The leaks came quickly after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz announced his long-awaited report on alleged government surveillance abuses against a member of the Trump campaign would be released in a matter of weeks.
Contrary to the allegations often trumpeted by President Trump and his allies, reports from outlets such as the Washington Post and New York Times said the watchdog is expected to find political bias did not taint the Russia investigation, absolving top officials such as former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and special agent Peter Strzok on this matter.
Yes, missteps and lapses in judgment were made, but the most damning revelation pertains to an FBI lawyer, identified as Kevin Clinesmith, allegedly altering a document related to the wiretapping of onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. A far cry from the “premeditated fraud” conspiracy pushed on a near-nightly basis by Fox News host Sean Hannity, Horowitz’s investigators determined Clinesmith’s actions did not taint the overall validity of a renewal application. Additionally, Horowitz determined the opening of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign in July 2016 was justified.
None of this amounts to what Trump’s closest allies have hyped up for months: A concerted effort to monitor and undermine his 2016 campaign, particularly with how the FBI relied on an unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele to obtain the warrants to wiretap Page.
Democrats, fully engaged in an impeachment effort against Trump, have expressed little appetite to talk Horowitz’s report and counter Republican allegations of an effort to overthrow the president. “It looks like the evidence is going to show otherwise. It’s time for us to move on,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democratic member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on Fox News Sunday. (Read more from “‘Nervous’ Leakers: Early Peak into DOJ Watchdog’s FISA Report Emboldens Trump Allies” HERE)