Back in the United States, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, where he reiterated his report’s key finding that the FBI’s opening of an investigation into President Trump’s 2016 campaign aides was not politically motivated. During the hearing, Republican lawmakers slammed the FBI over the myriad errors the report revealed about the FBI’s process of seeking approval to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. These applications were filed to the secret FISA court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Civil liberties experts have long warned of the court’s unaccountable and secretive nature for approving domestic surveillance, especially against Muslims. This is Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
Michael Horowitz: “We found and, as we outline here, are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate handpicked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI, even though the information sought through the use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign, and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions would likely be subjected to close scrutiny.”