As Attorney General William Barr reviews the first draft of IG Horowitz’s report on possible FISA violations, two top Republicans have dropped hints that Democrats are likely to be devastated when the results are made public.
Both Sen. Lindsey Graham and Rep. Devin Nunes discussed the investigation into how the FBI obtained warrants used to electronically surveil onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page in back-to-back interviews on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures.
Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, told anchor Maria Bartiromo when he expects to receive the report. “I think it probably will be around October,” the South Carolina Republican said.
It was the clearest indication yet as to when the public may get a first glimpse of the report. Republicans have expressed high expectations for former Justice Department and FBI officials to be held accountable for possible misconduct ever since Horowitz informed Congress on Sept. 13 that his team is in the “process of finalizing our report by providing a draft of our factual findings to the Department and FBI for classification determination and marking.”
Graham went on to say that, his “No. 1 goal” is to have as much of the report declassified as possible. Graham has said previously that he expects that IG Horowitz’s report will indicate that top Justice Department and FBI officials misled the FISA Court by using an unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele to obtain warrants to spy on Page.
At the tail end of their FISA discussion, Bartiromo said people she has spoken to suggest the CIA might be the “architect of this.” Before she could even finish, Graham cut in to say, “Stay tuned.”
Was that a hint that he knows something that we do not? Has he had an advance glimpse at the report?
I guess we indeed need to “stay tuned.”
What We Do Know Ahead of the Report
What we know for sure is that Barr has received the draft report from Horowitz and that he is in the process of reviewing it for redactions of classified and privileged information.
According to a letter sent to Congress earlier this month, the inspector general said his team has “reviewed over one million records and conducted over 100 interviews, including several of witnesses who only recently agreed to be interviewed.”
Horowitz and his team were tasked by Barr to “Investigate the Investigators,” and the IG has specifically been looking into how the infamous anti-Trump dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele was used to secure the original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant for former Trump aide Carter Page, which launched the so-called “Russia Probe” in October 2016.
Horowitz’s team has questioned why the FBI considered Steele a credible source, and why the bureau seemed to use news reports to bolster Steele’s credibility.
Horowitz has indicated that once the Justice Department and the FBI send back a marked document relating to classified material, his team will “proceed with our usual process for preparing the final draft public and classified reports, and ensuring that appropriate reviews occur for accuracy and comment purposes.”