IG HOROWITZ HITS FBI ‘FAILURES’ IN SENATE TESTIMONY AFTER FISA COURT REBUKE
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz rebuked the FBI on Wednesday for “failures” during the initial phase of the Russia probe, in his second round of Senate testimony following his extensive report on the investigation’s origins and the process used to obtain a surveillance warrant for former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., was blunt in trying to get to the bottom of what happened during Wednesday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing.
“Were they just all incompetent?” he asked. Hawley then noted that due to the complexities involved, “it doesn’t sound like they’re very stupid to me.”
Hawley ultimately asked why the members of the FBI would commit such failures to mislead a court multiple times.
“That was precisely the concern we had,” Horowitz said. The inspector general made clear that he did not reach any conclusions regarding intent, but he did not necessarily accept the reasons people gave him during his investigation.
“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.
Horowitz previously appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the aftermath of his report on the subject, but Wednesday’s hearing before the Senate homeland security panel comes a day after the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) sharply criticized the FBI in a rare public order that referenced his findings.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., indicated that this would be a flawed assumption, questioning whether Horowitz’s inability to find evidence of bias really meant that there had not been any bias.
“Just because you didn’t find it doesn’t mean it didn’t exist,” Paul said.
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