Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Monday accused Senate Republicans of being the "Conspiracy Caucus" following the release of Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report, which detailed how the probe into the Russia investigation began.
"For years, President Trump and his Republican allies in Congress and the media have speculated wildly about Deep State conspiracies against this presidency. They're based on the claim that the FBI opened an investigation into the president's campaign with political motives. Today, we just got a report from the Department of Justice Inspector General that puts these conspiracy theories to rest once and for all," Schumer said.
According to the Senate Minority Leader, Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report "debunks the baseless conspiracy" that the Russia probe began as a result of "political bias."
"Let me repeat so that all those conspiracy theorists out there hear it: This report confirms that the predicate for the FBI's investigation was valid and without political bias," Schumer said.
Specifically, Schumer referenced the FBI's Deputy General Counsel's quote which says, "The FBI would have been derelict in our responsibility had we not opened the case." He also referenced FBI Director Christopher Wray saying he did not believe the Trump campaign was unfairly targeted.
"I'm sure some of my Republican friends will – given their M.O. – I'm sure some of my Republican friends will question the integrity of the report's author, Inspector General Horowitz. But it's ironic that the very same people who questioned the IG report today, like Attorney General Barr, Chairman Graham, have praised the inspector general in the past," Schumer said.
The Senate Majority Leader said he believes Barr and Graham should accept Horowitz's findings, especially considering they've praised him in the past.
"The bottom line is clear: the IG report, written by someone who Republicans repeatedly praised, embraced by the Trump-appointed FBI director, shows there's no bias for the president's absurd claim that the investigation into his campaign was a hoax or a conspiracy against him," he said.
Schumer said Horowitz's report came at an "important time," a clear reference to Democrats' partisan impeachment push.
"In an effort to protect the president at all costs, the Grand Old Party in the Senate has become the Conspiracy Caucus," he said. "One conspiracy theory after another. None of them with basis and fact. It's no laughing matter. These conspiracies are not harmless. They are sinister. They are insidious. They damage our democracy."
Specifically, Schumer took issue with the idea that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 elections.
"When Republicans in the Senate repeat the falsehood invented by Putin's intelligence services, that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 elections, it helps deflect blame from Putin and drives a wedge between the United States and Ukraine, one of Putin's top goals," he explained. "The fact that Senate Republicans are willing to put wild wind into the sales of these baseless conspiracy theories, is beyond alarming. It hurts our country. It hurts our country."
One of the biggest issues to come out of the report was the fact that there were at least 17 errors in the Lisa Page FISA applications and other serious errors relating to wiretapping Carter Page, a Trump campaign advisor. Even if Schumer wants to call this a "conspiracy theory," Republicans aren't wrong in being upset by the government abusing its power and being careless.
The bottom line is clear:— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) December 9, 2019
The report by the @JusticeOIG—who Republicans have repeatedly praised—shows there is no basis for President Trump’s absurd claim that the investigation into his campaign was a hoax or a conspiracy against him. pic.twitter.com/HDr6xMYEab