Report: IG Finds No Evidence The FBI Attempted “To Spy” On Trump’s 2016 Campaign
President Donald Trump and his allies have long accused the FBI of “spying” on the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, but a highly anticipated report from the Justice Department’s inspector general will lay that claim to rest, according to The New York Times.
People familiar with the draft of inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report told the newspaper that Horowitz found no evidence that the FBI sought to infiltrate the Trump campaign with undercover agents or informants.
Instead, the IG found that the federal law enforcement agency used typical tactics for information gathering, including using an informant to help determine Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos’ Russian contacts, as well as having an undercover agent assist in that effort.
The Times said “former law enforcement officials are adamant that they did not investigate the Trump campaign organization itself or target it for infiltration” but noted that the four individuals the FBI did scrutinize all had roles within the campaign.
Trump and his defenders, including Attorney General William Barr, have claimed that the FBI wrongly spied on his campaign, with the president going so far as to accuse former President Barack Obama of tapping his phones — a claim for which he provided no evidence and the IG reportedly found none.
The IG report will also criticize the FBI over certain aspects of its handling of the investigation, The Times said, including Horowitz’s conclusion that the agency “was careless and unprofessional in pursuing the [Carter] Page wiretap” and referring “his findings in one instance to prosecutors for potential criminal charges over the alteration of a document in 2017 by a front-line lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, 37, in connection with the wiretap application.”