Schumer: Senate GOP turning into 'conspiracy caucus'

Schumer: Senate GOP turning into 'conspiracy caucus'
© Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTexas man arrested for allegedly threatening Democrats over coronavirus bill Pelosi not invited by Trump to White House coronavirus relief bill's signing COVID-19, Bill Barr and the American authoritarian tradition MORE (D-N.Y.) knocked Republicans Monday after the release of the Justice Department watchdog report that found there was no political bias in the FBI's investigation into the Trump campaign, saying they were becoming the “conspiracy caucus.”

“Whether it’s the three years they spent embracing a baseless conspiracy or recent examples of promoting Putin’s false talking points, it’s sad how, in an effort to protect the president at all costs, the ‘Grand Old Party’ in the Senate is becoming the ‘conspiracy caucus,’ ” Schumer said. 

Schumer added that President TrumpDonald John TrumpWith VP pick, Biden can't play small ball in a long ball world Coronavirus hits defense contractor jobs Wake up America, your country doesn't value your life MORE, Attorney General William Barr and GOP lawmakers should stop “pushing baseless conspiracy theories and instead work in a bipartisan fashion to ensure the FBI and the Intelligence Community have the full support and resources necessary to stop Putin and any other foreign adversary from interfering in the 2020 elections.”

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Schumer has repeatedly lashed out at GOP lawmakers in recent days, including after some senators questioned if Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election. 

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general (IG), released the findings on Monday of a nearly two-year investigation into alleged surveillance abuses in the investigation of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. 

Republicans lauded the investigation when it was announced, hoping it would back up their long-held suspicions that the FBI abused its surveillance powers in applying for a warrant to spy on campaign aide Carter Page, saying officials did not sufficiently disclose the Democratic link to the so-called Steele dossier. 

Horowitz found that the FBI’s decision to open up an investigation was not motivated by political bias and had “an authorized purpose” to launch an investigation to “obtain information about, or to protect against, a national security threat or federal crime, even though the investigation also had the potential to impact constitutionally protected activity.”

The inspector general did, however, outline seven “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in its application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page, some of them related to the FBI’s assertions or omissions regarding information they received from Christopher Steele, an ex-British intelligence officer who authored the dossier. 

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Schumer was asked about the IG finding inaccuracies but sidestepped, arguing that the main takeaway from Horowitz's report was that it "debunks the baseless conspiracy" that the FBI's investigation grew out of political bias.

"The bottom line is clear, the IG report ... shows there is no basis for the president's absurd claim that the investigation into his campaign was a hoax or a conspiracy against him," he added.