Grassley Slams the FBI: Your Job is to Protect Americans, Not Harm Them

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Posted: Dec 10, 2019 9:00 AM
Grassley Slams the FBI: Your Job is to Protect Americans, Not Harm Them

Source: (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is slamming the FBI after a new Department of Justice Inspector General report revealed agents repeatedly abused their power in order to obtain a FISA warrant on a Trump campaign official. 

“Anyone who values fundamental civil liberties in the United States should be disgusted and terrified by what the inspector general uncovered in today’s report on the FBI’s spying on an American citizen. That such abuse was carried out against a citizen working on a political campaign is just that much more disturbing. Not only did the FBI use highly-invasive surveillance tools that undermined the Fourth Amendment rights of an American, it also used a counterintelligence briefing with the campaign as an intelligence gathering operation without coordinating with other intelligence community officials," Grassley said. 

Grassley, who previously served as the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has spent decades conducting oversight of federal law enforcement agencies. Before handing over the Committee to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham last year, Grassley raised a number of questions about the FBI's conduct during the 2016 presidential election. 

“I began raising questions about the FBI’s reliance on Christopher Steele immediately after revelations of his involvement with the FBI’s Russia probe. We now know that the FBI failed to disclose Steele’s credibility problems and political motivations when pushing the FISA Court to grant surveillance authority based largely on his research.  On at least 17 separate instances, the FBI botched the FISA applications by neglecting to share exculpatory information with the officials who vetted the applications, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and simply presenting inaccurate information," he continued. "The FBI’s job is to protect Americans, our democracy and our rights. Its actions have done great harm to the public trust and jeopardize the important work that rank-and-file agents do every day for our nation. I look forward to the results of the inspector general’s FISA audit, as well as U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation and I hope we can all work together to begin restoring the standing of America’s top law enforcement agency."

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to go over the findings of the report. DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will testify.