Why Republicans say they don’t trust the FBI
In the wake of the FBI’s execution of a search warrant on former President Trump’s home, Republicans are expressing their distrust of the FBI.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw says: What we want is accountability, we want transparency. And these criticisms that we are leveling against the FBI and DOJ are fully warranted.
Republicans’ doubts go back to the Trump administration, when the FBI was investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign. An inquiry called Crossfire hurricane.
Here’s what happened.
First: the Strzok-Page text messages. FBI Agent Peter Strzok was part of Crossfire Hurricane, investigated Hillary Clinton’s emails, and was on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team before he was fired. Why? Because of a series of anti-Trump text messages.
In one of the many exchanges while those investigations were ongoing, FBI attorney Lisa Page texted Strzok about Donald Trump: “He’s not ever going to become President, right? To which Strzok responded: “No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Strzok was forced to defend himself before congress, under oath.
Peter Strzok says: “It was in no way, unequivocally, any suggestion that me, or the FBI would take any action whatsoever to impact the electoral process for any candidate.”
That brings us to the Horowitz report. The Justice Department’s Inspector General Michael Horowithz put out a 400 page report on Crossfire Hurricane saying while the investigation was opened on proper grounds, he found serious problems with the way it was conducted.
The report revealed FBI agents inaccurately stated and omitted relevant information when applying for a warrant to surveil a member of the Trump campaign. Overall, the warrant application process was filled with quote “serious performance failures.”
Michael Horowtiz says: “Our review identified significant concerns with how certain aspects of the investigation were conducted and supervised. Particularly, the FBI’s failure to adhere to its own standards and completeness…” when filing applications for FISA.
That ultimately led to the guilty plea. FBI Agent Kevin Clinesmith plead guilty to altering an email used to get a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign aide Carter Page. Clinesmith got one year probation for the single felony count for which he said he was ashamed.