Dec 10, 2019

Trump criticizes FBI director after DOJ inspector general report on Russia probe

Go deeper

What they're saying: Former FBI officials respond to inspector general report

James Comey. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Politicon

Responding to a Justice Department inspector general report that found that political bias did not taint the 2016 Russia investigation, former FBI Director James Comey wrote in a Washington Post column Monday that "those who smeared the FBI are due for an accounting."

Why it matters: The report largely debunks conspiracy theories promoted by Trump and his allies that the Russia investigation was politically motivated and a product of the so-called "Deep State." However, the report also rebukes FBI officials in rather harsh terms for failing to meet agency standards, especially with respect to surveillance warrants.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 10, 2019

FBI director under Carter and Reagan slams Trump and Barr

Judge William Webster, former FBI and CIA director. Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

William Webster, a former federal judge and the former director of both the FBI and the CIA, said in a New York Times op-ed that President Trump and Attorney General William Barr's attacks on the FBI are "troubling in the extreme."

"Calling FBI professionals 'scum,' as the president did, is a slur against people who risk their lives to keep us safe. Mr. Barr’s charges of bias within the FBI, made without providing any evidence and in direct dispute of the findings of the nonpartisan inspector general, risk inflicting enduring damage on this critically important institution."
Go deeperArrowDec 16, 2019

Trump casts doubt on Horowitz's credibility, despite celebrating his findings

Photo: Michael Brochstein/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

President Trump questioned Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's credibility in a tweet on Sunday, labeling Horowitz an Obama appointee in response to a report that found that the FBI's Russia investigation was not politically motivated:

"As bad as the I.G. Report is for the FBI and others, and it is really bad, remember that I.G. Horowitz was appointed by Obama. There was tremendous bias and guilt exposed, so obvious, but Horowitz couldn’t get himself to say it. Big credibility loss. Obama knew everything!"

Why it matters: Trump is attacking Horowitz for his conclusions that the probe was not fueled by bias, while simultaneously celebrating the inspector general's findings of serious wrongdoing in the FBI's surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

Go deeperArrowDec 15, 2019