AG Barr: IG Report Makes Clear the FBI Launched an Invasive Investigation on Thinnest of Suspicions

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Posted: Dec 09, 2019 2:10 PM
AG Barr: IG Report Makes Clear the FBI Launched an Invasive Investigation on Thinnest of Suspicions

Source: (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The long awaited Department of Justice Inspector General report on FISA abuse against the Trump campaign was finally released Monday afternoon. 

After looking at the findings, Attorney General Bill Barr is slamming the FBI for using "thin suspicions" to justify an invasive investigation into the Trump campaign. 

"The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.  It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.  Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.  In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source," Barr said. "The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory.  While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process."

Barr then explained reform of the FISA system and how agents use it is important to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who will be working to fix the problems found by the Inspector General. 

"FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people.  The Department of Justice and the FBI are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward," he continued. "No one is more dismayed about the handling of these FISA applications than Director Wray.  I have full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country.  I thank the Director for the comprehensive set of proposed reforms he is announcing today, and I look forward to working with him to implement these and any other appropriate measures."

Individuals cited in the report for misconduct could see disciplinary action.