Chuck Ross, DCNF
North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows said Sunday that he expects the Justice Department’s inspector general to issue criminal referrals as part of an investigation into the FBI’s possible abuse of the surveillance courts during the Trump-Russia probe.
“We’re fully anticipating that the [inspector general’s] report will come out as Attorney General Barr said in the next four to six weeks, and I think it’s highly likely that we’ll see criminal referrals coming from them that will correspond with what Chairman [Devin] Nunes has already put forth,” Meadows said in an interview on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
Attorney General William Barr told Congress on Tuesday that he expects Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, to issue a report in late May or June. On March 28, 2018, Horowitz opened an investigation into whether the FBI and Justice Department complied with legal requirements to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Meadows, a close ally of President Trump’s, said that he and Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan met earlier this week with Horowitz. Both have expressed confidence in Horowitz’s work, and have heightened expectations that the investigation will be favorable to Republicans.
Meadows said that he believes that Horowitz’s report will also focus on FBI leaks to the media. The Republican claimed to have seen evidence that the bureau would leak information to the press and then use those stories to justify additional investigations.
“So what we would find is people within the Department of Justice, primarily the FBI, would actually give information to the media, then those reports would actually come out and they would say ‘wow, we have these reports now,’ and then they would take the actual reports and use those as the probable cause to do a further investigation,” Meadows told Fox host Maria Bartiromo.
“It was a big circular reasoning … you’ll see all of that come out, I believe, when inspector general’s report comes out.”
Horowitz is also examining the FBI and Justice Department’s communications with Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier that the FBI relied on to obtain the Page FISAs.
Republicans have alleged that the FBI failed to verify the dossier before using it to obtain the FISAs. They also claim that the FBI failed to disclose that Steele was working for the DNC and Clinton campaign in the FISA applications.
Horowitz is also investigating the FBI’s use of confidential informants in the Trump-Russia probe. The New York Times reported earlier this week that Horowitz is scrutinizing Stefan Halper, a former Cambridge University professor who made contact with several Trump campaign advisers while working as an FBI informant.