Conservatives rip FBI over IG report: 'scathing indictment'

Republican senators tore into the Obama-era FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) on Wednesday, calling a report from a DOJ watchdog a "scathing indictment" of the FBI. 
 
GOP senators, in back-to-back statements, hammered the FBI over DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz's findings on surveillance of Trump campaign associates during the 2016 election. 
 
"This report is a scathing indictment of the FBI, of the agents that were involved," Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeSenators are politicians, not jurors — they should act like it Sens. Kaine, Lee: 'We should not be at war with Iran unless Congress authorizes it' Overnight Defense: War powers fight runs into impeachment | Kaine has 51 votes for Iran resolution | Trump plans to divert .2B from Pentagon to border wall MORE (R-Utah) said during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. 
 
Lee specifically called out former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyNYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info Bernie-Hillary echoes seen in Biden-Sanders primary fight Rosenstein on his time in Trump administration: 'We got all the big issues right' MORE, who had responded to the report in a Washington Post op-ed, saying that it disproved declarations from President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' MORE and his allies that the FBI “spied” on the Trump campaign and engaged in wrongdoing.
 
"There is no planet on which I think this report indicates that things were OK within the FBI in connection with this investigation ... and yet stunningly former FBI Director Jim Comey took to the pages of The Washington Post to declare that this report, your report, shows that the FBI fulfilled its mission," Lee said. 
 
"I don't understand that. I find it absolutely stunning that he would reach that conclusion. This is nonsense," he continued.

Horowitz's report, released Monday, found that the FBI's decision to open a probe into Trump campaign associates was not motivated by political bias

Still, the watchdog found “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the FBI's application to the secretive court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act as part of its efforts to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

 
Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzSenate GOP mulls speeding up Trump impeachment trial The Hill's Morning Report — President Trump on trial GOP threatens to weaponize impeachment witnesses amid standoff MORE (R-Texas) said that the report laid out "a stunning indictment of the FBI and the Department of Justice, of a pattern of abuse of power." 
 
"I think the facts that are in this report need to be understood and they should be deeply chilling to anyone who understands the facts," Cruz said.

Cruz added that if someone within the FBI or Justice Department had tried to open an investigation into a rival presidential campaign when he was working for DOJ someone would have asked "what in the hell are we doing?"

"When I was at DOJ if someone said let’s tap Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSupreme Court agrees to hear 'faithless elector' cases Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire Climate 'religion' is fueling Australia's wildfires MORE, or let’s tap Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonTrump chooses high-profile but controversial legal team The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump beefs up impeachment defense with Dershowitz, Starr Trump to add Dershowitz, Ken Starr to impeachment defense team MORE or John KerryJohn Forbes KerryBring on the brokered convention 18 progressive groups sign unity pledge amid Sanders-Warren feud Mellman: Democrats — Buckle up for a wild ride MORE the people would have said what in the hell are you talking about? This wasn’t Jason Bourne. This was Beavis and Butthead," Cruz continued.

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSanders to headline Iowa event amid impeachment trial On The Money — Presented by Wells Fargo — Sanders defends vote against USMCA | China sees weakest growth in 29 years | Warren praises IRS move on student loans Poll: Sanders holds 5-point lead over Buttigieg in New Hampshire MORE (D-Minn.), who questioned Horowitz after Cruz, started her questioning by saying she wanted to "tone things down a little bit here."