Trump predicts ‘historic’ conclusions from DOJ’s watchdog report on ‘spying’
President Trump on Friday predicted a forthcoming Justice Department inspector general report would be “historic,” accusing Obama-era intelligence officials of “spying” on his 2016 presidential campaign and trying to “overthrow” his presidency.
“They were spying on my campaign and it went right to the top and everybody knows it,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox & Friends” Friday morning. “They tried to overthrow the presidency. This is a disgrace.”
Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz is expected to release a report early next month on his review of the FBI’s actions in applying for a warrant to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page that was part of the original probe into Russian election interference.
The report has been long-anticipated by Republicans, who have accused the FBI of abusing its authorities under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in applying for a warrant to wiretap Page. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a close ally of the president, said this week the report would be released publicly on Dec. 9. Horowitz is expected to testify publicly that same week.
Trump’s remarks came a day after reports emerged that an FBI official is under investigation for allegedly altering a document related to the Page warrant.
“This is nothing compared to what you will see over the next couple of weeks,” Trump said Friday. “What you’re going to see, I predict, will perhaps be the biggest scandal in the history of our country — political scandal.”
“You have a FISA report coming out, which the word is it’s historic,” Trump continued. “That’s what I hear.”
Trump would not offer the source of his information, saying only that “we have a lot of information that a lot of bad things happened.”
Trump also mentioned the ongoing probe by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, whom Attorney General William Barr has tapped to lead a separate investigation into the origins of the investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Barr initiated the review in order to determine whether surveillance on the Trump campaign — which he termed “spying” in April — was adequately predicated. Critics view the investigation as contributing to an effort by Trump and his allies to discredit the Russia probe and the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the election to Trump’s benefit.
Trump has in the past asserted that former FBI Director James Comey and others engaged in “treason.” On Friday, he suggested the ongoing investigation could ensnare former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan and Susan Rice, who served as President Obama’s national security adviser. There is no evidence that the Justice Department is investigating these individuals.
“Perhaps even more importantly you have Durham shortly thereafter,” Trump said Friday.
Trump said he is “purposely” staying out of the investigation but asserted he could be involved if he wanted to.
“I purposely stay out. I tell Bill Barr to handle everything. I don’t have to — I could get very much involved,” Trump said on Fox. “I don’t have any obligation legally to do that.”
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