Sen. Hawley: The 'Collusion Was Between the DNC and the FBI'

By Michael W. Chapman | December 11, 2019 | 5:18pm EST
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)   (Getty Images)
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) (Getty Images)

( -- While questioning Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday about the FBI's malfeasance in its spying on the 2016 Trump campaign, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said there was "collusion" in that presidential election, not with Russia but between the FBI and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). 

The report by Horowitz confirmed that the DNC paid for the salacious "dossier," compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, that supposedly showed Trump had been compromised by the Russians. The dossier was not factual and had been dismissed by the CIA as "internet rumor."

Nonetheless, the DNC-funded dossier was eventually used by the FBI team investigating the Trump campaign to get a warrant (and subsequent warrants) from the secret FISA court to spy on the campaign. The FBI officials directly involved did not inform the FISA court that the dossier was paid for by Trump's political enemies at the DNC and the Clinton campaign.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, Sen. Hawley said to Inspector General Horowitz, “To me, this is the untold story of the 2016 campaign. I don’t know who at the DNC hatched this but I suppose they ought to take a victory lap. They should certainly be remembered for it."

"To get the FBI to launch surveillance of a rival presidential campaign, and then into the newly elected president’s term,  I think it is just extraordinary," said Hawley. "It is absolutely extraordinary."

The senator continued,  “I think it is an extraordinary thing when the most powerful law enforcement agency in the country, maybe the world, is able to effectively intervene and influence a presidential election at the behest and with the cooperation of another political party."

Former FBI Director James Comey.  (Getty Images)
Former FBI Director James Comey. (Getty Images)

“I’ve been saying for a long time that there’s no collusion in the 2016 campaign," he said.  "Maybe I’m wrong, but I think the collusion was between the DNC and the FBI."

"I for one don’t know how any American can have confidence in that institution [FBI] and the integrity of our elections, if things like this can happen," said the conservative senator. 

Earlier, Hawley had the following exchange with Horowitz:

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.  (Getty Images)
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. (Getty Images)

Hawley: “There is one actor here who I think has not gotten the credit that they collectively deserve, and that’s the Democratic National Committee. I’ve heard my friends on the other side of the aisle complain about Hillary Clinton’s campaign, about how ineffective it was, that the DNC didn’t do a good job in 2016. I beg to differ.

"This is the most incredible – the DNC pays for the Steele dossier, solicits the Steele dossier, and then gets the Federal Bureau of Investigation to go get FISA warrants, surveil an American citizen, surveil a presidential campaign, all on the basis of this manufactured garbage that they paid for. That’s extraordinary. That’s got to be a first time in history.

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele, left, and senior DOJ lawyer Bruce Ohr. (Getty Images)
Ex-British spy Christopher Steele, left, and senior DOJ lawyer Bruce Ohr. (Getty Images)

"Let me just ask you, Mr. Horowitz, are you aware, ever, of another presidential campaign being targeted by the FBI during the campaign like the Trump one was, to your knowledge?"

Horowitz: “As I sit here, I don’t know.”

Hawley:  “... So am I correct in saying the Steele dossier, the Fusion GPS dossier, was solicited by and paid for by the DNC? That’s correct based on what you know?”

Horowitz: "The Clinton campaign or the DNC was ultimately learned by the FBI that that was the case.”

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Hawley: “... So we get the Steele dossier, it’s fed to the FBI, the FBI goes and asks for these FISA warrants -- which have all of the problems that you have articulated and that my colleagues have drawn out, including sometimes outright fabrication of evidence in these FISA applications – and then not only does the FBI get a surveillance program ongoing effectively during the presidential campaign during cycle, but they also get news stories written during the campaign about the surveillance program.

“In September 2016 there’s a story about a possible counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign. In October 2016 there’s a story about the FBI investigating the Trump campaign. And we know on that last one that Steele himself was involved – is that correct?”

Horowitz: “Yes, that’s correct. …."

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