DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz has uncovered evidence that an FBI attorney faked information on a FISA warrant document to target Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.
Horowitz found that the FBI official manipulated a key investigative document related to the Bureau’s secret surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
According to the Justice Department watchdog, the faked information was enough to alter the substantive meaning of the FISA document.
Foxnews.com reports: The show-stopping development comes as Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., told Fox News that Horowitz’s comprehensive report on allegations of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant abuse against former Trump campaign aide Carter Page will be released on Dec. 9. “That’s locked,” Graham said.
The new evidence concerning the altered document, which pertained to the FBI’s FISA court warrant application to surveil Page, is expected to be outlined in Horowitz’s upcoming report. CNN first reported the news, which was largely confirmed by The Washington Post.
But the Post, hours after publishing its story, conspicuously removed the portion of its reporting that the FBI employee involved worked “beneath” Peter Strzok, the FBI’s since-fired head of counterintelligence. The Post did not offer an explanation for the change, which occurred shortly after midnight. Earlier this week, the DOJ highlighted a slew of anti-Trump text messages sent by Strzok when he was leading the Hillary Clinton email investigation and the probe into the Trump campaign.
“The person under scrutiny has not been identified but is not a high-ranking official — they worked beneath former deputy assistant director Peter Strzok, according to people familiar with the investigation who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss material that has not yet been made public,” The Post wrote in its now-deleted paragraph.
The paper eventually added a correction to the bottom of its piece, reading, “Correction: An earlier version of this story erroneously stated that the FBI employee being investigated for altering a document worked underneath former Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok. The employee was a low-level lawyer in the Office of General Counsel and did not report to the deputy assistant director.”
Nevertheless, Horowitz reportedly found that the FBI employee was involved enough in the FISA process to falsely state that he had “documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis” for the FISA warrant application, the Post reported. Then, the FBI employee allegedly “altered an email” to substantiate his inaccurate version of events. The employee has since been forced out of the bureau.
In its initial 2016 FISA warrant application, the FBI flatly called Page “an agent of a foreign power.”
Sources told Fox News last month that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s separate, ongoing probe into potential FBI and Justice Department misconduct in the run-up to the 2016 election through the spring of 2017 has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation — and that Horowitz’s report will shed light on why Durham’s probe has become a criminal inquiry.
Durham has reportedly taken up Horowitz’s findings concerning the falsified FISA document, meaning the ex-FBI lawyer who made the changes is now under criminal investigation. The Post indicated, however, that the document was not central to the legality of the FISA warrant obtained against Page.
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