FBI's Trump probe justified

Cheryl Sanders
December 11, 2019

Trump immediately went into spin mode, claiming that the report actually found information "far worse than what I ever thought possible".

Trump alleged that the FBI investigation was a "made up scam" by the "criminal deep state". "It was the Democrats" dirt, followed by fake news, followed by spies that they ran against Trump campaign officials.

Here are answers to three questions about the report.

The inspector general said he examined more than a million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses. During this period, the FBI investigated four Trump campaign associates: Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and George Papadopoulos. In particular, the report examines the process for obtaining Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants.

"That's what electronic surveillance is ... going through people's emails, wiring people up."Barr portrayed the Russian Federation investigation as a bogus endeavor that was foisted on Trump, rather than something undertaken by career civil servants who were concerned about whether a foreign power had compromised a political campaign."From a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state ... both to spy on political opponents but also to use them in a way that could effect the outcome of an election", Barr said". There were some things done in the investigation that are not included in Horowitz's report.

Asked whether he thought the FBI unfairly investigated Trump's campaign, Wray replied: "I do not".

The long-awaited report rejected theories and criticism spread by Mr Trump and his supporters, though it also found "serious performance failures" up the bureau's chain of command that Republicans are citing as evidence that Mr Trump was targeted by an unfair investigation.

This one is being carried out by the USA attorney for Connecticut, John Durham, and has a broader scope that will also examine the CIA's role. Additionally, the FBI's evaluation of Steele's sub-sources generated some corroboration for the election reporting (primarily routine facts about dates, locations, and occupational positions that was mostly public source information).

The FBI owes Carter Page an apology.

A key aspect of the FISA warrant application - "Page's alleged coordination with the Russian government on 2016 USA presidential election activities" - "relied entirely" on Mr. Steele's reports without any corroborating information.

The findings undercut Mr Trump's claim that he was the target of a "witch hunt".

The first FISA warrant overstated the case for Mr. Steele's credibility, and as more information about his work and its political origins came to light during the course of the year, this was largely omitted from subsequent FISA warrant renewals. Rudolph W. Giuliani, Trump's personal lawyer, has suggested otherwise and recently traveled to Ukraine to meet with people there who he thinks might bolster his case. "Steele instead relied on a Primary Sub-source for information, who used his/her network of sub-sources to gather information that was then passed to Steele", the IG report stated. The dossier claimed that Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort used low-level foreign policy adviser Carter Page as an intermediary to the Russians in a plot to weaken Clinton.

It's worth noting that the Horowitz probe pointed to mistakes the Federal Bureau of Investigation made in parts of its application to monitor Carter Page, the controversial Trump campaign adviser with close ties to the Kremlin, and for Republicans desperate for something useful to cling to in the inspector general's findings, these mistakes are of great interest. Another wiretap captured the assessment of a Russian intelligence officer: "I think he is an idiot".

'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 Tuesday morning.

Get the Monitor Stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

Mr Steele conducted an interview with the inspector general for the justice department report, dismissing Republican suggestions that he was biased against Mr Trump as "ridiculous".

Other reports by iNewsToday