Michael Horowitz: Finalizing of FISA probe report ‘nearing completion’

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closeHorowitz report on FISA abuses to have limited redactionsVideo

Horowitz report on FISA abuses to have limited redactions

Horowitz's report nearing completion.

Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz told Senate and House lawmakers Thursday that the process of finalizing his report into potential Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuses ahead of the 2016 presidential election was "nearing completion," according to a letter obtained by Fox News.

The "lengthy" draft report "concerns sensitive national security and law enforcement matters," Horowitz wrote in the letter, adding that he anticipated "the final report will be released publicly with few redactions."

Horowitz noted that he did not anticipate a need to prepare or issue "separate classified and public versions of the report."

"After we receive the final classification markings from the Department and the FBI, we will then proceed with our usual process for preparing a final report, including ensuring that appropriate reviews occur for accuracy and comment purposes," Horowitz wrote in the letter. "Once begun, we do not anticipate the time for that review to be lengthy."

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The letter came as top Republicans on Wednesday demanded that Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) Michael Atkinson explain why the watchdog hasn't said if it's investigating "a number of leaks of highly sensitive information" in recent years — and released several previously unpublished texts and emails from since-fired FBI agent Peter Strzok, who oversaw the Russia probe.

Horowitz faulted the FBI last year for repeated violations of its media communications policy, noting that agents had received gifts from reporters and leaked regularly — apparently even from phones at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

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For more than a year and a half, Horowitz has been investigating alleged misconduct related to the FISA warrants delivered by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC). The Justice Department and FBI obtained warrants in 2016 to surveil Trump adviser Carter Page. It is unclear, at this point, if Page was the only Trump official that the DOJ obtained a FISA warrant against.

That highly anticipated report will likely spark new congressional investigations and deliver critical information to other federal reviews probing allegations of abuse by the Justice Department and the FBI.

“As soon as Horowitz is done with his review of the FISA warrant application, the counterintelligence investigation, the Trump campaign, we’ll have a hearing in public with Horowitz and we’ll call a bunch of witnesses,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Fox Business’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

Last month, Horowitz submitted a draft of his report to Attorney General Bill Barr, who was reviewing the document.

This is a developing story; check back for updates.

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