Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, said on Sunday that he believes the upcoming Inspector General report on the counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign is going to be damning evidence of wrongdoing by FBI and Justice Department officials and could lead to a full-fledged criminal investigation.
“It doesn’t take 500 pages to tell the inspector general that everything was done properly,” Ratcliffe said during an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” “The IG report is going to find that there were problems.”
For more than a year and a half, Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating alleged misconduct related to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, warrants delivered by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Justice Department and FBI obtained warrants in 2016 to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page. It is unclear, at this point, if Page was the only Trump official that the DOJ obtained a FISA warrant against.
That highly anticipated report will likely spark new congressional investigations and deliver critical information to other federal reviews probing allegations of abuse by the Justice Department and the FBI.
Horowitz submitted in September a draft of his report to Attorney General Bill Barr, who was reviewing the document — fueling the belief that the public release was coming soon.
President Trump — who has the authority to declassify and release as much of the report as he wants — has been hyping its forthcoming release. “The IG report is going to come out soon, and we’ll see what happens,” the president told reporters last week, adding he’s “waiting for the report like everybody else.”
“But I predict you will see things that you don’t even believe, the level of corruption — whether it’s [James] Comey; whether it’s [Peter] Strzok and his lover [Lisa] Page; whether it’s so many other people — [Andrew] McCabe; whether it’s President Obama himself,” Trump charged.
He added: “Let’s see whether or not it’s President Obama. Let’s see whether or not they put that in.”
Horowitz has been probing how the infamous and salacious anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original FISA warrant for Page in October 2016, as well as three renewals.
Horowitz also has looked into why the FBI may have regarded Steele – funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign through law firm Perkins Coie – a credible source, and why the bureau used news reports to bolster Steele’s credibility before the FISA court.
The attorney general has also appointed U.S. Attorney from Connecticut John Durham to take on the probe to investigate possible misconduct by the intelligence community at the origins of the Russia investigation. Durham, who is known as a “hard-charging bulldog” prosecutor, was asked to help Barr “ensure that intelligence collection activities by the U.S. government related to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign were lawful and appropriate.” Durham also is probing whether Democrats were the ones who had improperly colluded with foreign actors.