The Justice Department’s inspector general (IG) report states fired FBI Director James Comey conceded that the Steele dossier was “not ripe enough, mature enough,” to be a complete “intelligence product,” yet it was still used by the bureau to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“According to Corney, the inclusion of the Steele election reporting as an appendix to the ICA was not a value judgment about the quality of the information. Instead, it reflected the relatively uncorroborated and incomplete status of the FBI’s assessment. Corney told the OIG that the Steele election reporting was “not ripe enough, mature enough, to be in a finished intelligence product,”” the report reads.
The DOJ’s internal watchdog said in a highly-anticipated report Monday efforts by federal authorities to conduct surveillance on a member of President Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the Russia investigation were rife with mistakes, but contained nothing improper or illegal.
The 476-page report by department Inspector General Michael Horowitz answered long-standing accusations by the Trump administration that the FBI illegally spied on former campaign adviser Carter Page while searching for evidence of collusion between the team and Russia.
It specified 17 inaccuracies involving three applications filed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which may have inflated the bureau’s justification for surveillance against Page, the report said.
Despite the errors, the report concluded the FBI did not act improperly in its activities.
The report concludes a review Horowitz promised in March 2018 to examine the conduct of federal authorities to determine if the FBI broke or abused any rules in investigating the Trump campaign.
Attorney General William Barr said the report confirms that the FBI launched an “intrusive” probe into the Trump campaign on “the thinnest of suspicions.”
“It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory,” Barr said in a statement. “Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration.”
U.S. Attorney John Durham, tasked with investigating whether the FBI followed the proper procedures to surveil the Trump campaign, said in a separate statement that he too did not agree with the report’s conclusions.
“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” said Durham.
The UPI contributed to this report.