The Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz confirmed that he found “evidence” of political bias during the investigation he conducted into the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe.
Horowitz condemned the failures of the FBI during his second appearance before the Senate on Wednesday and, in response to direct questions from lawmakers, confirmed the existence of bias by FBI officials involved in the process of obtaining FISA warrants to spy on former 2016 Trump campaign aide, Carter Page.
Horowitz clarified to lawmakers Wednesday that while he found no “documentary or testimonial evidence” of political bias in the decision to launch the FBI’s investigation, that was not the case in later stages of the agency’s probe.
Sen. Ron Johnson asked Horowtiz about the FBI’s probe during Wednesday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.
“In both of these investigations you found political bias?” the Wisconsin Republican asked the inspector general.
“We found through the text messages evidence of people’s political bias,” Horowitz replied.
IG Horowitz just confirmed that he found evidence of Political Bias in his investigation of those involved with the origins of the Russia Probe.
“We found through the text messages evidence of people’s political bias”
Where is the accountability?pic.twitter.com/zibxX7LlNU
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) December 18, 2019
Horowitz told Sen. Josh Hawley during his time of questioning that he did not reach any conclusions about whether political bias affected the FBI’s investigations but noted the dissatisfaction with some of the responses during his probe.
“There are so many errors, we couldn’t reach a conclusion or make a determination on what motivated those failures other than we did not credit what we lay out here were the explanations we got,” Horowitz said.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant applications for Page were riddled with 17 errors and omissions, according to his report.
“Although we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or the missing information and the failures that occurred,” he had said in his opening statement Wednesday.
“Was it your conclusion that there was — that political bias did not affect any part of the [former FBI lawyer Lisa] Page investigation, any part of Crossfire Hurricane? Is that what you concluded?” Hawley asked Horowitz.
“We did not reach that conclusion,” Horowitz replied.
“Because I could have sworn — in fact, I know for a fact that I’ve heard that today from this committee. But that’s not your conclusion?” Hawley said.
“We have been very careful, in connection with the FISAs, for the reasons you mentioned, to not reach that conclusion, in part — as we’ve talked about earlier — the alteration of the email, the text messages associated with the individual who did that, and our inability to explain or understand what — to get good explanations so that we could understand why this all happened,” Horowitz explained.
He also discussed the evidence of political bias when speaking with Sen. Rand Paul.
SEN. PAUL: “But could you then specifically say…there actually was evidence of political bias and evidence of record-changing that looks like malfeasance?”
HOROWITZ: “There is evidence of both, I agree with you.” pic.twitter.com/7001UWDNEy
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 18, 2019
Horowitz appeared before the Senate one day after the release of a scathing letter from FISA Court chief judge Rosemary Collyer who blasted the FBI in a rare public order, citing the report from Horowitz.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) December 18, 2019
“The frequency with which representations made by FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession, and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case, calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable,” Collyer wrote.