The FBI is on "blast," as DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report is revealed, in perhaps the most traumatic hit that the agency has taken in several decades.
Cruz: “Chilling and Encouraging”
A massive amount of errors and dysfunction within the FBI was what the report showed Monday, landing a direct hit on the agency’s reputation, and raising the question how could such basic mistakes be made in a crucial investigation.
“That so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, handpicked investigative teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels with the FBI… raised significant questions regarding the FBI chain of command’s management and supervision of the surveillance process,” the report concluded.
Despite inaccuracies, misstatements and errors made to FISA, terribly rough and incompetent handling of surveillance processes and more, the report also said that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections was justified and bias-free:
“We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced (the FBI’s) decision to open Crossfire Hurricane,” the report reads.
Despite that, Republicans have been blasting the agency since the release of the report, with Trump calling it an “attempted overthrow” of the government, and Attorney General William Barr saying the FBI launched an “intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”
Barr’s words are even more threatening for the agency, as he is overseeing an inquiry into the FBI’s investigations into Russia, that has become a criminal probe, and could see some rough consequences for all those involved.
Ted Cruz also had some words to say about the report, calling it “chilling and encouraging” on Fox News' “Hannity” on Monday.
“The very best interpretation of the Horowitz inspector general report is that the FBI and Department of Justice were manifestly incompetent. The IG report outlines 17 factual misstatements that they made to the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance] court and that they were utterly negligent in ordering the surveillance [and] spying of a presidential nominee and of a sitting president,” he said.
Cruz went on to add that the real interpretation was that these are “hardcore political partisans that hated Donald Trump” and were not shy of abusing power to spy on Trump, openly expressing his anger.
The FBI has been accepting the criticism and acknowledging mistakes, although being on the defensive when it comes to alleged bias. Some inside the bureau are also discontented with what was found in the report, like Oliver “Buck” Revell, who has spent more than 30 years at the bureau:
“I can’t think of anything that has been more traumatic. Certainly, we have never had a president of the United States making allegations that threaten the public’s trust in the institution.”
Revell added that a way to “fix this and make sure it doesn’t happen again,” must be found.