Justice Department Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz confirmed during his testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that the FBI used fraudulent evidence that it created as the basis for a sworn statement to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that it used to obtain a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application to surveil the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
“A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said. “Am I stating that accurately?”
“That’s correct,” Horowitz confirmed. “That’s what occurred.”
This exchange. Staggering.
Cruz: “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?"
Horowitz: "That's correct. That's what occurred" pic.twitter.com/pnsp7gssT1
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 11, 2019
The IG report found: “In an email from the liaison to the OGC Attorney, the liaison provided written guidance, including that it was the liaison’s recollection that Page had a relationship with the other agency, and directed the OGC Attorney to review the information that the other agency had provided to the FBI in August 2016. As noted above, that August 2016 information stated that Page did, in fact, have a prior relationship with that other agency. However, the OGC Attorney altered the liaison’s email by inserting the words ‘not a source’ into it, thus making it appear that the liaison had said that Page was “not a source”; the OGC Attorney then sent the altered email to SSA 2. Relying upon this altered email, SSA 2 signed the third renewal application (that again failed to disclose Page’s past relationship with the other agency).”
Earlier during the hearing, Horowitz essentially implied to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham that what the FBI did was tantamount to “illegal surveillance.”
Here’s the interaction between Graham and Horowitz:
Graham: Let’s play this out. They never told Trump about the concerns, is it fair to say there came a point to where surveilling Carter Page became unlawful?
Horowitz: I will let the court decide that. The court has this report and will make that decision.
Graham: 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?
Graham: Is that spying?
Horowitz: ‘It’s illegal surveillance, it’s not court authorized surveillance.
Graham: What ever illegal surveillance means, they did it. … They had no legal basis after the January 2017 data dump by the Russian guy to believe that the dossier was reliable. They alter exculpatory information in June of 2017 that would have further proven that Carter Page is not a Russian agent and he was actually working with the CIA.
Sen. Lindsey Graham on FBI surveilling the Trump campaign: “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?”
IG Michael Horowitz: “Absolutely.”
Graham: ”Is that spying?”
Horowitz: “It’s illegal surveillance.” pic.twitter.com/cYLZ3JjMJ3
— Steven Cheung (@CaliforniaPanda) December 11, 2019
On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr told NBC News that “in January, after the election, the entire case collapsed when the principal source says ‘I never told — I never told Steele this stuff and this was also speculation and I have zero information to support this stuff.’ At that point, when their entire case collapsed, what do they do? They kept on investigating the president well into his administration, after the case collapsed.”
Barr continued, “But here to me is the damning thing: They not only didn’t tell the court that what they had been relying on was completely, you know, rubbish, they actually started putting in things to bolster this Steele report by saying, ‘we talked to the sources and they appeared to be truthful,’ but they don’t inform the court that what they’re truthful about is that the dossier is false.”