The U.S. Department of Justice’s internal watchdog told Congress on Wednesday (December 11) that the FBI made “basic and fundamental errors” during a politically sensitive investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016.
In testimony that did not deviate from a report issued on Monday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz also said he had found the FBI had sufficient cause to open an investigation of any possible Trump campaign ties to Russia and he had not found evidence that it was motivated by political bias.
Trump and fellow Republicans have accused the agency of bias and Horowitz’s review provided grist for both Republicans and Democrats in the debate over the legitimacy of an investigation that clouded the first 2 -1/2 years of Trump’s presidency.
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Senator Lindsey Graham told a hearing that the FBI should have warned the Trump campaign about possible Russian influence rather than engaging what he said evolved into a “massive criminal conspiracy.”
Senator Dianne Feinstein, the panel’s top Democrat, said the report had knocked down Trump’s accusations that a “Deep State” of bureaucrats had worked to undermine his political prospects.
Horowitz’s work on the issue is not done. He said his office is examining whether FBI agents in New York improperly leaked information to Trump ally Rudy Giuliani in an effort to pressure then-FBI Director James Comey to re-open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s email use.
(Production: Gershon Peaks, Vanessa Johnston)