Former FBI Attorney Under Criminal Investigation For Fabricating Evidence In Russiagate Probe
Update 2: The Washington Post claims that “Horowitz found that the employee erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim, they said.”
The attorney forced out of the agency after the incident was discovered.
The Post says the conduct “did not alter Horowitz’s finding that the surveillance application of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had a proper legal and factual basis.”
The Justice Department inspector general has found evidence that an FBI employee may have altered a document connected to court-approved surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser, but has concluded that the conduct did not affect the overall validity of the surveillance application, according to U.S. officials familiar with the matter.
The person under scrutiny has not been identified but is a low-level FBI lawyer who has since been forced out of the FBI…. –Washington Post
Update: CNN has updated their story to include that the individual under investigation is a former FBI line attorney.
According to the report, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s warrant applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) revealed an altered document which – we assume – was used to bolster the application to obtain the warrant and/or subsequent renewals.
Evidence of the fabricated document was turned over to John Durham, the federal prosecutor tasked earlier this year by Attorney General William Barr with launching a broad investigation into the FBI’s activities surrounding the 2016 US election.
As CNN notes, however, “it’s unknown how significant a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page and whether the FISA warrant would have been approved without the document.” What we do know, however, is that it was significant enough to warrant a criminal investigation.
Some witnesses who have been interviewed in Horowitz’s investigation have said they expect the inspector general to find mistakes in the FBI’s handling of the FISA process, but that those mistakes do not undermine the premise for the FBI’s investigation.
Horowitz’s investigators conducted more than 100 witness interviews in their review. During one of interviews this year, they confronted the witness about the document. The witness admitted to the change, the sources said.
The identity or rank of the FBI employee under investigation isn’t yet known, and it’s not clear whether the employee still works in the federal government. No charges that could reflect the situation have been filed publicly in court. –CNN
On Thursday, Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) announced that Horowitz would release his report on December 9, and would testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee two days later.