President Trump’s favorite network on Monday reported some news that he may not like on the Justice Department Inspector General’s widely anticipated report released Monday.
During an appearance on Fox News within minutes of the Justice Department inspector general report’s release Monday afternoon, Chris Wallace reported that “the headline is they didn’t find the things that Bill Barr and Donald Trump alleged.”
Trump and his allies on the right have long alleged a “deep state” bias on the part of the FBI, homing in on former FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok.
The report, which focused on the origins of the Russia probe, found that there was sufficient evidence to open the investigation into members of President Trump’s 2016 campaign and that political bias on behalf of FBI employees did not play a role into the launch of the investigation. However, the report also found that there were “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
After saying that the inspector general found that there was no political bias by former FBI Director James Comey or his former deputy Andrew McCabe, Wallace argued that the report itself shows that “it was proper to launch the investigation” and to seek a warrant on Page.
“You could argue about whether the threshold is proper, but the inspector general — who has spent months investigating it in 450 pages — explaining that it was proper to launch the investigation and indeed that it was proper to seek a warrant on Carter Page,” Wallace said.
Wallace also acknowledged that the report “certainly does say that there were a lot of misstatement, improprieties, carelessness on the part of a low-level FBI people,” but that there was “no indication that this came … under any orders.”
Wallace then doubled down that he believes the “headline” coming out of the report is that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that “the FBI conducted the investigations of the warrant on a proper legal basis.”
“So it seems to me that the headline here is that [Horowitz] basically found that the FBI conducted the investigations of the warrant on a proper legal basis,” Wallace said. “There were some misconduct and allegations by individual people but not by any of the higher-ups and with regard to the defensive briefings.”
Watch Wallace’s remarks below:
Chris Wallace: "So it seems to me that the headline here is that he basically found that the FBI conducted the investigations of the warrant on a proper legal basis." pic.twitter.com/kElnDw5xbw
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) December 9, 2019