The Department of Justice inspector general’s much anticipated report on alleged FISA abuse ahead of the 2016 election is expected to be released before Thanksgiving and will contain several criminal referrals, including one for former FBI Director James Comey, according to sources who spoke with investigative journalist Sara Carter.
DOJ IG Michael Horowitz’s report will lead to the declassification of documents long requested by senior Republican lawmakers, Carter reported. Included among these documents will be certain email chain between the anti-Trump FBI investigators in the Russia probe and Comey.
Those documents will contain several classified pages of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, exculpatory evidence that was withheld from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the so-called ‘Gang of Eight’ folder (which contained exculpatory information), as well as the email chain between FBI investigators in the Russia probe and then-FBI Director James Comey. Those emails also include discussions with lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division. As previously reported, the email chains will contain information that prove the FBI knew prior to obtaining a warrant to spy on Page that former British spy Christopher Steele’s information in his infamous dossier on Trump could not be proven.
It is also expected to reveal that the FBI knew that Steele was leaking to the media but then used those media reports as separate evidence in their request for a FISA warrant, known as circular intelligence reporting. Circular reporting is when a law enforcement official uses false confirmation by making a piece of information appear to come from multiple independent sources.
According to Carter, Horowitz’s report will also show that the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton campaign differently than President Trump’s campaign. For instance, it will reportedly reveal that “she had received a detailed debriefing from the FBI on foreign attempts to make contact with her campaign,” while Trump received no such debriefing.
Republicans pols like Sen. Lindsey Graham have been saying for months that the IG report will be “damning” and will likely contain criminal referrals for former FBI officials.
Carter’s sources concurred, saying the report will have at least two criminal referrals, one of which is expected to be Comey.
Those referrals allegedly will be made based on information and evidence obtained by the Inspector General and may very well have been the reason Justice Department Attorney General Barr and Connecticut prosecutor John Durham opened a criminal probe into the FBI’s investigation into the President.
Some information has already been made public. In a recent interview with Fox New’s Martha McCallum Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has spoken with Barr, said “I think his report is going to be stunning. I think it is going to be damning. I think it’s going to prove that the system got off the rails and we need corrective action.”
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told McCallum last week that he will be doing “a deep dive” of his own into the FBI’s use of a FISA warrant on Page, alongside the now criminal investigation being conducted separately by Durham.
Horowitz’s investigation was delayed because “he kept getting whistleblower information at the last minute,” Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) told Fox News’s Hannity on Monday.
“The reason I think this got delayed so very much is, remember what Horowitz did [prior to] the last report, which gave us people like [Peter] Strzok and [Lisa] Page — he kept getting whistleblower information at the last minute,” he said.
Biggs also predicted that several former top government figures would be found “culpable” in the report.
“I’m concerned for people like [FBI’s Andrew] McCabe, [Ex-FBI head James] Comey, even Rod Rosenstein… Sally Yates — anybody who signed off on one of those FISA warrant applications,” he said. “I believe they’re culpable in some way.”
The report is expected to weaken House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff’s impeachment inquisition against Trump, “as it will prove that his previous statements in support of the FBI’s FISA into Page was based solely on his biased against Trump,” a Republican source told Carter.
“If it’s strong and comes out soon, the IG report will do some real damage to the Democrats’ impeachment charade. It would show that Resistance bureaucrats really are conspiring to take down Trump,” a House Republican source told Carter. “It would also fatally undermine the credibility of Schiff, who argued vehemently that there were no FISA abuses—it will mean that, as Intel Committee Chairman, he’s ignoring severe abuses for purely political purposes.”
However, some have suggested that the whole point of the impeachment probe is to tarnish the Trump administration ahead of IG’s report so that whatever comes out of his DOJ is met with suspicion.
Hopefully, we’ll find out if the report is “damning” enough to override the Democrats’ impeachment efforts by late next week.