By Janita Kan
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has revealed the release date of the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz‘s report on alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses by the department (DOJ) and the FBI during the 2016 presidential election.
“It’ll be December 9th—you’ll get the report,” Graham told the program. “That’s locked.”
Earlier this week, Graham announced that Horowitz will appear publicly on Dec. 11 before the Senate Judiciary Committee to discuss his findings from the investigation.
“Mr. Horowitz will be appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on December 11, where he will deliver a detailed report of what he found regarding his investigation, along with recommendations as to how to make our judicial and investigative systems better,” he said.
Horowitz has been investigating the FBI’s use of a FISA warrant to spy on former Trump campaign associate Carter Page. The FISA applications relied on an unverified opposition research dossier that was compiled by former foreign spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Top FBI and DOJ officials signed off on the FISA application to spy on Page, despite evidence that Steele’s dossier was unverified and that the former British spy was biased against then-candidate Donald Trump. The FISA application omitted the fact that the Clinton campaign funded the dossier, as well as exculpatory details of Page’s assistance to the FBI.
The dossier’s claims eventually served as the foundation of the Trump–Russia narrative generated by most media outlets, anti-Trump politicians, and Obama administration officials. But none of the 103 key allegations contained in the Steele dossier were verified during former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation.
In September, Horowitz told lawmakers in a letter that he had submitted a draft report to the attorney general and was preparing a final draft. Then in October, he provided lawmakers with another letter updating them on the progress of his finalizing of the report, saying that it was “ongoing and nearing completion.”
He said at the time that the report was “lengthy” and “concerns sensitive national security and law enforcement matters,” which required time for the department to complete their redactions.
Earlier this month, Attorney General William Barr told a conference in Tennessee that the release of Horowitz’s report on the alleged FISA abuses is “imminent.”
Horowitz wasn’t the only one probing the alleged misconduct by those surveilling the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Earlier this year, Barr assigned U.S. Attorney John H. Durham in Connecticut to investigate whether the spying on Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 was adequately predicated.
Durham will scrutinize the conduct of several current and former senior FBI officials, including former Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. Those officials were involved in obtaining a warrant to spy on Page and deployed at least two spies to target Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.
Ivan Pentchoukov contributed to this report.
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