tv Americas Newsroom With Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith FOX News December 11, 2019 6:00am-9:00am PST
this story in the wake of what happened last friday less than a week ago. >> there aren't many details at this point. shelter in place. further details on "america's newsroom" that starts now. >> we'll see you tomorrow. >> bill: thank you, picking up where you left off now. corpus christi, texas, the naval air station where there was a shelter in place moments ago. base said to be on lockdown as you mentioned. we're told the suspect is in custody. we cannot confirm whether it's a shooting or what happened down there. on the heels of pensacola from last friday, on the heels of pearl harbor from last wednesday a sense of urgency. there is a -- the killer in pensacola was radicalized in saudi arabia years ago. one hour from now justice department's top watchdog will be center stage. this time in the u.s. senate. he will answer questions about
the review of the f.b.i.'s handling of the russia investigation and this will be intriguing. one hour from now. good morning, i'm bill hemmer live in new york city. sandra. >> sandra: good morning, bill and everyone. i'm sandra smith. a showdown in the senate judiciary committee moments from now. push can lawmakers expected to grill inspector general horowitz that the bureau may have made nearly 20 mistakes but found no political bias. >> bill: michael horowitz was sworn in in 2012 under president obama. he led a few critical investigations, the f.b.i. handling of the clinton email matter. the fired f.b.i. director james comey's handling of memos about president trump all of that before today's big hearing. >> sandra: it was all unfolding a day after house democrats unveiled two articles of impeachment against the president accusing him of abuse of power and obstruction of congress. president trump reacting last
night at a rally in pennsylvania. >> president trump: today the house democrats announced these two flimsy, pathetic, ridiculous articles of impeachment. they are impeaching me and there are no crimes. this has to be a first in history. they're impeaching me because they want to win an election and that's the only way they can do it. the justice department inspector general released a report detailing the outrageous, scandalous and unprecedented abuses of power. they hid it so that nobody could see it. so they could keep it going on. thinking they were going to hurt us politically. now we're stronger politically than we were ever before. >> bill: that from pennsylvania. now from washington senator ted cruz a member of the senate judiciary committee. welcome back to "america's newsroom." good morning to you. >> good morning. good to be with you. >> bill: what do you expect to
learn from michael horowitz? >> today's hearing will be very valuable. the report that the inspector general put out was nothing short of stunning. it is over 500 pages long and details over and over and over again the blatant misconduct unfortunately at the f.b.i. and the department of justice. it details 17 serious misstatements that the f.b.i. and department of justice made to the fisa court. statements that just weren't backed up by facts and listen, the very best interpretation of what the inspector general concludes as he lays out this incredible pattern of misstatement after misstatement, the best you can conclude is that they were grossly negligent and incompetent and took with the cavalier lack of concern launching an investigation into a political opponent. i think the real conclusion
when you read all those facts, i disagree with his final conclusion that political motivation didn't play a role. i think it's clear the senior leadership were hard democratic partisans. the only way you justify sending in spies, to spies on the trump campaign when he is the republican nominee for president. he is the leading contender on the republican side. and the f.b.i. is sending in spies to spies on his campaign. authorizing in october a wiretap. that was abuse particularly when they knew the basis of it. they had the underlying fact the basis was unreliable and was being paid for by the hillary clinton campaign. they were being a conduit or op oh research. a sad day now.
>> bill: political motivation, no political bias. on impeachment there was a poll. the question, should president trump be impeached or removed from office? in that poll, senator, it now shows 51% of the american people say no. and here is the statement of the company. today's poll is the first time since house speaker nancy pelosi announced the inquiry that more than half of voters say that trump should not be impeached. where does that leave us today, sir? what does that tell you? >> the house democrats' case has collapsed if you look at the articles of impeachment they filed yesterday. it is the weakest and thinnest and an admission of defeat. rewind, bill, three weeks ago. you remember every house democrat was saying over and over again bribery. that was their lead talking point. and the reason is the democratic campaign committee had polled it. a focus group did and the
american people didn't like bribery. after hearing the evidence and testimony they couldn't prove it. there wasn't evidence that a crime was committed so they backed all the way from bribery to now their position is they can impeach the president despite zero evidence of any criminal conduct. despite zero evidence that any law was broken. they aren't alleging a single law was broken. they're saying they can impeach the president are political and policy differences. that's an abuse of the constitution. it is using impeachment just as a campaign tool and when it comes to the senate, i think the house will vote out impeachment next week. in january we'll have a trial in the senate. and this matter is going to be thrown out. we'll hear both sides and then i'm confident the senate will vote to reject what has been a partisan show trial in the house of representatives. >> bill: thom tillis said it on
a show yesterday. this won't last more than two weeks. the white house apparently has given indications they want it to go on longer. let's see what happens. one minute left. 24 hours ago house democrats came out before a microphone and announced the articles of impeachment. 60 minutes later house democrats came out announced a trade deal they could agree to with canada and mexico. what does that say to the american people who are wondering about your ability to do what you want when you want to do it so long as it serves your interest? what explains the 60-minute whiplash we watched yesterday? >> look, for the past year house democrats haven't been willing to do their job or willing to work on legislation, haven't been willing to take up the usmca trade deal. the fact that they announced it 60 minutes later yesterday is another sign they're panicking. they recognize everything they promised impeachment was going to produce they didn't produce the goods. the evidence didn't support it.
i think they're trying to back out of it by focusing on another topic. nancy pelosi was doing an interview recently no more questions on impeachment. i think the extreme left wing base is demanding the democrats impeach the president but the house democrats recognize they don't have the evidence and this isn't going anywhere. >> bill: thank you for your time. we'll watch the hearing from here in new york. ted cruz in washington >> sandra: more on that breaking news on the deadly stand-off in new jersey yesterday the shooting at a kosher market was a targeted attack. six people were killed including a police officer. several innocent bystanders and two gunmen. witnesses describing a battle that seemed like it would never end. >> first it was pop, pop, pop. and then within five minutes it was like louder sounds and shotgun, different attitude with the bullets, you know, and rounds are going on and sounded like a fire fight.
>> sandra: we're live in jersey city with more. >> sandra, good morning. six people are dead after a gun battle ensued in broad daylight in the middle of jersey city. there are three separate crime scenes. there is the kosher supermarket behind me. all morning we've been seeing people in there cleaning up. there is also -- that's where five people died. also the crime scene at the cemetery where a well-liked jersey city detective was killed by the assailants and a you haul truck that had an incendiary device inside. at this hour the jewish grocery store is completely destroyed. the entire front of the building gone. we're told a bearcat armored vehicle crashed into the building and officers shot from inside of it killing the two active shooters. unfortunately not before three innocent bystanders were killed
inside. closed circuit cameras show the jewish grocery was targeted. the shooters jumped out of a van and began shooting indiscriminately at people inside of the store. if it wasn't for two officers nearby, the mayor said, he believes more people would have died. investigators said last night they had no linking -- last night they had no inkling of a motive. >> the motives are still part of the investigation. i said this location, they proceeded to attack this location in a targeted manner. anything else is open for investigation. >> this morning a terrifying scene. bullet holes are seen in the windows of classrooms of the sacred heart elementary school directly across from the grocery store where students inside were on lockdown for hours. the two active shooters were pinned down inside the store after confronted by the two
police officers. federal and local law enforcement officers and agencies sent in heavy swat teams, armored vehicles and hundreds of rounds were shot by these heavy powered rifles. tragically detective joseph seals was killed at the cemetery. he was in plain clothes. the well liked detective was on the force since 2006, a married man and father of five. they talked about how he especially was credited for getting illegal guns off the streets of new jersey. two other officers were shot and released from the hospital. new york city mayor bill deblasio asserts it was an attack on the jewish community and has sent heavy security to protect jewish locations throughout the new york city area. sandra. >> sandra: brian, thank you. >> bill: a lot of news. trying to sort through the information. not a lot right now. shelter in place in corpus
christi base. not a lot more information after that. we don't know if it is a shooting or what they're dealing with in the moment. specifics haven't been given to us. the suspect is in custody. whatever the case may be we're waiting for more information from the naval air station in corpus christi six miles southeast of the center of town comes five days now after pensacola from last friday. >> sandra: more information to follow. we'll bring it to you when we get it. the base is in lockdown. they'll let everybody know when the scene is safe. they haven't done that yet. when we learn more we'll bring it to you. a big show ahead. stay tuned. we await the hearing with d.o.j. inspector michael horowitz. bret baier, martha maccallum and others will join us straight ahead and ken starr joining us with this analysis on this busy morning. >> bill: russia's top diplomat meeting with the president behind closed doors of the white house. what they talked about with all the significant international
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>> bill: the inspector general michael horowitz arrived on capitol hill a moment ago. we'll bring you the video when it's here in new york. attorney general bill barr in two appearances yesterday disputed some of the cue findings. here is part of that >> i felt it was very flimsy based on a completely bogus narrative largely fanned and hyped by an irresponsible press. there were gross abuses of fisa and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the f.b.i. >> bill: those interviews got a lot of attention across the country. bring in ken starr. welcome back to our coverage here today. we'll see what horowitz has to say over the coming hours. lindsey graham kicks things off
in 44 minutes. dianne feinstein follows him and horowitz makes an opening statement. barr called it a travesty, a sham, said gross abuse, flimsy evidence. what do you make of -- or is it obvious what his position is, ken? >> it's obvious that bill barr has strong feelings. i share those feelings. i have read this report with a sense of outrage as well as sorrow. i find it hard to believe that the f.b.i. would conduct itself vis-a-vis the court, vis-a-vis the justice department in the way that it has. in addition to what senator cruz said earlier about misrepresentations, there are omissions before the court in the fisa applications that are so painstakingly laid out by michael horowitz. he is an honorable man. a difference on motivation on
the part of the f.b.i. but the sharpest condemnation of f.b.i. behavior since we've seen since the church committee in the 1970s. this is extraordinary. the american people will really be stunned and shocked at what the f.b.i. did vis-a-vis people who were innocent, like carter page. it is absolutely a sad day for the f.b.i. clean house. >> bill: when he was asked about motivations he said i don't know what the motivations are. i can't explain that. that's why we have durham referring to john durham. we think maybe he will go public in the spring or summer. isn't there a real good chance that happens in the middle of a national election next fall actually? >> yes, you're absolutely right, bill. much more likely than not given the timing. here we are merry christmas, happy hanukkah. soon we'll be right in the midst of that election year. but the shoe has to drop.
