DOJ IG to look at FISA abuses by FBI, DOJ
A federal watchdog said it will launch a review of the process by which the Justice Department and FBI obtained a surveillance warrant on a "certain U.S. person" amid allegations from Republican lawmakers that the FBI relied improperly on campaign opposition research to justify the warrant.This appears to be responsive to the claims made by the GOP in the Nunes memo. The Republicans found a pattern of abuses in the FBI pursuit of the FISA warrant to spy on Carter Page and indirectly on the Trump campaign.
Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, is already probing allegations of political bias in several investigations leading up to the 2016 presidential election.
In a statement, the IG said it will determine what the Justice Department and FBI knew “at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source.”
“Additionally, the OIG will review the DOJ’s and FBI’s relationship and communications with the alleged source as they relate to the FISC applications. If circumstances warrant, the OIG will consider including other issues that may arise during the course of the review,” the IG said.
According to a statement, the review comes at the request from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, as well as numerous members of Congress.
Republican lawmakers — specifically those on the House Intelligence Committee — have claimed the federal government used information given to them by Christopher Steele, an ex-British spy, to obtain a warrant through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to wiretap Carter Page in 2016, a former adviser to President Trump's campaign.
Steele was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid for in part by Clinton and the Democratic National Committee, and in attempting to get the surveillance warrant, the Justice Department and FBI did not tell the court.