Senator Lankford Questions DOJ IG Horowitz on FISA, Crossfire Hurricane
CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today questioned Department of Justice Inspector General (DOJ IG) Michael Horowitz at a Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing about the abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process by individuals at the FBI to target President Trump’s 2016 campaign.
IG Horowitz released a DOJ IG report on December 9, 2019, regarding the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, in which the FBI began investigating members of President Trump’s campaign employee and the connection with the Department’s investigation into potential Russian involvement in the 2016 election. On December 11, IG Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee regarding the report, during which he was grilled by Committee members on the way the FBI handled the investigation. On December 17, 2019, the FISA court issued an order that the FBI should clarify by January 10, 2020, the reliability of its information based on concerns raised by the court from previous potential inaccuracies in applications to the court.
Lankford: Mr. Horowitz, thank you. Just for your leadership, not only with CIGIE [Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency] but also obviously with what you’re doing there in DOJ. I appreciate your whole team and the work that you continue to do. You use the term, when talking about the mistakes that were made, saying there were so many mistakes this was either somewhere between gross incompetence to intentional. But you didn’t try to be able to determine the motivation of all these. It gets a little more harsh when the FISC responds back to this in the letter that they sent out, the order yesterday. They said ‘because the conduct of the OGC attorney gave rise to serious concerns about the accuracy and completeness of the information provided to the FISC in any matter in which the OGC attorney was involved, the court ordered the government on December 5, 2019, to among other things provide certain information addressing those concerns.’
Then this, ‘the FBI’s handling of the Carter Page applications as portrayed in the OIG report was antithetical to the heightened duty of candor described above. The frequency with which representations made by the FBI personnel turned out to be unsupported or contradicted by information in their possession and with which they withheld information detrimental to their case calls into question whether information contained in other FBI applications is reliable.’
One of the reasons this hearing is so incredibly important is because what this group did at the FBI not only took our nation down years of turmoil, but they’re now calling into question every FISA application. And I’m confident every attorney is going to bring this case up and to say we can’t rely on the FISA process now. And it will cause turmoil in the FISA court for a very long time. So the Crossfire Hurricane team not only did damage to our nation, did damage to our justice system, and potentially damage to what we’re doing in counter-intelligence and counter-terrorism. So we appreciate your work because this is incredibly important to actually get to the bottom of this process.