FBI’s Credibility Dealt Major Blow; Will it Matter?
Article from Reason by Robby Soave.
The Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General released its highly anticipated report on the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s Russia connection on Monday.
Make no mistake: The report chronicles serious wrongdoing with respect to the FBI’s surveillance of Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, and is ultimately a damning indictment of the the nation’s top law enforcement agency. All Americans should have serious concerns about the FBI’s respect for constitutional principles, ability to carefully evaluate conflicting information, and its competency in general.
Many in the media have focused on the fact that the IG report failed to turn up any evidence that the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia was politically motivated. The Washington Post‘s key takeaway was that the report amounted to a “triple rebuke” of the president and his allies. CNN’s article led with “conspiracy theories debunked” and called the Russia probe “legal and unbiased,” before conceding “serious mistakes” that the network predominantly attributed to a “low level FBI lawyer.” In general, the Trump-critical mainstream media has treated the faltering of the most fervent pro-Trump partisans’ conspiracy theory about a deep state coup as some kind of full acquittal of the FBI. It’s not. The IG report is a chronicle of massive government wrongdoing.
As Scott Shackford explained in his post on this subject, the report by Michael Horowitz found 17 “serious performance failures” relating to warrants obtained by the FBI through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment (FISA) courts for the purposes of monitoring Page. The FISA warrant, which was reauthorized three times, contained false and misleading information about Page. It omitted that he had previously disclosed his Russian contacts to a government agency; it overstated the government’s confidence in the Christopher Steele dossier and ignored Steele’s own doubts about one of his sources; it declined to mention that Page had said he and Paul Manafort had “literally never met”; and in general it ignored information that rendered unlikely the theory that Page was a Russian asset.
Read the entire article at Reason.