U.S. Attorney General William Barr applauded Tuesday the work of Inspector General Michael Horowitz in creating his report on FBI abuses of the FISA process.
“Nothing is more important than the credibility and integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice. That is why we must hold our investigators and prosecutors to the highest ethical and professional standards,” Barr wrote in a statement. “The Inspector General’s investigation has provided critical transparency and accountability, and his work is a credit to the Department of Justice.”
“I would like to thank the Inspector General and his team,” he added.
Barr said that the Inspector General’s report makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions and that, in his view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. He also highlights that the report shows that from the beginning of the FBI counter-intelligence operation against the Trump campaign, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.
Despite evidence that showed no wrongdoing by the campaign, its staff or Donald Trump, the investigation and surveillance were pushed forward for the duration of the 2016 presidential 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.”
“The malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process,” he added.
Barr finished his statement saying that the Justice Department will follow all appropriate processes and procedures as to any potential disciplinary action.