we need to know. it is better to know than not to know. i think john durham, because of his access as we've discussed a number of times to foreign sources and the like will bring a broader perspective than michael horowitz. but let's stay with this report for today because the report is so upsetting about what the f.b.i. did and reforms are desperately needed. chris wray the f.b.i. director has been speaking to that. i would say one thing. i used to be a judge. if i were a judge, bill, i would be -- on the fisa court, there are 11 judges. and the chief judge is a very distinguished judge. i would be summoning the f.b.i. and the justice department into a closed hearing and demanding answers immediately. now that's in addition to what congress should be doing. they're doing their job. it's also in addition to what the executive branch is doing. this is so serious, final
point, that all three branches of the federal government should be stunned, upset, and determined to reform these procedures in what was jim comey's f.b.i. >> bill: ken, thank you. barr keeps coming back repeatedly to the comey meeting with then candidate trump at the trump tower in the two weeks before he was sworn in in january of that year. barr said the normal thing to do is you have suspicions, you go to the campaign. here there wasn't a legitimate explanation for why they didn't. maybe horowitz sheds light on that today, maybe not. ken starr in dallas today. thank you. >> sandra: fox news alert. new details of the radicalization of the saudi national who opened fire at the pensacola naval air station. what we're now learning on that. president trump taking aim at anti-semitism on college campuses. the executive order he is planning to sign and what it
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saudi government analysis obtained by the "washington post" saying four religious figures appear to have shaped the gunman's extremist thoughts as early as 2015. meanwhile the attack has prompted a group of navy instructor pilots to ask top brass for permission to arm themselves on base. we'll see where that part of the story goes. >> sandra: president trump has signed an executive order regarding anti-semitism of college campuses. withhold federal aid from institutions that don't do enough to combat discrimination. critics see it as an attack on free speech. doug mcelway joining us live from the white house with more on what may happen here. >> there remain many questions about how this executive order would actually define anti-semitism. in a background briefing last night by senior administration official they said the definition of anti-semitism would be the same as that used
by the international holocaust researchers organization. they define anti-semitism at least in part as, quote, denying the jewish people their right to self-determination, eg by claiming the existence of a state of israel is a racist endeavor. it has been inspired by an increase in anti-semitic incidences in college campuses. there are fears among some that the executive order could be used to stifle people's first amendment rights. a proliferation of speech codes on college campuses is coming under increasing attack by civil libertarians and free speech activists. the jewish community is divided over the order. >> i am very, very wary as a jew of labeling judaism as a nationality. it smacks not only of what happened in the soviet union
but also nazi germany. i'm an american. i'm an american. my religion is judaism. >> democratic senator from hawaii tweeted last night we jews like to argue about israel. especially about israel. so the idea that a college campus would have its views on israel regulated by the federal department of education, translated, it means enough already. however, the republican jewish national coalition issued a statement last night that read in part this is truly an historic and important moment for jewish americans. president trump has extended to jewish students very strong, meaningful legal protection from anti-semitic discrimination. they mirror those in the general public and been on the rise in recent years. according to the latest f.b.i. statistics from 2018, 57.8% of hate crimes across the united states were anti-jewish. far surpassing all other forms
of hate crimes. sandra, back to you. >> sandra: doug mcelway at the white house. thanks. >> bill: big event happens in 33 minutes. michael horowitz arriving on the hill ahead of a hearing that will begin at 10:00 a.m. eastern time. senator lindsey graham chairs that hearing. the senate judiciary committee has plenty of questions about his conclusion that there was no political bias with a launch of the f.b.i. investigation, russia ties 2016. we've got a lot to get to and a lot to go through. bret baier, chris wallace, martha maccallum all on deck with analysis next. cut. liberty mu... line? cut. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. cut. liberty m... am i allowed to riff? what if i come out of the water? liberty biberty... cut. we'll dub it. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance so you only pay for what you need. only pay for what you need.
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morning. >> good morning. two days after releasing his highly anticipated report, the internal watchdog of the justice department will be here in front of the senate judiciary committee to answer questions. michael horowitz released a 476-page report which says quote we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the f.b.i.'s decision to seek fisa authority on carter page. he did find 17 significant errors or omissions in the fisa application of trump campaign aide carter page ahead of horowitz's appearance on capitol hill attorney general william barr raised concerns. >> all he said is people gave me an explanation and i didn't find anything to contradict it so i don't have a basis for saying that there was improper motive. but he hasn't decided the issue of improper motive. >> have you? >> no.
>> unlike other high profile hearings on capitol hill recently this is on the senate side. others to watch cory booker, amy klobuchar and harris. he has concerns about the f.b.i. in probing the trump campaign. >> motive is not required. it doesn't matter why they did what they did, they took the law in their own hands and they need to be held accountable. to suggest there is no political motive is pretty hard to swallow for most people. >> on the other side senate democratic leader chuck schumer is praising inspector general horowitz for putting conspiracy theories to bed. >> bill: thank you. >> sandra: bret baier anchor of special report and chris wallace and martha maccallum here in new york city with us.
bret, your expectations as we await the inspector general on capitol hill. >> a much different feel from the hearings on the house side in the impeachment. i'm struck by a couple of things, sandra, that is the more this i.g. report sinks in the more republicans look at it how egregious some of the mistakes were. 17 major screw ups on every level of the f.b.i. when it comes to the fisa applications. all of them. all 17 go against president trump and carter page. i'm also struck by how the media over the past 2 1/2 years has really gotten a lot of this wrong. remember devin nunes the former house intel chair who put out memo about all of this. he is lambasted. nancy pelosi says it's totally bogus. across the media he is basically painted as a conspiracy-spinning evil doer.
this report backs up nunes memo almost to the t. i'm struck by william barr, who is out saying what he is saying. he is taking a role that traditionally a.g.s have not taken, but he is essentially saying that this whole 2 1/2 year effort has been turned on its head and has been upside down. i think we're seeing pretty amazing thing and we'll see it play out in this hearing. >> sandra: chris, to you now as we await the inspector general he will be answering questions about the senate judiciary committee moments from now. your expectations? >> we're seeing a case of whiplash. for months democrats had been fearing what the inspector general -- this is an independent officer, nonpartisan, not advocating for either side. the inspector general known in this town as a straight shooter had been fearing what he would conclude. now on the big conclusion, there was no political bias,
that the decision to launch the investigation was proper, the democrats are embracing it. conversely, the republicans who were embracing and excited about this investigation because they thought it would lay waste to the f.b.i. and james comey and andrew mccabe on those big points are now attacking it. they certainly like what the inspector general had to say about fisa and the dossier and that there were a series of mistakes as bret points out. almost all of them in favor of the investigation against the president and his exoneration. but you will see a lot of republicans attacking the broad conclusions and a lot of democrats embracing them. as far as bill barr is concerned, one of the things that i remember so well is that during the deps of donald trump's fight with jeff sessions when he was so angry at him for recusing himself he kept saying why can't i have an attorney general who protects me? and he talked about jack
kennedy appointing his brother, bobby kennedy, barack obama appointing eric holder. he said they had attorney generals who protected them. with jeff sessions i don't have anybody. you've seen bill barr the last 24 hours is the kind of one-man wrecking crew going after the i.g. report particularly its major conclusions. i just want to read you one quote from his interview with nbc yesterday. he said i think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press. i think that president trump now has his bobby kennedy or eric holder. somebody in the justice department a.g. office who is on his side. >> sandra: stunning revelations in the interview suggesting the f.b.i. may have acted in bad faith committing gross abuses in the russia investigation and very clearly answered this question. bill barr. >> based on what you know so
far, is it still -- do you still stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon? >> oh it was clearly spied upon. that's what electronic surveillance is. i think wiring people up to go in and talk to people and make recordings of their conversations is spying. i think going through people's emails, which they did as a result of the fisa warrant, they went through everything. >> sandra: to martha now. i know you had a chance to talk to carter page last night. he penned a piece in the "wall street journal." f.b.i. spying ruined by good name. he writes about his identity accused to a series of false accusations. he has many questions about the f.b.i. investigation that ruined his life. >> it really is stunning when you think about the fact that fisa was created essentially to protect americans, protect individuals from this kind of unsubstantiated reasoning behind spying on them. carter page, when you dig into
the story, his story continues to unveil itself in such a stunning and i think shocking way in many regards. the sort of takeaway here is that he was represented as being, quote, not a source. now you go back in carter page's history. there were times when he was working as a source for c.i.a., f.b.i., getting them information and passing it along to them as sort of a clandestine human source. yet when the fisa application was put forth and all these suggestions were made that he was in these sort of questionable relationships and discussions with russians, one of the f.b.i. lawyers according to the reporting changed his designation to not a source, which made his interactions with these individuals look suspect. but in fact carter page had reached out to the f.b.i. and c.i.a. and told them i think that i'm being cultivated and people are reaching out to me
and i'm suspicious they're reaching out to me for the wrong reasons. it is confusing but when you look at all that, the way they changed that document to say that he wasn't a source completely undercut everything that he had been working on in the past and the reasons that he was in touch with these people. it really is stunning what happened to carter page in this entire thing. then you think about the spin-off of all of the stories that were front page news, blockbuster revelations that were related to carter page. i think of even on the view joe behar going after carter page. the person at the center of all this. you have to ask yourself how we got here. i think today will be one of the most interesting hearings we've had in the course of the last couple of weeks. >> sandra: carter page said i will never completely restore my name but make sure it never happens again. we're about to see that hearing room fill out. our fox team coverage will stand by and we'll get to the hearing room when it's underway.
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candidate or campaign. in other words, they did not do their due diligence. that's the conclusion from that. former assistant u.s. attorney andy mccarthy with me now. welcome to our coverage. you've seen his opening statement and read the report. what is in it that you find? >> the importance of the report in terms of what's in it is the appalling performance of the f.b.i. and justice department in the presentation of these submissions for national security surveillance under fisa or the foreign intelligence surveillance act of 1978. i want to be kindly, i understand why we refer to them as mistakes and the like but these are not mistakes for the most part. these are very conscious, willful acts of malfeasance. >> bill: there seems to be a general conclusion on folks like you and bill barr and others, you believe these
officials used the courts to spy. is that a fair conclusion? >> i cannot understand the electricity of the term spy. all spying means is covert collection of intelligence and the thought that it's better to say surveillance than spying is just divorced from reality. some spying is illegal and not all surveillance is legal. so i don't for the life of me understand why it's necessary to continue to play these semantic games. the important thing is if there was monitoring, was it predicated properly given the tool that they wanted to use to conduct surveillance, whether it was getting a surveillance warrant that allows eavesdropping, which means you have to satisfy a statutory legal standard, probable cause that somebody is a clandestine agent of a foreign power. and if you want to use other
devices or other techniques that don't involve court authorization, the rule of common sense should apply and i think the attorney general is quite right to distinguish that from what's in the report. to my mind, the major failing of the report in this regard is that the f.b.i.'s standard for predicating an investigation, for opening and investigation is so low, so elastic and so forgiving that to say that they opened this investigation and it was proper under their guidelines is to say nothing. the question is, when you have an investigation where you are talking about the law enforcement and intelligence apparatus of the government being put by the incumbent administration potentially in the service of politics, or at least intruding on a political campaign, common sense says because of our norm against that, you have to have
convincing evidence and be confident in it before you begin an investigation like that. that did not happen. >> bill: you put a fine point on the question what's the legal bar? what's legal, what's illegal, how low is that bar to meet? senator lindsey graham and devin nunes and others have led us to believe americans will be knocked off their chairs by what they're about to hear today. do you think it's right? >> i was knocked out of my chair by some of this and i've been following it pretty closely for a number of years. so i think what i keep -- >> bill: for example, what strikes you? >> the facts that were withheld from the court. the fact that steele was portrayed as if he were a source. one of my problems with the report is that mike horowitz, who i have a great deal of respect for, he continues to refer to steele as the source. and what i have been trying to get across to people for years
now like to sandra, he is not a source, he is an aggregator of information. steele had not been in russia since 1998 when his cover was blown. he hasn't set foot in the place in 20 years. he is operating in reliance on a network of sources vis-a-vis him the information is all second hand and third hand at best. so he is not a source. he is not somebody that you would in an ordinary case say to the court you can rely on this person's information. he is somebody who is like a case agent, who accumulates information from people who actually made the op -- observations you're asking the court to rely on for probable cause. you start out with that he isn't a source in the traditional sense. if you rely on his credibility under those circumstances you better be right he is extremely
credible. >> bill: the quote that horowitz were used. they were not scrupulously accurate in obtaining that basic information. that's on page 4. on page 3 is the timeline for how it all starts. mid august 2016 they went for the warrant on page. denied by f.b.i. lawyers who considered it then a close call. then they get more information from steele a month later and then they get the approval for the warrant and we're off to the races. right smack dab in the middle of a national campaign. andy, stand by. we'll squeeze in a commercial and be back with you and others. >> sandra: jun date on the situation in corpus christi, texas. they were on lockdown. we have an update from the navy spokesperson and aware of reports that naval air station corpus christi is on lockdown and that base security has an individual in custody. confirming no shots were fired, no injuries have been reported. we'll provide more information
when it becomes available. a spokesperson for the u.s. navy. we'll bring you updates on that and continuing coverage of the upcoming hearing on capitol hill. plus, with most insurance a safelite repair is no cost to you. >> customer: really?! >> singers: safelite repair, safelite replace. the best of pressure cooking and air frying now in one pot, and with tendercrisp technology, you can cook foods that are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. the ninja foodi pressure cooker, the pressure cooker that crisps.
