Politics

What really happened in FBI's Trump-Russia investigation? Inspector general's report expected today

Many of the questions—and Republican conspiracy theories—about the FBI’s investigation into ties between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia should be answered in a report due to be issued Monday by the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz. Since we’re talking about conspiracy theories, though, don’t look for a heavily documented independent investigation to shut Donald Trump up about a “witch hunt” and the like

Thanks to some leaks we already have a sense of some key points in the IG’s report, first among them that no, the FBI’s investigation was not a witch hunt targeting Trump. Horowitz is “expected to conclude,” The New York Times reports, that “The F.B.I.’s decision to open the investigation met the legal threshold and was not undertaken out of political bias.” The report is also expected to exonerate several of the FBI officials Trump has loudly demonized of any political bias in how they conducted their investigations.

At the same time, the report will reportedly reveal some flaws in the investigation, including around the wiretap of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page—though not in the ways that Trump has insisted. And, with the permission of Trump lackey William Barr, the report will include information about Christopher Steele, author of the Steele dossier, coming in an irregular manner: “Like the other witnesses interviewed for the inspector general’s report, Mr. Steele had earlier reviewed the findings that are pertinent to him, and he was given a chance to comment on them. In this case, Mr. Horowitz’s office did not detail for him the additional information and gave him no opportunity to respond for the report to be released on Monday,” The Times reports.

The inspector general’s report will likely be released as the House Judiciary Committee conducts its second day of hearings on Trump’s efforts to extort Ukraine into helping him win in 2020 by undermining his political opponents, so, you know, just another Monday in the Trump era.


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