Report: DOJ Watchdog Finds Russia Probe Was Justified, Not Biased Against Trump
Republicans have been clinging to hope that the Justice Department inspector general would find the Russia investigation was tinged with bias against President Donald Trump, but the IG report issued on Monday found no such thing, according to NBC News.
Though it acknowledged that some parts of the investigation were mishandled, the report indicated that the overall investigation was justified, rebutting Trump and other Republicans’ assertion that the Russia probe was a politically-driven plot to take down the president.
NBC News reported that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz determined “that the FBI and the Justice Department launched their investigation into the 2016 campaign not for political reasons, but because of evidence the Russian government was using cutouts to reach out to the Trump campaign as part of its efforts to influence the election.”
The report found that officials including former Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok were not making decisions from a place of anti-Trump bias — contrary to the president’s many attacks against such individuals.
But not all was well within the FBI’s investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, NBC News noted: “In fact, the Justice Department's watchdog found so many problems with the FBI's applications to a national security court to conduct secret surveillance on a Trump aide that the inspector general is launching a separate inquiry into how the FBI obtains national security warrants to eavesdrop on American citizens, the report says.”
Horowitz’s report brings to an end the nearly two-year investigation into the FBI’s activities during the Russia probe, largely centering on the agency’s surveillance of former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page.
NBC News noted that Attorney General William Barr, who has shown himself to be an ally of the president, reportedly disagreed with Horowitz’s findings.