department inspector general michael horowitz's testimony before the senate judiciary committee. his report on the conduct of the f.b.i. during the 2016 presidential election. ken, welcome back. we're about to hear opening statements from the chair of that committee, senator lindsey graham who has described what he called a criminal conspiracy to defraud the fisa court. your expectations for what we're about to see and hear in the hearing room. >> we're going to hear a tale not of negligence, not of foul-ups, but of deliberate wrongdoing of the most profound kind that really does take us back to the bad old days of the f.b.i. and j. edgar hoover. i think we'll be morally outraged and should be. the issue what was motivating this, was it politics or not will be an open question. the key point is, this conduct
was absolutely wrong at a moral and professional level. it is not negligence, it is misconduct. >> sandra: senator graham said he wants to know what james comey knew and what he knows, what did andrew mccabe know and what he knows now. you'll hear all these questions coming up as we'll hear from lawmakers on the judiciary committee. ken starr, stand by as we await the beginning of the hearing. >> bill: we're minutes away as lawmakers start to come into the room. michael horowitz is 57, born in new york city. educated at harvard law. worked for the justice department for a long time and was in this position in april of 2012 initially sworn in as the inspector general for the department of justice under president obama. worked then as independent of the justice department and this entire investigation that he carried out was outside of the d.o.j. and bill barr's purview. leading officials at the
department of justice did not know what was in the horowitz report until it appears four to six weeks ago. horowitz was wrapping up his report, writing it up and then drafting his conclusions, which seem to take quite a long time. you remember, sandra, there was a long time we thought it might be out in the spring, then moved to summer and now it is out today and we'll get set and ready to listen. one of the critical factors in all these hearings is always listen to the way the senators, republican and democrat, phrase their questions. oftentimes they have information that is not yet public and we'll listen carefully to see their line of questioning today. >> sandra: ken, we have a few more moments as we await the beginning of the hearing. you go back to that interview with bill barr when he was asked based upon what you know so far do you still stand by your statement that the campaign was spied upon? barr replied it was clearly spied upon. that's what electronic
surveillance is. >> andy mccarthy hit the nail on the head. the difference in semantics. spying is just -- put yourself in that position. you do not know, carter page, that your telephones, your email are being monitored by the f.b.i. and the outrage with respect to carter page. he was, in fact, an asset of the united states intelligence agency presumably the c.i.a. and possibly also the f.b.i. and so to cover that up including to the fisa court is truly unforgiveable. so yes, this was spying and there is no reason not to call exactly what it was. carter page is a victim of american spying by the f.b.i. and that is a great, great tragedy and it is a moral outrage. >> sandra: ken starr, stand by as we approach the top of the
10:00 hour and the hearing set to begin shortly. >> bill: reading on page 4. we found that members of the crossfire hurricane team the group of f.b.i. agents who did the investigation, failed to meet the basic obligation to insure that the carter page/fisa applications were scrupulously accurate. we identified significant inaccuracy in the missions in each of the four applications, seven in the first fisa application, a total of 17 by the final renewal application, ted cruz on camera. 9:59 here in new york as we are set to begin a brand-new hour and get into this hearing of potentially explosive hearing on the hill getting underway in moments. michael horowitz, the inspector general. we're waiting to hear from him and we will in a matter of moments. the origins of the russia investigation about to unfold. new hour begins right now from new york city. great to have you along with us today. i'm bill hemmer as we get set for yet again an interesting today.
>> sandra: good morning. i'm sandra smith. the doj watchdog concluded the probe of the 2016 campaign had lots of errors and omissions but not politically biased. the team is ready to go. chris wallace, bret baier, martha maccallum, andy mccarthy with us in new york and ken starr standing by with his legal analysis. we begin first with bret as we see the hearing room fill up. bret, your thoughts as we await the chairman lindsey graham on the left side of the screen. >> this will have a much different feel for folks watching the hearings and it will have a different sense of where you are going. this is the beginning of this investigation. people may be familiar with it because we followed it over the past 2 1/2 years. there are some media organizations who haven't followed it as much. this will be opening the door to that. expect lindsey graham to get deep in an opening statements and he has 20 minutes at the
beginning after horowitz's opening statements. you'll hear questions about what the former f.b.i. director jim comey knows. what his deputy andrew mccabe knew, and this conclusion by the i.g. that there wasn't political bias in the 17 mistakes or screw-ups at every level on the fisa application. i interviewed jim comey in april of last year and i asked him a lot of these questions and if you go down that interview you can get to we just got a clip of it right now. >> you call the dossier unverified and salacious, why do you use it with the fisa court to carter page. >> my recollection was it was parts of a broader mosaic of facts. >> there was a lot more than the dossier in the fisa application? >> there was a significant amount of additional material about page and why there was probable cause to believe he was an agent of a foreign power. >> this i.g. said it was
central and crucial to the fisa application and didn't know it was funded by the democrats and the hillary clinton campaign. anyway, i think you'll hear a lot about jim comey in this hearing as we get started. >> sandra: your thoughts? >> i think that we need to separate two things here. i have think that something for everybody in this report. for the republicans the fact that there were terrible mistakes, -- they went to the c.i.a., paid having contacts with russians, go to the c.i.a. they say yeah, we're using him as a source in the report they just say that the c.i.a. official that they talked to said was credible but didn't say he was credible in blowing up their theory that what he was doing was wrong. on the other hand, i don't think it can be forgotten, either. horowitz is strong on the fact
that there was a legitimate basis for opening the investigation. remember, the carter page wiretap was in october of 2016. the investigation into the possible ties between the trump campaign and russia was in july of 2016. and go into page 2 of the opening statement by michael horowitz we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision. the counter intelligence chief in opening the investigation. we found the crossfire hurricane was open for an authorized investigative purpose and sufficient factual presented indication. he thinks opening it were legitimate. they were the standards at the f.b.i. at the time. on the other hand what the f.b.i. did in seeking the fisa warrant later on in october of 2016 against carter page was a big problem. >> bill: you get the impression reading through the report they were fishing for something.
let's see how he answers that. senator lindsey graham has an opening statement. we believe it's off the cuff and not scripted as is usually the case with the senator from south carolina. to his left dianne feinstein the democrat. ranking member of that committee will follow with an opening statement as well and we'll get to michael horowitz. 20-minute rounds of question for each senator here. to martha here in new york ken starr struck me a moment ago saying it was misconduct, not oversight. and everyone should be morally outraged. >> i think you'll see reasons to substantiate that comment just given what we have now seen as you dig through and get deeper into this report. you have to question the motivation behind some of these actions that are seen as omissions or mistakes. i would also point out that we have to keep in mind the scope of the inspector general's work here. he was looking at the f.b.i. he is looking at a very finite group of people who work in the f.b.i. and perhaps some others, perhaps comey and mccabe who
may have contributed and answered questions. when i spoke to george papadopoulos about this, the trigger for the beginning of this whole investigation last night, he said we're looking towards durham because we know he has spoken to these individuals in europe, australia and other places and knows more about the c.i.a. potential involvement in all of this. so this is step one. there is more to go as bill barr has said. i just think it's important to keep in mind. >> bill: michael horowitz has been in this job since 2012. he is the one who handled the investigation of the clinton email matter within the f.b.i. and also the one who handled the matter with the comey memos and his interactions with president trump. that's the trump tower meeting, the dinner the two had at the white house after the president had been sworn in. so horowitz is in the room, lindsey graham will kick it off in a moment. >> sandra: final thoughts, andy mccarthy. lindsey graham and dianne feinstein will get 20 minutes. >> i would expect senator
graham will focus more on fisa abuse and probably leave aside the start of the investigation. it can't be true both that horowitz says there is strong case for the investigation and he says the standards are too low but they met them. what he is saying there was adequate presented indication given the low standards. >> sandra: you heard president trump at the rally in pennsylvania last night at the passing of usmca, the announcement of the two articles of impeachment. now another hearing on capitol hill. i.g. michael horowitz. lindsey graham speaking. >> will it be okay if they raise their hands? >> i'm okay with it if they're okay with it. >> thank you all. you have labored hard and your work product is impressive and i just want to thank you all
for what you've done for the country. and mr. horowitz i'm dying to hear from you but i bet i haven't made 20 minutes of opening statements in a year. i may take a little bit longer to lay out what i think is before us as a nation. crossfire hurricane was probably the best name ever given to an investigation in the history of investigations because i think that's what we wound up with, a crossfire and a hurricane. there has been a lot of media reports about your report before it was issued. and i remember reading all these headlines, lawful investigation with a few irregularities. everything okay, low level people kind of got off track. if that's what you get out of this report, you've clearly not read it. if that's your takeaway that
this thing was lawfully predicated and that's the main point, you missed the entire report. how do you get a headline like that? that's what you want it to be. you want it to be that and nothing more. and i can assure you, if this had been a democratic president going through what president trump had gone through, that would not have been the headline. the headline would be the f.b.i. takes law into its own hands. biased agents cut corners. lie to court. ignore exoneration. so the first thing i want you to know is how the cake is baked here. and my goal is to make sure that people, when this is over, whether you like trump, hate trump, don't care about trump, you look at this as more than a few irregularities. if this becomes a few
irregularities in america, then god help us all. now, the people that were in charge of this investigation were handpicked by mr. mccabe, who is now a cnn analyst, high up in the f.b.i., the number two guy. the first question i'll ask in a bit, is this the best of the best? are these people normal representatives of the department of justice and the f.b.i.? i hope you will say no. because i believe it to be no. and if i believed otherwise, i would be incredibly depressed. so ladies and gentlemen, i'm going to assume something for the sake of argument, that there was a lawful predicate to open up a counter intelligence investigation. i want you to know the standard
to open one up is about like that. and i also want you to know a counter intelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. they are not trying to solve a crime, they are trying to stop foreign powers from interfering in america. that a counter intelligence investigation is designed to protect americans from foreign influence. i want the american people to know there was an effort to affect hillary clinton's campaign by foreign actors. the f.b.i. picked up that effort, they briefed her about it, and they were able to stop it. we will be receiving a defensive briefing tomorrow as a committee from the f.b.i. to tell us all about what we should be watching for and they may be some specific threats against us, i don't know.
but i know they are going to brief us to protect us. not to surveil us. and here is what i want every american to know. from the time they opened up crossfire hurricane until this debacle was over, they never made any effort to brief donald trump about suspected problems within his campaign. they had one briefing talking about you know, the russians are out there, you better beware. nothing about carter page, nothing about papadopoulos, nothing about the other people that they thought might be working with the russians. why did they not tell him that? i hope you can give us an answer. bottom line, ladies and gentlemen, a counter intelligence investigation is a good thing until it becomes a bad thing. because it doesn't take much to
open one and the worst thing can happen is for people to open one up whose real purpose is not to protect an american, but to surveil them. senator feinstein found herself in a situation all of us may one day find ourselves in, a long time employee was suspected of having ties to a foreign government. they informed her and she took appropriate action. how easy would it be for somebody to come into our campaigns as a volunteer, we really don't know who they are, you just appreciate any help you can get. how easy for us to be caught up in the scenario. i hope all of us would appreciate if you really believe there is somebody in my campaign working with a foreign power, please tell me so i can do something about it. why didn't they tell trump? we'll figure that out later.
