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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said at a hearing Wednesday that the irregularities uncovered in his investigation of surveillance activities during the FBI's Russia probe do not "vindicate" anyone, as former FBI Director James Comey and others claimed upon release of his report.

The big picture: Comey and a number of other former FBI officials have celebrated the fact that Horowitz's report concluded the Russia investigation was adequately predicated and was not tainted by political bias. President Trump and his allies have long claimed that the investigation was an effort by the "deep state" to reverse the results of the 2016 election — a conspiracy for which Horowitz said there is "no evidence."

  • However, Horowitz argues that the inaccuracies and omissions in the FBI's applications for the surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page are "deeply concerning."
  • Horowitz said in his opening statement that the errors reflect "a failure not just by those who prepared the FISA applications, but also by the managers and supervisors in the [investigation's] chain of command, including FBI senior officials who were briefed as the investigation progressed."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Biden's pick to lead major banking regulator drops out

Saule Omarova, nominee for Comptroller of the Currency, at a confirmation hearing on Nov. 18. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

President Biden's pick to head one of the country's most powerful banking regulators is dropping out of consideration for the post, according to a statement from Biden that accepted the withdrawal.

Why it matters: Saule Omarova, nominated to lead the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, faced a tough path to confirmation — with opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats.

Judge temporarily blocks Biden vaccine mandate for federal contractors

President Biden delivers remarks at the White House on Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

A federal judge on Tuesday temporarily blocked President Biden's vaccine mandate for federal contractors nationwide.

Why it matters: It's the latest setback in the Biden administration's rollout of COVID vaccine requirements. Federal judges in two states temporarily barred the administration from enforcing mandates for millions of workers last week.

Biden threatens Putin

Photo: Kremlin Press Office/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

In a video call that lasted for just over two hours on Tuesday, President Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin that if Russia invades Ukraine the U.S. will impose unprecedented sanctions and provide additional weaponry to the Ukrainians, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said.

Why it matters: Russia's military activity on the border with Ukraine has triggered alarms from the U.S. and its European allies of a potential large-scale Russian invasion in early 2022. Sullivan said Biden made clear to Putin that, "things we did not do in 2014, we are prepared to do now."