Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on Wednesday said the FBI “relied entirely on information” from the infamous Steele dossier in order to obtain a surveillance warrant on a Trump campaign associate.
Horowitz appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify on the findings of his report on alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, under which warrants were obtained to monitor former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, Fox News reported.
Horowitz criticized “FBI senior officials” and said the agency relied on a dossier compiled by ex-British intelligence agent Christopher Steele as a basis for Page’s FISA warrant.
“The FISA applications relied entirely on information from the Steele reporting to support the allegation that Page was coordinating with the Russian government on 2016 U.S. Presidential election activities,” Horowitz said.
“We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through 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 were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny,” Horowitz said in his opening statement.
Inspector Horowitz admits that the warrant to spy on the Trump campaign was based "entirely" on information from the debunked Steele Dossier.
The media continues to deny this fact! pic.twitter.com/Crpn28dW1P
— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 11, 2019
The inspector general also found that the FBI was unable to “corroborate any of the specific substantive allegations against Carter Page contained in the election reporting and relied on in the FISA applications” and there were “serious problems” with Steele’s reporting.
Some journalists, Democrats and Trump critics have claimed the Steele dossier played a minor role in obtaining Page’s FISA warrant.
CNN Legal Analyst @renato_mariotti
"The dossier isn't bogus"
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) December 11, 2019
Other reporters have pushed back against the idea that the accuracy of the dossier had been validated.
Horowitz’s findings appear to vindicate the assertions made by Trump and his allies, at least in regard to improprieties in the FISA process.
Horowitz testified on Wednesday that he found no “documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation” led to the opening of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.