but i think it's a question that needs to be asked. so for a moment let's assume there was a lawful predicate to open up a counter intelligence investigation. what has been described as a few irregularities become a massive criminal conspiracy over time to defraud the fisa court, to illegally surveil an american citizen, and to keep an operation open against a sitting president of the united states violating every norm known to the rule of law. many of you are prosecutors. many of you have been u.s. attorneys. many of you have been defense attorneys. trump's time will come and go. but i hope we understand that what happened here can never happen again because what happened here is not a few irregularities. what happened here is the system failed. people at the highest level of our government took the law
into their own hands. and when i say defraud the fisa court, i mean it. to your team, you were able to uncover and discover abuse of power i never believed would actually exist in 2019. how bad is it? it was as if j. edgar hoover came back to life. the old f.b.i. the f.b.i. that had a chip on its shoulder and wanted to intimidate people and find out what was going on in your life and the law be damned. martin luther king and just fill in the names. so who ran this thing? the people were handpicked by mccabe. the number two guy at the f.b.i. the supervisory agent, the
deputy assistant director for counter intelligence is peter strzok. he is a big player in all things crossfire hurricane. lisa page, you may have heard of her. who was she? she was an f.b.i. lawyer working for mccabe. these are two central characters in this debacle. let me tell you a little bit about who these people are and where they are coming from. thanks to a lot of hard work by people for mr. horowitz, the f.b.i. and others, here is what we know. strzok, the front line supervisor. february 12th, 2016. oh, he is abyss mall.
i hope the charade will end and people will dump him. the problem is rubio will likely lose to cruz. i never made it. the republican party is utter shambles. when was the last competitive ticket they offered? march 3, 2016. page, god, trump is a loath some human. strzok, oh my god, he is an idiot. and you know what? news rooms all over the country people are nodding. this represents the attitude of a lot of people in america and you can have that attitude but you shouldn't be in the journalism business or at the f.b.i. if you were in the military and you said anything like this about a commander-in-chief you would be charged with a crime. remember the mccrystal debacle where they had the barroom discussion with a reporter from the rolling stone? what's the takeaway? don't go to the bar with a
rolling stone reporter. they started talking about how they didn't like joe biden and i was one of the first people to say that is out of bounds. you can have all the political opinions you want but if you are an officer in the united states military you will park those opinions and you will not speak ill of the commander-in-chief. that obviously is not a rule at the f.b.i. or department of justice. march 16, 2016. i cannot believe donald trump is likely to be actual serious candidate for president. july 16th we get closer to when this thing opens. and wow, donald trump is an enormous douche. a lot of people agree with that. trump barely spoke but the first thing out of his mouth was we are going to win so big. the whole thing is like living in a bad dream. july 19th, 2016. trump is a disaster. i have no idea how destabilizing his presidency would be. a lot of people believed that.
you are entitled to believe that but you should not be an investigator. july 30th, the investigation is opened. and damn, this feels momentous because this matters. the other one did, too, but that was to insure we didn't f something else. this matters because this matters. so super glad to be on this voyage with you. i hope you understand what this voyage was about. august 8, 2016, three days before strzok was named the front line supervisor. he is not ever going to become president, right? page to strzok. strzok, no, no, he won't. we'll stop it. these are the people in charge. august 15th, 2016. i want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in andy's office that there is no
way he gets elected. but i'm afraid we can't take that risk if the american people will pick their president is what they're saying. it's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you are 40. august 26, 2016, just went to southern virginia wal-mart. i could smell the trump support. people in charge. october 11, 2016, currently fighting with stu for the fisa. stu was a lawyer who thought this thing was not on the up and up. stood his ground until he couldn't stand it anymore. eventually got run over. october 19th, i'm all riled up. trump is an fing idiot, unable to provide a coherent answer. "the new york times"
probability numbers are dropping every day. i'm scared for our organization. november 3rd, 2016. oh my god, this is fing terrifying. referencing an article entitled, a victory by trump remains possible. november 9th, 2016, are you ever going to give out your calendars? some kind of depressing. maybe it should be the first meeting of the secret society. november 13th, i bought all the president's men. i figure i needed to brush up on watergate. november 13th, 2016. finally two pages away from finishing all the president's men, page to strzok. did you know the president resigns at the end? strzok, what? god, that would be so lucky.
may 18th, 2017, the day page accepted a position on the special counsel's team. for me and this case i personally have a sense of unfinished business. unleashed with mye, now i need to fix it and finish it. strzok, who gives an f? one more assistant director or whoever, an investigation leading to impeachment. may 2017. you and i both know the odds are nothing. if i thought it was likely, i would be there -- i'd be there no question. i hesitate in part just because of my gut sense and concern there is no big there there.
talking about impeachment. may 22, 2017, i'm torn. i think -- no, i'm more replaceable than you are in this. i'm the best for it but there are others who can do it okay. you are different and more unique. this is yours. talking to page. all right. that's the front line supervisor and the lawyer to mccabe. there is a guy named klein smith who eventually alters an email from the c.i.a. to the department of justice and f.b.i. and mr. horowitz and his team found this out and how they did it i'll never know. i'm jumping ahead here but when you read this report, what they
find is that a lawyer supervising the fisa process at the f.b.i., according to mr. horowitz, doctored an email from the c.i.a. to the f.b.i. and he is going to be referred for criminal prosecution. why is that important? carter page, who has been on the receiving end of all of this, the foundation to believe he was a foreign agent comes from a dossier that we'll talk about in a minute. in that dossier provided by christopher steele, and we'll talk about him in a minute, they claim that carter page meets with three people known to be russians. russian agents, people associated with russia. carter page, while being wiretapped by his government says i don't know two of these people and to this day there is no proof that he ever met two
of those three. the third person he says yeah, i met him. i told the c.i.a. about my meeting because i was a source for the c.i.a. so they would have you believe that carter page is working against our government, not with our government. so carter page in the summer of 2017 is trying to tell anybody and everybody i was working with the c.i.a. i reported my contact with this person, and nobody believed him. the c.i.a. had told the f.b.i. it was true earlier. but it never made it through the system. somebody got so rattled at the f.b.i. they asked mr. klein smith to check it out. he checks it out. he communicates with the c.i.a. is carter page a source for you?
in an email exchange they say yes, he is. what does mr. klein smith do? he alters the email to say no, he is not. and you caught him. i don't know how you caught him, because you got to dig into this email chain. it would be like getting a lab report from the f.b.i., the fingerprints don't match and the agent says they do. that's how bad this is. so now let me tell you a little bit about mr. klein smith if i can find it. this is the lawyer supervising the fisa warrant process, the guy that altered this c.i.a. email because he didn't want the court to know that carter page actually was a source. what does that matter? because if the court had known, then there is a lawful reason
for mr. page to be talking to the russian guy. he wasn't working against his country, he was working with his country, which undercuts the idea he is a foreign agent. that's why klein smith lied because he didn't want to stop this investigation. all right. this is after the election. i'm so stressed by what i could have done differently. the day after the election. i'm just devastated. i can't wait until i can leave today and just shut off the world for the next four days. i'm sure a lot of people felt that way after trump got elected. maybe still feel that way. but you shouldn't be in charge of supervising anything about donald trump if you feel that way. i just can't imagine the systematic disassembling of the progress we've made over the last eight years. the obama administration. the crazies won finally. this is the lawyer that they
put in charge of supervising the warrant process. this is the tea party on steroids. i'm sure there are news rooms all over america saying that's absolutely right. what's wrong with that? also, pence is stupid. whatever. this is what the guy is saying. right after the election. and it's just hard not to feel like the f.b.i. called some of this it was a razor thin in some states. plus my god damn name is all over the legal documents investigating trump staff. and this is the one that gets me the most. november 22nd, shortly after the election of donald j. trump. the f.b.i. lawyer in charge of
supervising the fisa process tweets out to friends, via the resistance. what are the odds this guy might do something wrong? would you have to be part of a right wing conspiracy to predict in the future maybe this guy will get off script? folks, if these are a few irregularities the rule of law in this country is dead. and here is the good news, these are not a few irregularities, these are a few bad people. they couldn't believe trump won, didn't want him to win and when he won couldn't tolerate the fact that he won. and all these smelly people elected him. this is bad stuff. so if you get out of this report lawful investigation
with a few irregularities it says more about you than mr. horowitz. how the hell did this whole thing start? what got us here today? they opened up a counter intelligence investigation in july. we know the russians are messing in our elections. and it was the russians, ladies and gentlemen, who stole the democratic national committee emails, pods take's emails and screwed around with hillary clinton. it was the russians. they're coming after us again. so to be concerned that the russians are messing with presidential campaigns was a legitimate concern. they looked around at the trump campaign and said well, let's see if we can protect the trump campaign. carter page went to moscow a lot and made speeches. if you have ever met carter page one thing you will not
accuse him of is being james bond. this poor guy papadopoulos picked by sam clovis to be part of trump's national security team. this national security team was picked up off the street. if you've had a photo with donald trump you spent more time with donald trump than papadopoulos and page. they aren't paid. they're volunteers. but the f.b.i. thinks we need to watch these guys, manafort as well as who is the other one -- general flynn. they open up a counter intelligence investigation. let's assume for a moment that the small predicate you need has been met. what the hell happened after they opened it up? what did they find? were their suspicions validated or did they find at every turn it's really not true and they
ignored it? so one of the first things they tried to do was to get a warrant under the foreign intelligence surveillance act to follow carter page, a volunteer for the campaign, an american citizen. they applied for the warrant internally in august of 2016 and the lawyers say you don't have enough. why? because they had nothing. maybe there is reasonable articulation is this small but to get a warrant from a court you have to have probable cause. so the lawyer is saying you don't have it. everybody is now frustrated, folks. that's not the right answer. so mccabe suggests, the number two guy at the f.b.i., let's go look at this steele dossier. maybe that will get us over the hump. just stay tuned. we'll talk about that in a minute.
so on september 19th for the first time, they introduce the steele dossier into the warrant application process. it worked. september 21st they get a sign-off let's go get a warrant. the dossier got them to where they wanted to go. as you say, mr. horowitz, it was central and basically outcome determinative. without this dossier, they go nowhere. with it they're off to the races. who is christopher steele? you know these other people were bad. wait until you hear about this guy. christopher steele was a former mi-6, is that right? 6, 5, whatever it s. he was a british agent. retired. he had a new line of business. he was hired by a company
called fusion gps to investigate donald trump. okay. you want to look at foreign influence? you are about to find it. fusion gps is on the payroll of the democratic national party. christopher steele is working for a company to find dirt on trump and the money comes from the democratic party? did they tell the court this? no. is that a bit unnerving? would be to me. so christopher steele is on the payroll of a company funded by the democratic party. here is what bruce ohr tells the f.b.i. about christopher steele. he was desperate that donald trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being the u.s. president. this is the guy that gave them the work product to get the warrant.
