AG William Barr says release of IG report on alleged FISA abuse is ‘imminent’

Chuck Ross, DCNF

(Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Attorney General William Barr said Wednesday that the release of an inspector general’s report on FBI’s surveillance of the Trump campaign is “imminent.”

Multiple news outlets reported Tuesday that Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general, has invited witnesses interviewed in connection with the investigation to review portions of the forthcoming report. The step is routine in investigations conducted by inspectors general, and typically signals that the release of the report is near. 

Horowitz told lawmakers in June that his investigators had interviewed more than 100 witnesses and reviewed more than 1 million documents during the investigation, which began in March 2018.

Barr confirmed during a press conference on Tuesday that the Horowitz report is forthcoming.

“It’s been reported and it’s my understanding that it is imminent,” Barr told reporters in Memphis, according to Politico.

“A number of people who were mentioned in the report are having an opportunity right now to comment on how they were quoted in the report, and after that process is over which is very short, the report will be issued. That’s what the inspector general himself suggests.”

Horowitz has been investigating whether the FBI followed the law and bureau guidelines when applying for four Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The FBI relied on information from Christopher Steele, a former British spy, to argue in the FISA applications that there was probable cause to believe that Page was an agent of Russia. Steele worked for an opposition research firm hired by the Clinton campaign and DNC in 2016 to investigate Trump’s possible links to Russia.

The special counsel’s report said that prosecutors found no evidence that Page or anyone associated with the Trump campaign acted as an agent of Russia. The report also said that there was not evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Steele alleged in his dossier that Page and other Trump associates conspired with Kremlin operatives.

Horowitz has reportedly been investigating whether the FBI disclosed everything it knew about Steele’s reliability as an informant for the bureau.

Horowitz submitted a draft of his report to the FBI and Justice Department on Sept. 13 for a review of classified material contained in the document. On Oct. 24, he notified lawmakers that the declassification process was nearing completion, and that the report would be “lengthy.”

Republicans have raised expectations that the report will be a damning for former FBI and Justice Department officials who led the Trump-Russia investigation.

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