‘It doesn’t vindicate anybody at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A lawsuit filed by conservative journalists under the Freedom of Information Act could uncover the documents that informed Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz‘s December report about the FBI’s illicit spying on the Trump campaign.
The Daily Caller News Foundation and Citizens United sued the DOJ inspector general for the records on Tuesday, the Daily Caller reported.
The FOIA lawsuit seeks to obtain transcripts, summaries and notes from interviews with 27 individuals that the IG’s office conducted during the course of the investigation.
The inspector general interviewed witnesses such as Christopher Steele, author of the salacious Steele Dossier reports that formed the basis of the FBI’s “Crossfire Hurricane” sting operation against the President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign.
Former FBI Director James Comey and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who led investigations into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia’s government, were also among the many high-up Obama administration officials interviewed.
Horowitz found that the FBI’s handling of the warrant applications to spy on Trump aide Carter Page under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, was extremely problematic. His report noted 17 critical errors with the FISA application process, which allegedly included the illegal altering of evidence by a partisan FBI attorney.
FBI officials failed to inform FISA judges about exculpatory information on Page before applying to extend the spy warrants, and they ignored several red flags regarding the accuracy of the Steele Dossier.
“It doesn’t vindicate anybody at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership,” Horowitz said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in December.
However, apart from recommending prosecution for low-level FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, Horowitz’s report stopped short of claiming that top FBI officials broke any laws.
“It finds that it was a properly predicated investigation based on the rules of the FBI,” Horowitz said in December.
That conclusion came under further scrutiny on Friday, after the DOJ declassified three footnotes from Horowitz’s report that said the Russian government provided Steele with false information.
According to Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, the FBI’s decision to proceed despite having knowledge of the dossier’s credibility issues, which it failed to resolve before using it as the lone source of the warrant applications, shows that the entire investigation was improperly predicated.
The FOIA lawsuit seeks additional records from DOJ officials Loretta Lynch, Sally Yates, Rod Rosenstein, Bruce Ohr, Andrew Weissmann, Zainab Ahmad, Bruce Swartz, Stuart Evans, John Carlin, Mary McCord, George Toscas, and David Laufman.
The lawsuit seeks records from FBI officials James Baker, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Bill Priestap, James Rybicki and Michael Kortan.