steele told ohr if trump won the elections, steele's source network may be in jeopardy by a new f.b.i. director and new agency heads appointed by trump who would have a higher degree of loyalty to the new president and decide to take action against steele and his source network. let me tell you about christopher steele. ohr was right. he was on a mission to get donald trump. not only did he provide the dossier that made the difference in getting a warrant, his biases were well-known. he was shopping the dossier. do we have it? to anybody and everybody in the media and in politics to see if they would print it. the reason the f.b.i. cut him loose is because they found out he was shopping this thing around to media outlets rather
than being a valid source. but after they knew he was shopping it around they kept him around anyway because mr. ohr kept talking to him. you think that's bad, bruce ohr's wife worked with christopher steele. she was employed by fusion gps, the wife of the number four guy at the f.b.i. christopher steele went all over the united states trying to get media outlets to public this garbage. the first thing is about the golden shower. about the sexual encounter that president trump supposedly had in a ritz-carlton hotel in russia. let me tell you how i come to find out about christopher steele's work product. in december of 2016 john mccain goes to a national security conference in canada and somebody tells him about the
steele dossier and it's bad and you need to know about it. and it gets to john mccain. john mccain puts it in a safe, he gives it to me and i read it. and the first thing i thought of was oh my god, one of two things. this could be russian disinformation or they may have something on trump. if you read this document the first thing you would think of is they got something on donald trump. it is stunning, it is damning and salacious and it's a bunch of crap. they finally found the guy that prepared all the information. but a little bit about steele. in 2015, the british intelligence service said you need to watch this guy, he is not reliable. they take time to go to london
to check steele out. and they are told he demonstrates lack of self-awareness, poor judgment, keen to help but underpinned by poor judgment. no intel value. if you had spent 30 minutes looking at christopher steele, you would understand this guy is biased, he has an axe to grind, he is on the payroll of the opposing party. take anything he says with a grain of salt. in january 2017 the f.b.i. figures out who the sub source of the steele dossier is, which you need to know, this is not what steele found himself, this is what he gathered from one person. they finally found out who this
one person is. they go talk to him in january 2017. where is that? five people interview the primary sub source, the guy that provided steele with everything. and they showed him the dossier. read pages 186 to 190. what does the russian guy tell the f.b.i. about the dossier? that steele misstated or exaggerated the prime sub source's statement. that trump's alleged sexual activities at the ritz-carlton hotel in moscow was rumor and speculation. he went on to say he heard it at a bar. and in the report it suggests that a western employee of the ritz-carlton confirmed this escapade by then private citizen trump. when he read that he says that's not true.
i never told steele that somebody working for the ritz-carlton confirmed this. i heard it at a bar. primary sub source stated that he never expected steele to put the primary sub source's statements and reports and present them as facts. they were word of mouth and hearsay. conversations had with friends over beers, were statements made in jest that should be taken with a grain of salt. so in january 2017, the person who did all the assembling of the information for the now famous steele dossier tells the f.b.i., i disavow everything in there. now, what should happen? time-out? let's reassess? maybe we got this wrong. what would you hope to happen?
that the f.b.i. would slow down because this is the outcome determinative document with a hole blown threw it. they don't slow down. they know the document they now know to be a bunch of garbage twice more to get a warrant against carter page. i hope carter page gets a lawyer and sues the hell out of the department of justice and f.b.i. two more warrants were obtained by the department of justice and f.b.i. after being told in january by the russian guy it was all a bunch of bull. but it gets worse. here is how they describe the interview to the court. the f.b.i. found that the russian-based sub source to be truthful and cooperative. nothing about -- oh, by the way, he said everything in there is a bunch of bull. you knew in january 2017 if
there was no doubt before, you know by the guy who prepared it that he disavowed everything as not true, a grain of salt, i didn't say all these things. instead of stopping, they keep going and instead of telling the court the truth what they are required to do, they lie to the court. a few irregularities. how would you like this to happen in your life? how would you like to be on the receiving end of this? to our people in the news business, what would you -- how would you like this to be your news organization? in january 2017 there is no benefit of a doubt to be given. these five people from the department of justice and the f.b.i. have been told by the one guy who did all the work it's a bunch of garbage and the question is how far up the system did it go? why did they apply for warrants
twice more? why didn't they stop? everybody wants to know was there any bias here? what motivated these people? why do you think they kept going? maybe because they were on a mission not to protect trump but to protect us from trump. that's what they were trying to do. protect all of us smelly people from donald trump. that's what this is about. whether you believe it or not, i believe it. and you know what? it could happen to you all next time. there are some pretty passionate people on our side that i wouldn't want to be investigating any of you. so what happens next? they get a warrant twice more when they know it's a bunch of garbage. they lie to the court about the actual interview. i don't know what mccabe and comey knew but i'm dying to find out and should they have known. june 2016 -- 2017, this is the
next time they take the law in their own hands. mr. klein smith, six months after being told the dossier is a bunch of garbage klein smith alters an email from the c.i.a. to change it from he is to he is not because if they had told the court that page was working for the c.i.a., it explains the contact in the dossier. mr. klein smith had a chance in his mind to make things right and he took it. why did he take the law in his own hands? why did he doctor the email? did it have anything to do with the way he sees donald trump's presidency? you know what? it really doesn't matter what he was thinking. it matters what he did. and i'm glad you found out what
he did. i'm glad you told the country what he did. because i'm hoping that nobody will ever do it again. so, mr. horowitz, the 17 irregularities that you found, some of them are earth shattering. some of them should scare the hell out of all of us. i just want to end sort of where i began. this is not normal. don't judge the f.b.i. and the department of justice by these characters. we're better than this. like many of you, i've worked with the f.b.i. a lot of my time in government and i have a great respect for them. director wray, you have a problem. for this hearing to mean anything, we have to fix it.
and the way we fix it is listen to mr. horowitz and get the director of the f.b.i. in here to try to find out a way to make sure this never happens again to any politician in this country. it's trump today, it could be you or me tomorrow. and imagine, ladies and gentlemen, if they can do this to the candidate for the president of the united states, what could they do to you? so the trump presidency will end in a year or five years, i don't know when. i hope he gets reelected. but we can't write this off as being just about one man or one event. we have to understand how off the rails the system got. and i will leave with some optimism here. i think democrats and republicans are willing to make sure this never happens again.
that if you open up a counter intelligence investigation on a presidential campaign in the future there needs to be more checks and balances. i want you to audit the fisa process. mike lee and senator leahy are probably the standard bearers for civil liberties. we all care. but these two constantly want to make sure that somebody is watching those who watch us. they're worried about metadata. i may not agree with all of your concerns or all of your solutions, i respect the fact that you care. i hope you won't treat this report as finding a lawful investigation with a few irregularities. i'm a pretty hawkish guy. but if the court doesn't do
something about being lied to and take action you will lose my support. i know a lot about what's going on out there to hurt us and they are real threats and they are real agents. and they are really bad actors out there. i would hate to lose the ability of the fisa court to operate at a time probably when we need it the most. but after your report, i have serious concerns about whether the fisa court can continue unless there is fundamental reform. after your report, i think we need to rewrite the rules of how you start a counter intelligence investigation and the checks and balances that we need. mr. horowitz, for us to do justice to your report, we have to do more than try to shade this report one way or the other. we have to address the underlying problem of a system in the hands of a few bad people can do a lot of damage.
thank you very much. >> bill: thank you, mr. chairman. i assume there is no time limit. >> take all the time you need. >> i won't take a long time but i've been reading these records, ladies and gentlemen, now for 25 years and i have great appreciation for this inspector general and i just want to make those personal remarks. this is a tough arena and as you can see there are very tough people part of that arena. but to have an inspector general who tells it as they see it and does this year after year is a saving grace and i hope people will get this report. if i have a grievance it's that the print is too small. >> i agree with that. >> thank you very much. and it is heavy to carry around.
but last year this inspector general pledged to congress that he would examine whether political bias played a role in the f.b.i.'s decision to investigate ties between russia and the trump campaign. inspector general kept his promise. his office conducted a 19-month investigation. they interviewed more than 100 witnesses, reviewed more than a million documents, and issued this 434-page report that contains several important findings. first, on a question of bias, inspector general horowitz found no evidence that political or anti-trump bias was at play. according to the i.g.'s report, the f.b.i. complied with existing department and f.b.i.
policies in opening the investigation and the i.g., quote, did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced this decision, end quote. or any specific investigative steps taken by the f.b.i. that's the finding. and this is important. why? in public statements beginning last spring, the attorney general expressed his belief that senior government officials may have, quote, put a thumb on the scale, end quote, because of political bias against trump. his comments echoed the president who has repeatedly alleged that there is a deep state within the government against him. he has used this to dismiss the entire russia investigation as a witch hunt and a hoax.
the i.g.'s report conclusively refutes these claims. this was not a politically motivated investigation. there is no deep state. simply put, the f.b.i. investigation was motivated by facts, not bias. secondly, the inspector general confirmed that there was an adequate predicate, meaning a legitimate factual and legal basis, to investigate. the basis was not, as some have claimed, the so-called steele dossier. in fact, reporting for mr. steele played no role in opening the investigation. instead, this report confirms that the f.b.i. opened the investigation after being told by australia, a trusted foreign
ally, that trump advisor george papadopoulos had learned in 2016, the month of april, that russia had and was willing to release, quote, information during a campaign that would be damaging to candidate clinton, end quote. the i.g. report found that quote, this information provided the f.b.i. with a factual basis that if true, quote, indicated activity constituting either a federal crime or a threat to national security, or both may have occurred or may be occurring. the i.g. also found that when the f.b.i. learned that in late july 2016 the bureau was aware of russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections, including russian hacking of
democratic campaign computers, materials stolen by russia had been released online, including by wikileaks and the u.s. intelligence community assessed in august of 2016 that, quote, russia was considering further intelligence operations to impact and disrupt elections, end quote. against this back drop the f.b.i. was obligated to investigate possible ties to the trump campaign. according to -- the f.b.i. assistant director, who authorized opening the investigation. other officials conveyed a similar obligation and sense of urgency to investigate. david laufman said it would have been a dereliction of duty
and responsibility of the highest order not to commit the appropriate resources as urgently as possible to run these facts to the ground and find out what was going on, end quote. the decision to open the investigation was unanimous, not a single official disagreed. as a result, america ultimately learned extensive details about russia's sweeping and systemic attack on the 2016 election. including that the trump campaign knew about, welcomed, and quote expected it would benefit electorally, end quote, from russia's efforts. the inspector general's report also identifies several errors made by f.b.i. and justice department line personnel when seeking warrants for
surveillance on carter page from the fisa court. f.b.i. director wray submitted a written response accepting the i.g.'s findings, including the key finding that the f.b.i. had sufficient cause to investigate the trump's campaign ties to russia. director wray also said that the i.g.'s findings of fisa errors are, and i quote, constructive criticism that will make us stronger as an organization. and that he has already taken action to address the i.g.'s recommendations. by contrast, attorney general barr issued a press release that continues to criticize the f.b.i. for investigating the trump campaign. it is really extraordinary that the attorney general continues to make unsupported attacks on the agency that he is
responsible for leading. i believe strongly that it's time to move on from the false claims of political bias and those who showed great interest in the question of politically-motivated investigations against president trump should show the same concern about politically-motivated investigations requested by the president or his attorney general. inspector general horowitz, i want to thank you on behalf of this side and your staff for the hard work. we look forward to hearing from you. >> thank you. mr. horowitz. >> chairman graham, senator feinstein, members of the committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today. the report that my office released this week is the product of a comprehensive and exhaustive review conducted over the past 19 months by an oig team that examined more
than one million documents in the departments and f.b.i.'s position including documents, other u.s. and foreign government agencies had provided to the f.b.i. our team conducted over 170 interviews involving more than 100 witnesses and we documented all of our findings in the 434-page report that we issued this week. i would encourage everybody to read the report, although i understand 400-plus page reports can be hard to get through. we do have a 19-page executive summary with it, which i would encourage people to read at a minimum. i want to commend also the tireless efforts of our outstanding review team for conducting such rigorous and effective independent oversight. it is exactly what we are supposed to as inspectors general. the f.b.i. investigation that is the subject of this report
crossfire hurricane was opened on july 31, 2016. days after the f.b.i. received reporting from a friendly foreign government. the reporting stated that in a may 2016 meeting with the friendly foreign government trump campaign foreign policy advisor george papadopoulos suggested the trump team had received some kind of a suggestion, close quote, from russia that it could assist in the election process with the anonymous release of information during the campaign that would be damaging to candidate clinton and then president obama. following receipt of that information, the f.b.i. opened crossfire hurricane. given the nature and sensitivity of such an investigation, we would have expected f.b.i. personnel to faithfully adhere to the f.b.i.'s detailed policies, practices, and norms. the f.b.i. has developed and earned a reputation as one of the world's premier law
enforcement agencies and significant part because of its adherence to those policies and its tradition of professionalism and impartiality and non-political enforcement of the law. however, our review identified significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised, particularly the f.b.i.'s failure to adhere to its own standards of accuracy and completeness when filing applications with the foreign surveillance intelligence surveillance act authority known as fisa, to surveil carter page, a u.s. person, who was connected to the trump for president campaign. we determined that the decision to open crossfire hurricane was made by the then f.b.i. counter intelligence division's assistant director and that his decision reflected a consensus reached after multiple days of discussions and meetings among
senior f.b.i. officials. we reviewed department of f.b.i. policies and concluded that assistant director's exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with those policies. we also reviewed, as we've detailed in the report, the emails, text messages and other documents of those involved in that decision and particularly, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that indicated political bias or improper motivation influencing his decision to open the investigation. while the information in the f.b.i.'s possession at the time was limited, in light of the low threshold established by the department and f.b.i. policy, which by the way is not a legal requirement but rather a prudential one in the f.b.i. and department policies, we found that crossfire hurricane was opened for an authorized investigative purpose and with
sufficient factual predication. to open it with a national party campaign for president was under department and f.b.i. policy a discretionary judgment left to the f.b.i. as we point out in our report there was no requirement that department of officials be consulted or notified prior to the f.b.i. making that decision. consistent with this policy, the f.b.i. advised supervisors in the department's national security division of the investigation days after it had been opened. as we detail in our report, high level department notice and approval is required in other circumstances where investigative activity could substantially impact certain civil liberties. that notice allows senior department officials to consider the potential constitutional and prudential implications in advance of those activities.
