Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz was questioned Wednesday on a GOP claim that the FBI was effectively meddling in the 2016 election in how it pursued the Russia probe.
The claim was raised by Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), who asked rhetorically what was worse: a foreign government meddling in U.S. elections or the U.S. government meddling in the U.S. election.
Hawley said that Horowitz report showed the latter, while railing against the FBI’s use of a dossier funded by the Democratic National Committee to obtain a surveillance warrant for a former Trump campaign adviser.
Horowitz didn’t challenge that interpretation of his report when Hawley asked whether he was aware that another presidential campaign was targeted by the FBI the way President Trump’s was.
However Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) returned to Hawley’s claim about FBI meddling when it was his turn to question the inspector general.
At first he deferred on the question by saying he was not going to go beyond what was said in his report. But Blumenthal continued to prod, asking Horowitz if the FBI meddled to affect the outcome of the 2016 election.
“We did not reach that conclusion,” Horowitz said.