Horowitz Report Exposes Soviet-Level Wrongdoing

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report unequivocally proves that the intelligence community is infested with political bias, just as other whistleblowers and I have been warning for years.

The Democrats long have insisted that the Hillary Clinton-sponsored Steele dossier was not used to justify FBI spying on the 2016 Trump campaign as part of an investigation into alleged ties to the Russian government. The American people were told that the intelligence apparatus had legitimate concerns about potential collusion and that authorities took appropriate steps to investigate Donald Trump’s associates.

The evidence contained in the report, however, tells a very different story. 

Not only did the FBI agents trust the findings of the now-discredited dossier, but they also used it to file the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application to wiretap the Trump presidential campaign. 

Within hours of the president’s tweet on March 3, 2017, that Trump Tower was “wiretapped” (for which the corporate leftist media falsely concluded that very day there was no evidence) I went on record and forecast what we now know to be true—there was “Soviet-level wrongdoing” by the FBI and the Obama Administration.  

According to the recently published report, former FBI director James Comey’s “Crossfire Hurricane” team “reinitiated their . . . efforts to obtain FISA surveillance authority” for Trump campaign associate Carter Page “immediately after” they obtained “Steele’s election reporting on September 19.” 

“Steele’s handling agent told us that when Steele provided him with the first election reports in July 2016 and described his engagement with Fusion GPS, it was obvious to him that the request for the research was politically motivated,” the report notes. 

The FBI must take vigorous action to evaluate its own protocols and procedures to ensure that no other American citizen is subject to such abuse ever again. 

Yet, the FBI failed to disclose those concerns to the FISA court, nor did agents reveal the fact that they had not corroborated the Steele dossier’s allegations before using them as the basis for the warrant to surveil Page. The report also found that an FBI lawyer had altered an email so as to obscure the fact that Page was a source for a government agency—something that would have been extremely relevant to the FBI’s request to investigate its supposed suspicions that Page was a potential Russian agent.

Disappointingly, this was far from the only instance of FISA abuse detailed in the inspector general’s report. Horowitz found evidence of political bias almost everywhere he looked, cataloging a long list of questionable behaviors by the FBI. 

“We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures,” Horowitz observed, adding that “these errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information . . . and failing to flag important issues for discussion.”

To dismiss this as mere carelessness and neglect, as some legacy media outlets are trying to do, is disingenuous at best. The notion of such widespread incompetence within the nation’s premiere law enforcement agency is only slightly less distressing than the allegation it’s intended to refute. That explanation is also far less plausible than the alternative—that biased actors at the FBI abused their finely-honed investigative skills and expansive authority in an effort to manipulate the outcome of a presidential election. 

I saw firsthand how extensively political considerations can influence the way the federal government operates—even when it comes to issues that should never be tainted by partisanship, such as national security. I was part of the team that identified 9/11 mastermind Mohamed Atta a full year before he led the attacks on our nation. We were prevented from taking action against Atta, and when I raised that issue with the 9/11 Commission, the Pentagon tried to discredit me rather than acknowledge its own failings.

The Democrats are trying to use a similar strategy to distract public attention from the FBI’s misconduct. By downplaying the inspector general’s findings, they hope to evade scrutiny of the pervasive bias and failures of leadership that allowed the agency to be used as a political weapon.

The FBI now must take vigorous action to evaluate its own protocols and procedures to ensure that no other American citizen is subject to such abuse ever again. 

During his recent campaign rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, President Trump perfectly summarized the IG report’s findings in a single sentence, explaining that “[the FBI] knew right at the beginning that it was all a frame-up, a setup, but they hid it so that nobody could see it, so they could keep it going on, thinking they were going to hurt us politically.”

Thanks to the inspector general’s report, the FBI “insurance policy” to undermine the president of the United States has been fully exposed. Now it’s time for those who abused the rule of law for purely political purposes to be held accountable for their actions. Accountability and redemption are needed for the FBI.  To insure the American people can trust the FBI there must be a 100 percent review and an audit of all FBI foreign counterintelligence and national security cases—this must be done, otherwise the American people will never be able to fully trust the FBI.

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About Tony Shaffer

Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer is a retired senior intelligence operations officer and vice president for strategic initiatives and operations at the London Center for Policy Research.

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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