Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today about the findings of his report on the FBI‘s investigation into Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign. Although Horowitz concluded that the FBI had reason to open the investigation, numerous incidences of misconduct in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act process have been widely scrutinized and criticized.
At one point today, Horowitz was pressed as to whether former FBI Director James Comey was “vindicated” by the report, Breitbart reported.
“I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this FISA,” Horowitz said, appearing to disagree with the assertions in Comey’s Washington Post opinion-editorial.
In the op-ed, Comey claimed that the report exonerated him and chalked up the “unfortunate” failures of the investigation to natural human error. He went on to suggest that the FBI is owed an apology from those who attacked its conduct over the past two years.
“The FBI fulfilled its mission — protecting the American people and upholding the U.S. Constitution. Now those who attacked the FBI for two years should admit they were wrong.”
During a Fox News broadcast, a panel of defense lawyers and former federal prosecutors were pressed on Comey’s handling of the investigation following the IG report, which some suggested was damning for the FBI.
“We’re not talking about a single person made a mistake. A whole team. A whole team,” said defense attorney Tim Parlatore.
“They set it up so that there’d be redundancy. So there’d be supervision and supervision from the top. And so the ability to bypass all those safeguards to make mistakes is just not credible.”
Parlatore also responded to Comey’s recent tweet claiming vindication from the findings of the IG report. According to the trial attorney, explaining away the misconduct as “mistakes,” as opposed to political bias, suggests that the FBI makes similar mistakes in other cases that are not politically involved.
In addition to Comey, Attorney General William Barr has also taken heat for his response to the controversial report. His disagreement with Horowitz’s conclusion lead to attorneys from the conservative group Checks & Balances to accuse him of mischaracterizing the report. According to former associate deputy attorney general Jonathan Rose, Barr is attempting to “undermine” Horowitz’s findings by distorting and obfuscating the findings of the report.
MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough suggested that Barr be disbarred for allegedly lying under oath. He went on to attack the attorney general for his purported loyalty to Trump.