During Wednesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the Justice Department inspector general’s report on possible FISA abuses in the Russia probe, top inspector Michael Horowitz pushed back against former FBI Director James Comey’s suggestion that the findings vindicated bureau actions.
While Horowitz’s recently released report finds that there was no political bias by FBI leadership and that there was sufficient evidence to launch a counterintelligence probe of Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, it also chided the FBI for “fundamental errors” in its investigation of former Trump campaign official Carter Page.
Noting that Comey figuratively spiked the football over Horowitz’s report in a Washington Post op-ed, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked the inspector general, “Former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?”
Horowitz rejected the notion that anyone linked to the investigation should feel exonerated. “You know, I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this,” he said.
Graham went on to bring up comments Comey made last year that “the notion that FISA was abused” in the investigation was “nonsense,” asking Horowitz if he took issue with that.
“Certainly our findings were that there were significant problems,” Horowitz replied.