we concluded that similar notice should be required in circumstances such as those present here. shortly after the f.b.i. opened the crossfire hurricane investigation and conducted several monitored meetings, recorded meetings between f.b.i. confidential human sources, which refer to a chs and individuals affiliated with the trump campaign including a high-level campaign official who is not a subject of the investigation. we found that the chs operations received the necessary approvals under f.b.i. policy, that an f.b.i. assistant director, mr. prestep knew about and approved of each operation even in circumstances where what was only required was first level supervise re agent approval. and that the operations were permitted under department and f.b.i. policy because their use was not for the sole purpose of
monitoring activities protected by the first amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by the constitution or laws of the united states. we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the f.b.i.'s decision to conduct those chs operations. additionally we found no evidence the fbi attempted to place chs's in or report on the trump campaign or recruit members of the trump campaign at chs's. however we were concerned that under applicable department and f.b.i. policy it would have been sufficient for a first-level f.b.i. supervisor to authorize the sensitive chs operations undertaken in crossfire hurricane and there is no applicable department or f.b.i. policy requiring the f.b.i. to notify department officials of a decision to task a confidential human source to
monitor, record conversations with members of a political campaign. just in terms of , that it's worth noting that had in the mid year investigation, the clinton email investigation or this investigation, the f.b.i. could have at the supervisory agent level authorized an undercover or -- a confidential human source to have a monitored conversation with either of the presidential candidates with no notice to the department of justice or any lawyer in the department of justice. in crossfire hurricane, where each of the operations had a potential to gather sensitive campaign information protected by the first amendment, we found no evidence that the f.b.i. consulted with department officials before conducting those operations and no policy as i just noted requiring them to do so. we concluded the kur leant department and f.b.i. policies
are not sufficient to insure appropriate oversight and accountability when such operations potentially implicate sensitive constitution nallly protected activity and requiring department consultation at a minimum would be appropriate. we make a recommendation to that effect. one investigative tool which the department and f.b.i. policy does expressly require express advance approval by a senior department official is the seeking of a court order under fisa. when the crossfire hurricane team first proposed seeking a fisa order targeting carter page in mid-august 2016, f.b.i. attorneys assisting the investigation considered it a close call, close quote, and the fisa order was not requested at the time. however, in september 2016 immediately after the crossfire hurricane team received reporting from christopher steele concerning page's
alleged recent activities with russian officials, f.b.i. attorneys advised the department it was ready to move forward with a request to obtain fisa authority to surveil page. f.b.i. and department officials told us the steele reporting pushed the fisa proposal over the line, close quote in terms of establishing probable cause and reconcluded the steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a fisa order. f.b.i. leadership supported relying on steele's reporting to seek a fisa order after being advised of concerns expressed by a department attorney that steele may have been hired by someone associated with a rival candidate or campaign. surveillance authority under fisa can significantly assist the government's efforts to combat terrorism, clandestine intelligence activity and other threats to national security. at the same time, the use of
this authority unavoidably raised civil liberties concerns. fisa orders can be used to surveil u.s. persons and in some cases the surveillance will foreseeably collect information about the individual's constitution nallly protected activities such as carter page's legitimate activities on behalf of a presidential campaign. moreover, proceedings before the foreign intelligence surveillance court, which is responsible for ruling on applications for fisa orders, are ex parte meaning that unlike most court proceedings, the government is the only party present for the proceedings and fisa orders have not been subject to scrutiny for subsequent adversarial proceedings like court authorized search warrants and wiretap applications are potentially through the criminal process. in light of these concerns, the fisa statute and department and f.b.i. policies and procedures have established important safeguards to protect the fisa
application process from irregularities and abuse. among the most important are the requirements in f.b.i. policy that every fisa application must contain a quote, full and accurate, close quote, presentation of the facts. and that agents must insure that all factual statements in fisa applications are, quote, scrupulously accurate, close quote. these are the standards for all fisa applications regardless of the investigation's sensitivity, regardless -- and it is incumbent upon the f.b.i. to meet them in every application. nevertheless, we found that investigators failed to meet their basic obligations of insuring that the fisa applications were scrupulously accurate. we identified significant inaccuracy and omissions in each of the four applications, seven in the first application and a total of 17 by the final
renewal application. for example, the crossfire hurricane team obtained information from steele's primary sub source in january 2017 that raised significant questions about the reliability of the steele reporting. this was particularly noteworthy because the fisa application relied entirely on information from the steele -- from the primary sub source's reporting to support the allegation that page was coordinating with the russian government on 2016 u.s. presidential election activities. however, the f.b.i. did not share this information with department lawyers and it was therefore omitted from the last two renewal applications. all of the applications also omitted information that the f.b.i. had obtained in august 2017 -- sorry, august 2016 from another u.s. government agency detailing its prior relationship with page, with
carter page including the carter page had been approved as an operational contact for that other agency from 2008 to 2013. page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain russian intelligence officers and that an employee of that other agency assessed that carter page had been candid with them. the f.b.i. never followed up on that information. as a result of these seven significant inaccuracies and omissions, relevant information was not shared with and consequently considered by department lawyers and the fisa court. and the fisa applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case. we also found basic fundamental and serious errors during the completion of the f.b.i.'s factual accuracy reviews known as the wood's procedures,
designed to insure that fisa applications contain a full and accurate presentation of the facts. department lawyers and the court should have been given complete and accurate information so they could have meaningfully evaluated probable cause before authorizing the surveillance of a u.s. person associated with a presidential campaign. that did not occur. and as a result, the surveillance of carter page continued even as the f.b.i. gathered information that weakened the assessment of probable cause and made the fisa applications less accurate. we concluded that investigators did not give appropriate consideration or attention to facts that cut against probable cause and that as a investigation progressed and more information the ended to undermine or weaken the assertions in the fisa applications, investigators did not reassess the information supporting probable cause.
further, the agents and supervisory agents did not follow or even appear to know certain basic requirements in the woods procedures. although we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for any of the errors or omissions we identified. we found and as we outline here are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate handpicked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive f.b.i. investigations after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the f.b.i. even though the information sought for the use of fisa authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions would likely be subjected to close scrutiny. the circumstances reflect the
failure as we outline in the report not just by those who prepared the applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the crossfire hurricane chain of command including f.b.i. senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed. we believe that in the f.b.i.'s most sensitive and high priority matters and especially when seeking court permission to use a fisa order it is incumbent upon the entire chain of command at the organization, including senior officials, to take the necessary steps to insure that they are sufficiently familiar with the facts and circumstances supporting and potentially undermining a fisa application when ordered to provide effective oversight, consistent with their level of supervisory responsibility. such oversight requires greater familiarity with the facts than we saw in this review, where time and again during our
interviews, f.b.i. managers, supervisors and senior officials displayed a lack of understanding or awareness of important information concerning many of the problems that we identified. that is why, as you will see in the report. our final recommendation was to refer the entire chain of command that we outline here to the f.b.i. and the department for consideration of how to assess and address their performance failures. additionally, in light of the significant concerns we identified, the oig announced this week we were initiating an audit to further examine the f.b.i.'s compliance with procedures in fisa applications that target u.s. persons not only in counter intelligence investigations but also in counter terrorism investigations. the oig report made a number of other recommendations to the department and f.b.i. we believe that implementation
of those recommendations, including those that seek individual accountability for the failures identified in our report will improve the f.b.i.'s ability to more carefully and effectively utilize its important national security authorities like fisa, while also striving to safeguard the civil liberties and privacy of impacted u.s. persons. the oig will continue to conduct rigorous oversight of these matters in the months and years ahead including the recommendations that we made in this week's report. that concludes my statement and i would be pleased the answer any questions the committee may have. >> thank you very much and thank you for the service you've done to the country here. the former -- >> a 60-second break. right back with the hearing in a moment. >> i think the activities we found here don't indicate anybody who touched this. with polycythemia vera,
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on capitol hill. graham questioning michael horowitz. >> when comey speaks about fisa, you shouldn't listen. you should license to mr. horowitz. to be concerned about the fisa warrant process is not nonsense. christopher steele, is it fair to say he had a political bias against donald trump? >> given who he was paid for there was a bias that needed to be disclosed to the court. >> does it seem he personally had a bias, not just he was on the payroll of the democratic party. >> we heard from mr. ohr he was desperate to prevent mr. trump's election. >> this is the guy that provides the dossier that gives the warrant over the top against carter page. he is paid for by the democratic party and he personally believes it's bad for donald trump to win. he is marketing the dossier, which is a bunch of garbage, to
anybody and everybody. to me that's important. was that important to you? >> any evidence of bias is supposed to be disclosed to the court and to the department lawyers. >> so let's play this out. in january of 2017 when they figure out the primary sub source and they talk to the russian guy that provided steele all the information, what should the f.b.i. have done at that moment? >> two things. reconsidered internally where things stood and most importantly told the lawyers at the justice department who they were asking to help them get a fisa. >> five people in that interview, right? >> correct. >> are you going the make sure those five people are known to the higher ups? >> they're all part of the referral i mentioned earlier. >> did they have a duty to report to their supervisors and eventually to the court exculpatory information? >> absolutely.
