Rep. Jordan: FBI Should Have Stopped Trump-Russia Probe Within Months; Instead, We Got Mueller

Susan Jones | December 10, 2019 | 10:21am EST
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Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)
Former FBI director James Comey is sworn in during a hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, 2017. (Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images)

( "We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page," says the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz.

However, the report says there were "inaccuracies and omissions" in the initial FISA warrant on Carter Page, and "none of these inaccuracies and omissions were brought to the attention of [Justice Department officials] before the last FISA application was filed in June 2017. Consequently, these failures were repeated in all three renewal applications..." (in January, April, and June).

That's the major takeaway from the IG report, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox News's Sean Hannity Monday night:

Even if you accept that there was a proper predication for starting this, by January they should've stopped. And this is the part that bothers me the most. Because they didn't stop. All the exculpatory information, all the information they got, all the things they learned about the dossier, all the information that Steele relied on that wasn't accurate that was given to the court, all the lies to the court, because they didn't stop, we wind up getting the Bob Mueller investigation.

And what that put our country through for over two years, that is the worst -- that's the real takeaway here. And remember, on May 9th, Jim Comey is fired. When we deposed him after he was fired, he told us all the way, up until May 9th, they still didn't have anything, and that's exactly what Michael Horowitz told us in this report. But they didn't care. Because they kept it going, we got the Mueller investigation.

Chapter Five of the IG report delves into the 11 months of FISA coverage targeting Carter Page -- from October 2016, to September 2017.

The report notes that in August 2016, the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane team monitored a meeting between a confidential FBI source and Carter Page "in an attempt to obtain information from Page about links between the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign and Russia. During the operation...Page made statements to the CHS (confidential human source) that would have, if true, contradicted the notion that Page was conspiring with Russia."

During that August 2016 meeting with the FBI confidential source, Carter Page made various statements "that did not add support to the notion that Page was conspiring with Russia," the report said.

The report notes that Page also made statements that contradicted the Steele dossier. However, the IG found no evidence that the FBI made Page's statements and denials available to Justice Department officials until mid-June 2017, eleven months after the initial FISA warrant was issued.

The report goes into detail about why the FBI believed Page may have been an agent of Russia and what Page told the FBI source, thus undercutting the Russian-agent argument.

Horowitz wrote: "Our review revealed instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application targeting Carter Page were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed."

The IG reported that before the first FISA renewal application was filed in January 2017, "the [Justice Department Office of Intelligence] OI Attorney did receive the documents containing the denials Page made to the (confidential human source) in October 2016. Yet, the information about the meeting remained unchanged in the renewal applications. The 0I Attorney told us that he did not recall the circumstances surrounding this, but he acknowledged that he should have updated the descriptions in the renewal applications to include Page's denials.

Would it have mattered if the FISA renewals were corrected to reflect Page's denials?

Maybe, maybe not, the IG wrote:

We do not speculate whether or how having accurate and complete information might have influenced the decisions of senior (Justice) Department leaders who supported the four FISA applications, or the court,if they had known all of the relevant information.

Nevertheless, it was the obligation of the FBI agents and supervisors who were aware of the information to ensure that the FISA applications were "scrupulously accurate" and that OI, the (Justice) Department's decision-makers, and ultimately, the court had the opportunity to consider the additional information and the information omitted from the first application.

The individuals involved did not meet this obligation.

The IG concluded that the failures described in the report "represent serious performance failures by the supervisory and non-supervisory agents with responsibility over the FISA applications. These failures prevented OI [the Justice Department's National Security Division's Office of Intelligence] from fully performing its gatekeeper function and deprived the decision makers the opportunity to make fully informed decisions.

"Although some of the factual misstatements and omissions we found in this review were arguably more significant than others, we believe that all of them taken together resulted in FISA applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case."


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