalist to report an exact release date, discussed what she had learned on her Fox News show, Sunday Morning Futures, with two Republican congressmen who deduced former high-ranking government officials are bracing for a scathing critique.
“I’m hearing the IG report will be out this upcoming Friday, Oct. 18, and my sources say it’s as thick as a telephone book,” Bartiromo said, adding that it covers “more than just FISA abuse.”
Upon the completion of that process, the report will first be delivered to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, who has pledged to do a “deep dive” of his own into FISA that will run concurrently with U.S. Attorney John Durham’s review of the early stages of the Russia investigation. The South Carolina Republican said his “No. 1 goal” is to have as much of the report declassified as possible.
Republicans allege top Justice Department and FBI officials misled the FISA court by using an unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele to obtain warrants to electronically monitor onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in an attempt to dig up damaging information about Trump.
Spurred in part by GOP investigations and the declassification of hundreds of pages of FISA documents related to Page in July 2018, Republicans argue the dossier’s Democratic benefactors — Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee — and its author’s bias against President Trump were not made clear in the FISA applications.
Democrats have dismissed the allegations of wrongdoing by the Justice Department and the FBI during the Trump-Russia investigation and are concerned that Durham’s review, being overseen by Attorney General William Barr, may be an effort to discredit the work of special counsel Robert Mueller.
Neither of Bartiromo’s guests Sunday, Reps. Doug Collins of Georgia and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, appeared to have any insider knowledge of the contents of the FISA report, but they offered deductions of what to expect.
Collins, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, surmised that former CIA Director John Brennan and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have been “ramping up” an “I’m innocent” defense during recent appearances on MSNBC and CNN respectively. Lumping in comments by former FBI Director James Comey, Collins concluded the report is “not going to be very good” for them.
Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017 and has been very critical of the president since, signed and approved three of the four FISA warrant applications and renewals starting in October 2016, and some Republicans speculate he will be charged for misleading the court’s judges. Horowitz has harshly criticized Comey in two prior high-profile investigations and even sent a criminal referral to the Justice Department over Comey’s memos, although the Justice Department declined to prosecute. Comey said last month he is “highly confident” he will not be indicted.
Meadows predicted Horowitz’s report will be a “scathing rebuke” of the FBI based on documents he provided to the inspector general and said he sees some areas that warrant criminal referrals to Barr. At a minimum, the North Carolina Republican said he expects there will be a “strong recommendation” to change FISA application protocols.
U.S. District Judge John Bates, who was the presiding judge of the FISA court from 2009 to 2013, said recently he expects the report from Horowitz to be “very fair” and “pretty lengthy.”
Leonard Bacani is a retired Santa Ana Police Officer and the Founder of HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. headquartered in Southern California.HOMELAND SECURITY SERVICES, INC. is a Private Investigation, Private Security firm and State Authorized Training Facility. Contact Leonard at LBacani@hssinc.us for assistance or call the office: (714) 865-1135. Website: http://www.homelandsecurityservices.com