they did not. >> why? >> that's the question i can't specifically answer for you. >> can you say it wasn't because of political bias? >> on decisions regarding those fisa matters i did not know their state of mind at this point. >> we're talking about actions now. trying to figure out what would motivate people. do you think comey and mccabe should have known? >> that's a challenging question as we explain in the report. there were multiple briefings up the change to the director and deputy director. we don't have a clear record of what precisely they were told and as you know as information flows upstream. >> would you be surprised if it didn't make it up the system? this earth shattering? >> i won't speculate. >> did strzok know? >> so mr. strzok's -- three iterations of the team. mr. strzok transitions off on this matter in january of 2017.
so it's not -- i might have to go back and look precisely. >> in february he mentions that steele can't verify. >> correct. >> pretty clear to me it got up. the court should have been told. they were not. how did they describe this meeting to the court? in the warrant application? >> so in the second and third -- second and third renewals, the last two applications, they told the court they had interviewed steele's primary sub source on whom steele relied in writing the reporting and that they found the primary sub source to be credible. they did not tell the court or the department lawyers any of the information which would have allowed them to know that if you found the primary sub source credible you couldn't have also found the steele report credible. >> did they mislead the court? >> it was misleading to the court. >> they did two things in
january of 2017. they failed to report exculpatory information. when they did report to the court about the interview, they lied about it. >> let me add also that a year later in june of 2018 when the department sent a rule 13 letter to the court informing them of other information that had not been provided to the court, the department still didn't know about the primary sub source information and so when the department in its letter said that it still stood behind the fisa applications, they reference the primary sub source again and the fact that the f.b.i. found that person credible. >> are these the best and brightest we have? >> certainly the f.b.i., the actions of the f.b.i. agents on this were not to the standards of the f.b.i. >> are they representative of the department as a whole in
your view? >> i certainly hope that that is not the way others are following these practices. >> me, too. >> okay. so let's fast forward now to june of 2016. mr. klein smith, who is he? >> i'm going to defer on speaking about people who we don't name basically in the report. >> who is the guy -- tell me about the guy that altered the email from the c.i.a. >> so there was a lawyer in the office of general counsel at the f.b.i. who was the line attorney working with the agents and counterparts at the national security division on the fisa. >> and that individual in june of 2017 as the last application was being prepared and immediately following mr. page, carter page going to news
outlets after word of the fisa hit the news media and said to the news media, i was someone who worked with u.s. intelligence agencies, not someone who worked against them, lawyers and agents went and said we have to figure out what is the story. is that what happened? the lawyer -- the ogc attorney for the f.b.i. reached out to a liaison at the other government agency that was at issue. asked the question is -- was mr. page a source or a contact of some sort for your organization. the report back in the email referenced the august 2016 memorandum that agency had provided to the f.b.i. that i mentioned in my opening statement. the f.b.i. did no follow-up on. and said what that liaison's general recollection was that
mr. page was or is someone who still -- who had a relationship with the entity with the other government agency. but that the lawyer should go look at the report for confirmation. the lawyer then had a conversation with the f.b.i. agent who was going to be the person who swore out the final application, fisa application. the agent told was concerned about what he had learned about what page said publicly and wanted a definitive answer as he put it as to whether page -- >> the agent -- if carter page was actually telling the truth. it changes one of the predicates to consider him a foreign agent. >> that was the concern of the agent. it was the agent who would be swearing out the complaint. >> it would be helpful to mr. page if true. >> it certainly could have and
may well have been very helpful to mr. page. but at a minimum without any doubt it should have been known and followed up on and it should have been told to people in the f.b.i. >> what did the lawyer do? >> when the lawyer had the discussion with the agent and the agent said i want to see it, do you have it in writing the lawyer said he did. and he forwarded the liaison's email but altered it to insert the words and not a source into the email. >> he doctored it and made it look like a c.i.a. denied knowing him. >> it flatly stated he was not a source. >> just imagine, source. you represent somebody as a defense attorney and they do this to one of your clients. i hope somebody pays a price for this whether you like trump or not. why did mr. klein smith. if you don't say it i'll say it.
what motivated him to do that? >> it is unknown as to precisely why he did it but we cite. >> viva la resistance guy. >> but we reference in here the text messages you mentioned and we have not made a determination but rather as we note in here when we learned this, we notified the attorney general and the f.b.i. director and referred it to them. >> you did a great job. old adage, if you wake up and the lawn is wet you can assume it rained. if you got a guy who hates trump's guts from day one, thinks pence is stupid and everybody voted for trump is idiot and give him power over trump maybe you're making a mistake or maybe all these people who had the fisas did nothing about it. you know, maybe. maybe not. it doesn't really matter. we know what they did. is it fair to say that after january 2017 when the guy who gave steele all the information
disavows the dossier that not only they should have told the count and slowed down. do you think the second and third warrants had a legal basis after that point? >> we don't reach that conclusion. >> would you have submitted a warrant application as a lawyer? >> let me put it this way i would have submitted the one they put in. no doubt about it. it had no business going in with that. >> i want you to know in january 2017 the whole foundation for surveilling carter page collapses, ex pull pennsylvania tore information is ignored. they lie to the court about what the interview was all about. is that a fair summary so far about the january 2017? >> they certainly misled -- it was misleading to the court. >> fair enough. in january six months later when they find more information
helpful to mr. page they lie about it. >> do you feel like mr. page was treated fairly by the department of justice and the f.b.i.? >> i don't think the department of justice fairly treated these fisas and he was on the receiving end. >> you would not want to be on the receiving end of this would you? >> i would not want agents or anybody failing to put forward all the information they are obligated to tell the court. i have seen what can happen. >> i would be very comfortable with you investigating anybody. i think you know the difference between getting somebody and trying to find the truth. that's what this is all about. counter intelligence investigations. what is the purpose of the counter intelligence investigation? >> it is to identify potential threats to the nation. >> okay. this was opened up as a counter intelligence investigation, right? >> correct. >> we know the russians were screwing around with the
democrats, right? that's one of the concerns. it was the russians who got the dnc and got their emails. it is okay for everybody to be concerned what are the russians up to. i get that. it's okay to look at what's the standard to start one of these things? >> there are two types of investigations, both of them have relatively low thresholds as we point out here for starting. >> let's assume that relatively low threshold was met. would it be fair to say that if you stopped their and looking at your report you are making a mistake? >> you would be making a mistake. there is 400 pages here for a reason. >> there is a mountain of misconduct. please don't ignore it. so my point is, if this is a counter intelligence investigation, who are they trying to protect? who should they be trying to protect? >> well, if it's the threat
outlined in the friendly foreign government information you would be looking to protect the election process, which would include the candidate, the campaign, and the american people. >> okay. so did they ever brief hillary clinton about efforts to foreign influences involving her campaign? >> i've heard that but i don't know for a fact. >> they did. good for them. and they stopped it. was there ever a defensive briefing given by the f.b.i. and the department of justice to donald trump about the concerns? >> there was not. >> what would you call a counter intelligence investigation that never had a protective element? >> i'm not sure, sorry, mr. chairman. >> if without eventually trying to protect the entity being influenced, is it legitimate?
>> it would depend on each fact and circumstance. >> here is what i'm trying to tell you. if you open up a counter intelligence investigation to protect somebody you should do it. did they ever try to protect donald trump from foreign influence? >> they did not brief him and we lay out on page 55. >> when they gave in a van ilya briefing didn't they have an f.b.i. agent do a brief on the defensive briefing itself? >> they sent an agent to the briefing from the crossfire hurricane team and that agent prepared a report to the file of the briefing. >> about what trump said. >> about what mr. trump said and what mr. flynn said. >> when we get defensively briefed tomorrow, would it be okay for f.b.i. agents to open up 302s on what we said? >> we have very significant concerns about that and i would note that in director wray's
response he underlined that would not occur going forward. >> to those who can get aside how you feel about trump for a minute. under the guise of protecting the campaign from russian influence they never lift a finger to protect the campaign. every time they had information that the people they suspected were working for the russians, it went the other way and they kept going. when they did generically brief candidate trump, they sent an f.b.i. agent in to do a 302. if this doesn't bother you, you hate trump way too much. was that f.b.i. agent spying on donald trump when he went in there? >> it was a pretext meeting that i'm not going to -- the process by which they have to do these meetings -- >> if you don't have a foundation for a warrant -- go
ahead. do you need to say anything else? i'm sorry. >> the incident, the event, the meeting was a briefing and the f.b.i. considered and decided to send that agent there to do the briefing. so the agent was actually doing the briefing but also using it for the purpose of investigation. >> i hope that doesn't happen to us tomorrow. i'll be really pissed if it does. okay. so let's play this out. they never told trump about their concerns. is it fair to say there came a point where surveilling carter page became unlawful? >> i will let the court decide that. the court has this report and will make that decision. >> let's put it this way. if you don't have a legal foundation to surveil somebody and you keep doing it, is that bad? >> absolutely. >> is that spying?
>> it's illegal surveillance, it is not court authorized surveillance. >> whatever illegal surveillance means, they did it. so all the stuff that they didn't illegally surveil trump's campaign they did. they had no legal basis after the january 2017 data dump by the russian guy to believe that the dossier was reliable. they altered exculpatory information in june of 2017 that would have further proven that carter page is not a russian agent. he was actually working for the c.i.a. let me ask you a very directly. do you believe carter page is or ever was an agent of the russian government trying to do harm to his country? >> i'm going the refer to the evidence we found here, which is that if i'm going to read this, the f.b.i. at the end of these fisas told us they had found no evidence to
corroborate the allegations in the steele dossier related to him. >> it's not that clean. they knew and they ignored it and continued to surveil him. why? why did they doctor the email? the people who continued getting warrants after they knew it wasn't legitimate had a bias that wreaked. how this thing was opened, i don't know. but i can tell you mr. durham has a different view. i respect your view they may have been a lawful predicate giving them any benefit of the doubt but one of the people pushing this was peter strzok from day one. ladies and gentlemen, we have a task at hand here to make sure this never happens again. to hold people accountable, change our laws, save the fisa court if we can, and i hope this chapter in american history is never repeated and finally if you report that this 434-page report says lawful investigation with a few
irregularities you are doing a great disservice to the american people. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as we spoke, inspector general, pointed out your office spent 19 months and interviewed 100 witnesses and your report concluded that the f.b.i. had an adequate predicate, reason, to open the investigation on the trump campaign ties with russia. could you quickly define that predicate? >> the predicate here was the information that the f.b.i. got at the end of july from the friendly foreign government that reflected a meeting that the friendly foreign government had with mr. papadopoulos in may. >> who was the friendly government? >> we don't mention that in the report. >> is that classified? >> my understanding is still classified but -- >> thank you. >> as i sit here i will only
speak to what's in our report. >> go ahead. >> as i mentioned in my statement, the comment was that mr. papadopoulos had made a suggestion that there had been a suggestion to the trump campaign that the russian government could provide information that would be damaging to candidate clinton and then president obama. >> so your report states that you didn't find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation played a role. >> that's correct. >> and you didn't find a deep state conspiracy against candidate or president trump. >> as to the opening we found no bias, no testimonial or documentary evidence on that. >> no rationale for a deep state. >> we looked at mr. precept was
the decision maker and we didn't find any evidence in his email or texts of having engaged in any bias or having any bias. >> f.b.i. director wray provided a written response to your report accepting all of your findings. and these include the key finding that there was, quote, an authorized purpose and actual factual predicate for the investigation. by contract, attorney general barr expressed his doubt about the legitimacy of the f.b.i.'s investigation in press statements. did attorney general barr provide any evidence that caused you to alter this key finding that the f.b.i. investigation had an adequate predicate? >> we stand by our finding. >> thank you. during your investigation attorney general barr stated his belief that quote, spying on the trump campaign did occur. end quote.
and as you said, your investigation found no evidence that the f.b.i. placed any confidential source within the trump campaign or tasked any confidential source to report on the trump campaign. that's correct, right? >> that's correct. >> further no evidence political bias or improper motivations influenced the decision to use confidential sources as part of the investigation. >> that's correct. >> did your office ask attorney general barr and u.s. attorney john durham to share whatever evidence they had that might be relevant to your investigation? >> we asked mr. durham to do that. >> and what about attorney general barr? >> and attorney general barr. >> thank you. so nothing they could provide altered your office's conclusion that the f.b.i. did not place spies in the trump campaign. >> none of the discussions changed our findings here.
