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DOJ Inspector General to ‘Refute Accusations of a Political Conspiracy’ Against Trump Campaign: Report


Could it be that the most damaging result of the forthcoming Department of Justice Inspector General report is a criminal referral against a “low-level” former FBI lawyer, whose alleged alteration of a FISA application document did not undermine the “legal and factual basis” for surveilling former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page? A Friday afternoon report from the Washington Post suggests as much.

The IG report will reportedly be a three-part one touching on the origins of the investigation into George Papadopoulos, the Carter Page FISA applications, and the FBI’s handling of the infamous political football known as the Steele Dossier.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, which will be released on Dec. 9, will broadly “refute accusations of a political conspiracy by senior law enforcement officials against the Trump campaign to favor Democrat Hillary Clinton, while also knocking the bureau for procedural shortcomings,” according to WaPo. The publication cited two anonymous U.S. officials who are in the know.

The IG’s review will reportedly also say that both the opening of an investigation into Papadopoulos and application for surveillance of Carter Page were justified.

As we alluded to in the opening, Attorney General William Barr tapped U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut John Durham to investigate the origins of the Mueller Probe. Durham’s investigation recently turned into a criminal probe. Given that Horowitz referred the ex-FBI lawyer matter to Durham to investigate as part of his criminal probe, it stands to reason that this individual may be prosecuted down the line.

Aside from the document alteration allegation, the Post reports, Horowitz is expected to shame the FBI for “systemic failures in its handling of surveillance applications” and recommend reforms. The former FBI lawyer, who was ousted from the bureau after the alleged alteration was discovered, is said to be the “most significant” case the IG report produced, even though other individuals did not escape criticism.

An anonymous individual said to be familiar with Horowitz’s investigation stated the obvious: “You can see how the warring factions will seize on the various parts of this to advance their respective narratives.”

[Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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Matt Naham is the Senior A.M. Editor of Law&Crime.