In May 2017, Mr. Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey who was responsible for the agency’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.
Now, current FBI Director Christopher Wray has broken with the White House and Attorney General Bill Barr over the inspector general report. The inspector general for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, released the conclusions of his investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. This is what eventually became the Mueller probe.
‘The inspector general did not find political bias or improper motivations impacting the opening of the investigation or the decision to use certain investigative tools during the investigations…including FISA.’
BREAKING: FBI Dir. Chris Wray “The inspector general did not find political bias or improper motivations impacting the opening” of Russia probe, “or the decision to use certain investigative tools.”@PierreTABC: “Included FISA?”
— ABC News (@ABC) December 9, 2019
In contrast with Barr and Durham, Wray also said that the FBI “fully accepts” the results of the inspector general’s report. Wray backed up Horowitz, saying that:
‘(FBI staff) fell short of the standard of conduct and performance that we, and that I as director, expect from our employees.’
Trump has continued to maintain that the whole thing was a “witch hunt,” and Barr even disagreed that opening the Russia investigation was justified. Barr issued a statement to Horowitz on Monday, saying:
‘The F.B.I. 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.’
According to The New York Times:
‘In both cases, Mr. Barr highlighted his belief that law enforcement officials overstepped their authority when they decided to investigate Trump campaign aides and that the president ultimately did nothing wrong. Mr. Barr long suspected that was the case before he became attorney general, and his time in office has crystallized his belief, friends and associates say.’
Barr is obviously one of Trump’s most important allies given the fact that he willing to side with the president over law enforcement, even when it contradicts his own department’s assessments.
Barr has maintained that it is impossible for Trump to break the law exercising his authorities and many of his other allies have adopted this belief as well, especially in light of the impeachment inquiry.
John H. Durham, a federal prosecutor whom Barr appointed to run a separate investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, backed Barr’s findings saying:
‘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 F.B.I. case was opened.’
According to The Times:
‘Mr. Horowitz found that the F.B.I. had adequate reason in 2016 to lawfully open a full investigation into whether Trump campaign associates were wittingly or unwittingly helping Russia to interfere in the election. Called Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation eventually focused on four Trump campaign associates, two of whom were already the subjects of continuing Justice Department investigations.’
The White House tweeted this video of Trump saying:
‘It’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another President.’
President @realDonaldTrump on the Department of Justice Inspector General’s Report: “It’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country. It should never again happen to another President.” pic.twitter.com/3U56O6kdas
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) December 9, 2019
Featured image is a screenshot from YouTube