Inspector General Report Finds FBI Probe Into Trump Campaign And Russia Was Justified | NBC News

Channel: NBC News
Published: 12/09/2019 06:51 PM

A long-awaited report by an internal Justice Department watchdog found that the investigation into President Donald Trump's campaign's ties to Russia was justified, despite the FBI mishandling part's of the probe. » Subscribe to NBC News: » Watch more NBC video: ...

The release of the inspector general's report into the origins of the 2016 fbi investigation into president trump and members of his campaign. Let'S go right to pete williams right now and pete. Some of the early headlines is that this will. This will essentially cancel out some of the complaints about that investigation, a little bit for everybody to to to like in this report lester here it is fo ...
r hundred and thirty pages from the inspector general of the justice department has been working on this for almost two Years now, and what it says is that the inspector general found no political bias in the fbi either in the decision to open the investigation of the trumpcampaign in 2016 or a couple of months later, to seek an a surveillance court order from the foreign intelligence surveillance Court to essentially do electronic eavesdropping on carter page, who had been a trump advisor now. The attorney general has just issued a statement based on this saying that he thinks the ig report makes clear that the fbi opened this investigation of a presidential campaign, i'm quoting now on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. What the inspector general says is that the investigation of the trump campaign was opened based entirely on this claim, from an australian government source that george papadopolis, another trump adviser had said. Thathe met with some people who said the russians had dirt that they could offer on hillary clinton later. The fbi weeks later got this so-called steel dossier, but the inspector general says that played no role in the fbi's decision to open the investigation and in fact the investigation was open before the fbi got the steel dossier. The the inspector general report says it: the fbi followed the rules in opening the investigation, but it says there are no guidelines in the justice department of our or the fbi about opening such a sensitive investigation of a presidential candidate, and perhaps the ig says there should Be it also says the fbi decided not to brief the trumpcampaign about this potential threat or the fact that it was opening the investigation and it did not find any evidence of political bias. Despite these well known by now texts from two people in the fbi, peter struck and lisa page, it says that they were not high up decision makers in the decision to open the investigation. We learned for the first time that the fbi used confidential human sources to record conversations with with carter page with george papadopolis. Before and after they were involved in the campaign, and it says these confidential human sources also talk to what is described in this report.

As a high-level trump campaign official not identified one conversation that apparently theig says yielded no useful information, then after the investigation was open, the fbi decided to seek this foreign intelligence surveillance act, fisa warrant on carter, page after getting the steele dossier. So the steel dossier was critical. It says in the fbi's decision to seek this surveillance warrant on carter page, but it says the fbi failed to document to the court assertions in the fisa application that undercut steele's credibility, steel. It did note that steele was initially hired to do some opposition research, but for the clinton campaign, but as time went on that report says even though the fbi got information that would raise questions about the credibility of steele. It failed to reassess its ownreliance on him. Failed to tell the foreign intelligence surveillance court about these problems and didn't press him on the source of his information. Nonetheless, it says it found no political bias in seeking the fisa warrant on page. What it says is the fbi basically repeatedly screwed up at every level. Failing to pay enough attention to potential problems with steal, failing to tell the justice department - and it says at one point - that the fbi decided to seek this fisa warrant, even at the risk of being criticized for doing it later, because the report says fbi officials, they Had said they had to get to the bottom of a potentially serious threat to national security, but theinspector general report says the fisa. Application was in many ways inaccurate, incomplete or unsupported. It says, for example, that the fbi failed to look at some of problems in steele's past work that that was never sufficiently addressed. As for why these things happen, the inspector general says it reaches no conclusions about that.

It says it received no satisfactory explanation about how all these mistakes happen and the inspector general report lester, and i just make the final point here before i turn it back to. You says that the inspector general is so concerned about these problems, that, if the fbi, s -- in his view, so mishandled this fisa application for an investigation into a candidate forpresident. And how is it doing it for garden-variety people who are subject to these warrants, and for that reason we learned today that the inspector general is now opening a new investigation on how the fbi gets. These fisa warrants on american citizens life all right on the questions that we've we've heard over the last several years from the trump administration on political bias. On spying, does this report deal directly with whether those two things occurred? Well, the inspector general doesn't directly it didn't directly answer the question in this report about whether the fbi quote/unquote spied on the trump campaign, and that's where i think people will reach different conclusions. Some of the republican critics ofthe fbi in the house had repeatedly said this was the case. Nonetheless, the fbi did seek the fisa warrant. They did use confidential human sources. There'S no indication in here, for example, to back up the president's claim now widely discredited, that the fbi was wiretapping, his phones, but nonetheless it does say that there was no political bias either in the decision to open the investigation or in seeking the fisa warrant and Another question of whether it was a legitimate case to open, where did the inspector general comes out of that? What he says is that the fbi and opening in the investigation followed all the rules that it's a very low threshold for opening thiskind of foreign influence investigation and on that the fbi followed all the rules all right pete. On another note, there is the john durham investigation. The attorney general in connecticut it was directed appointed by william bar. Is that duplicating this work? Is that looking at a different facet of this work, it is to some extent looking at different facets, and we don't know what the results of his work yet is.

Our understanding is that there that there wasn't much coordination between the inspector, general's work and durham's work that they had very little contact is our understanding of how this process worked. Durham is looking at, for example, what did foreign country intelligence services have towhat extent? Was the us intelligence community involved with that? Those were not questions beyond the fbi that this report looked at remember the focus of this report was: did the fbi follow the rules in getting that fisa warrant on carter page? The rest of it is a kind of broader sort of surrounding issues, but the main thing was the fisa warrant and on that the inspector general's conclusion was no political, tobias, but a repeated failure to follow the rules and and scrutinize steel's claims closely enough. Oh, and by the way, the report basically says that, despite all this work to get these fisa warrants on carter page, they never really yielded very useful information. Forthe trump investigation - hey nbc news viewers, thanks for checking out our youtube channel subscribe by clicking on that button down here and click on any of the videos over here to watch. The latest interviews show highlights and digital exclusives thanks for watching.

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