>> thank you. in a press statement issued monday, u.s. attorney john durham tasked by attorney general barr to also investigate the origins of the russia investigation stated, and i quote, last month we advised the i.g. that we do not agree with some of the reports' conclusions as to predicate and how the f.b.i. case was opened. what is your reaction to that? >> well, i was surprised by the statement. i didn't necessarily know it was going to be released on monday. we did meet with mr. durham, as i mentioned. we provided him with a copy of the report as we did others to -- for a factual accuracy review process. we met with him in november with regard to that. we did discuss the opening issue. he said he did not necessarily agree with our conclusion about
the opening of a full counter intelligence investigation, which is what this was. but there are also investigative means by which the f.b.i. can move forward with an investigation called a preliminary investigation. two types of investigations, full and preliminary. they opened a full here. he said during the meeting that the information from the friendly foreign government was in his view sufficient to support the preliminary investigation. and as we note in the report, investigative steps such as confidential human source activity that occurred are allowed under a preliminary or full investigation. >> did either barr or durham present anything that altered your findings? >> no. >> i wanted to ask you since we have the author of the whistleblower legislation very
proudly sitting here, you previously told this committee that whistleblower rights and protections have been one of your highest priorities since becoming i.g. as you know, there have been calls for the ukraine whistleblower to be identified publicly. even though that person was not a direct witness to the events. so what is your view should the ukraine whistleblower's confidentiality be breached and that person identified publicly? and why not? >> so whistleblower protections have been one of my highest priorities. appreciated with working all the members of committee particularly senator grassley. we wrote a letter recently quoting his statement on the issues and the importance of whistleblowers and whistleblowers have a right to expect complete, full, confidentality. in all circumstances. it is in the law in the i.g. act that congress wrote. and it is a very important
provision. >> thank you. in a public hearing before the house intelligence committee, deputy secretary of state george kent testified that politically associated investigations or prosecutions against opponents of those in power undermine the rule of law. do you agree with that? do politically motivated investigations undermine the rule of law? >> any politically motivated investigation undermines the rule of law. >> thank you very much. did you find any evidence that president obama or anyone else in the white house asked the united states government to investigate then candidate trump or his campaign? >> we certainly didn't see any evidence of that in the f.b.i.'s files or the department's files, which was our mandate here and our authorized jurisdiction. >> you have a policy recommendation regarding the use of confidential human sources. i would like to ask a few questions about it. your investigation found that
the use of confidential human sources was consistent with existing rules, correct? >> correct. >> the use of confidential human sources here was not solely to gather first amendment protected information. >> correct, that's the standard currently will in the rules. >> you found no evidence to that the decision to use confidential human sources with motivated by political bias. correct. >> with regard in your policy recommendation, what if anything do you believe should be changed and why? >> so as i mentioned in my opening statement, i think we were surprised to learn and concerned to learn that in an investigation of any political national party political campaign the confidential human source hughes acknowledge could be approved by only a first level supervisor. in this instance some were approved at the assistant director level but they could have been approved at just the
line supervisor level. for an investigation of a major party presidential campaign of either side or of any side, that was concerning to us particularly since there was not a requirement that any department lawyer, whether at the national security division, the criminal division, the deputy attorney general's office or attorney general's office needed to be notified at any point in time. >> did you give interviews about your investigation while it was ongoing? >> myself? no, i do not do that. >> did anybody on the i.g. team? >> no. it would have been entirely inappropriate for them to do so. >> just like to clear this up. what are the dangers of discussing an investigation that's ongoing? >> so i actually wrote and we wrote a 500-page report about that that we issued last year on the mid year investigation
and among other things criticized what occurred last year with regard to the handling of that investigation. ongoing investigations are -- need to be protected from outside influence. you don't know as an investigator or you shouldn't conclude until you are done with the investigation, you shouldn't be reaching your conclusions until that point. so giving preliminary ideas, advice, guidance, statements, can be misleading and you should not be reaching final conclusions until you get to the end of the investigation. >> there is a lot of misimpression about two people, strzok and page. so i want to ask this question. for the last two years, president trump has relentlessly attacked former f.b.i. officials as a way to undermine the investigation. for example, the president tweeted that and i quote, how can the wicked witch hunt
proceed when it was started, influenced and worked on by strzok and page who exchanged text messages critical of candidate trump? your investigation found that while lisa page attended some of the discussions regarding the opening of the investigations, she did not play a role in the decision to open crossfire hurricane. you also found that while strzok was directly involved in the decisions to open crossfire hurricane, he was not the sole or even the highest level decision maker to any of those matters. that decision as i understand it, was made by f.b.i. assistant director prestrap as you have indicated and by consensus after multiple days of discussions and meetings. most importantly, you found that the decision had a proper factual basis and that there is no evidence that, quote,
political bias or improper motivation influenced it. so based on your investigation, personal political views expressioned in text messages did not motivate the opening of the investigation of ties between trump campaign advisors and russia, is that correct? >> that's correct, ultimately we concluded those text messages, which we found last year were entirely inaappropriate, didn't ultimately play a role of mr. presapt to open the investigation. >> you also discovered other emails expressing support for candidate and president trump, correct? so f.b.i. employees held personal political views that were both favorable and unfavorable toward the candidate at that time. >> that's correct.
as we note here, and we noted in last year's report, we did not find the text messages were inappropriate solely because people expressed a view as to which candidate they supported or didn't support in an election. what concerned us with the text messages we outlined last year and reference again in this year's report as to certain individuals is the connection between their views and their work on the investigation. >> to conclude my questioning, what do you believe with your long experience, are the most important points that this 400-plus page report brings forward? >> i think there are several. as you might expect in a 400-plus page report. >> it's why i still have time. >> i think as we outline in the executive summary, first it was
opened with the proper predicate by a person, mr. prestrap, who was not one of the text message persons and senior to those people. third, that the confidential human source operations while permitted by f.b.i. policy, should cause everybody to give pause as to whether that policy is sufficient to provide accountability over decisions. and finally, that the fisa process here was not used appropriately, properly, and the rules were not followed. >> well, that concludes my questioning. i just want to say thank you and thank you to your staff. i'm very grateful to the inspector general's office year in and year out. thank you. >> bill: another one-minute break here.
>> sandra: back in the hearing room. >> 17 errors came after -- it did not impact the broader russia investigation which became a special counsel's investigation. am i correct? >> that's correct. those occurred in october and later. not in august when the matter was opened. >> now, so that came after in july. in the mueller report, how many pages did the mueller report refer to carter page? >> i don't recall the exact number. it wasn't a large number. >> i do know, i've read it. it was seven pages. that was out of 448 pages. so very -- barely mentioned.
i'm not trying to minimize f.b.i.'s mistakes here but keep it in context. the f.b.i.'s errors in carter page's case do not undermine the unanimous assessment that russia and not ukraine interfered in our election, is that correct? >> we described the information about rush yaes -- the conclusion about russia's meddling in the 2016 election. >> i remember at one of the political events mr. trump was having he said russia, if you're listening, take a look at this. the trump campaign seemed to welcome and exploit it. none of these errors -- correct me if i'm wrong, minimize the legitimacy of the dozens of indictments and convictions that resulted from the special counsel's russia investigation,
is that correct? >> we make clear here the errors and serious problems we identify are concerning the carter page fisa and the people in that chain of command. we don't make any findings to any other findings of crossfire hurricane, a far broader investigation. >> the reason i mentioned that. i don't want to undermine because of these errors, undermining the mueller investigation. i believe they do not undermine the mueller investigation. >> our review was not of the mueller investigation. it was of the fisas that were obtained as we outline here and of the opening of the investigation and additional question we got about mr. ohr's activity and the confidential human source use. >> and you did 19-month interview. is it correct that you found no evidence that the investigation was motivated by anti-trump or political bias, is that correct? >> we found no evidence that the initialation.
the question gets more challenging when you get to the fisa and when you get to the attorney's actions, for example, in connection with the fisa. >> and did you conclude that there was a legitimate basis to investigate ties between trump campaign advisors and russia? >> we concluded that the f.b.i. had the predicate to open it on july 31. and the subsequent sub files that they opened about 10 days later or so. >> some of that came from -- without naming the trusted foreign ally. >> correct, the information came from the friendly foreign government. >> and did you find that the f.b.i. complied with and even exceeded current department rules on who can authorize an investigation and who has to be
notified? >> they followed all the rules with regard to that. >> does it refute the claims made by some that there is a deep state involved? >> it finds that it was a properly predicated investigation based on the rules of the f.b.i. >> did you find anything where f.b.i. planted spies in mr. trump's campaign? >> we found no use of confidential human sources in placing them in the campaign or trying to put them in the campaign. >> i have five minutes left and i yield. >> i just want to let senator grassley go. >> has anybody been prosecuted or charged with any of this russia investigation? >> i'm sorry, on this matter
that i'm handling? no one that i'm aware of. >> following up on a question that senator feinstein asked, did the obama administration or president obama himself is the one i'm interested in, know about the counter intelligence investigation? >> i don't know the answer to that definitively. our authority was over the f.b.i. and to look at the f.b.i. and the department activities. >> in january 2018 chairman graham and i wrote to the f.b.i. and the department referring christopher steele for investigation of potentially lying to the f.b.i. we told the f.b.i., the department, and the department that what the f.b.i. told the court about steele's media contacts didn't match with what he told the british court. four questions in regard to that. did the f.b.i. ever ask steele whether he was a source for the
september 2016 yahoo news article that cited western intelligence sources quote, unquote, if not, why not? >> they did not ask that question despite having the opportunity to do so. and we got a variety of explanations, including that as to some of these issues that they didn't want to offend him or jeopardize their relationship with him. >> question two. on october 11th draft of the fisa application stating f.b.i. believed steele was the source for the yahoo news article but it was taken out in the october 14th draft, why did the f.b.i. originally say steele was the source and what factual basis did the f.b.i. have to change that? and tell the court that steele was not a source? >> this is what was so disturbing about that event,
which is the initial application said, as you noted, that the f.b.i. assessed that steele was the direct source or was a direct source. and on october 14th the drafts changeded to the exact opposite. what we found is the f.b.i. had no basis for the first statement, no evidence in their file. it turned out the first statement was in fact the accurate statement. the point was they had no evidence to support that. and when they flipped it, they had no evidence to support that, either. that's the kind of issue that under the basic woods procedures, the factual a accuracy procedures. had someone been doing their job and following up they would have seen that and found that. of course, had they bothered to ask mr. steele they might have found out which of the two versions was true. >> maybe they weren't interested in doing their job. question three. chairman graham and i sent our referral to the f.b.i. in
january of 2018. according to your report although the f.b.i. already knew the british intelligence and f.b.i. officials discussed the litigation with director comey, the f.b.i. never got steele's statement in that litigation until we provided them, the f.b.i. also never considered updating the court on these statements. why did the court learn -- when did the court learn about these contradictory statements about whether steele did or didn't have contact with the media? and did anyone in the f.b.i. seem concerned at all that it was not updating the fisa court it was knowingly providing a court with incorrect and >> so, the fisa court first learned of it, at least as i understand it, in a letter