DOJ, FBI review draft on surveillance and Trump campaign report

IG has been investigating since early 2018

By Jeremy Herb, CNN
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A federal judge has denied a Justice Department request, because of the shutdown, to pause all deadlines in a DC federal court case challenging the administration's asylum restrictions.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Justice Department and FBI are reviewing a draft of the long-awaited report on Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court applications regarding the Trump campaign, the department's inspector general said Friday.

Inspector General Michael Horowitz sent a letter to four congressional committees on Friday notifying them that he had begun "finalizing our report by providing a draft of our factual findings to the Department and the FBI for classification determination and marking."

The inspector general has been investigating since early 2018 the handling of four applications that let American intelligence eavesdrop on Carter Page in 2016 and 2017 after he left the Trump campaign. The warrants, which cite the Trump-Russia dossier by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, and the investigation of them have allowed Republicans to continue speculating that the early investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia interference in the election was driven by politics.

Horowitz noted that the report contained classified material, and that once he receives the draft back from DOJ and FBI, his office would prepare the report for release, "ensuring that appropriate reviews occur for accuracy and comment purposes."

Horowitz said that his team had reviewed more than 1 million records and conducted more than 100 interviews as part of the review. CNN has previously reported that investigators this year spoke to Steele.

Horowitz's review is one of several probes into the origins of the Russia investigation. Attorney General William Barr has ordered his own review, which is led by John Durham, the US attorney for Connecticut, examining questions of political surveillance.

President Donald Trump has ordered intelligence leaders from the CIA, FBI and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to cooperate with the review, and granted Barr the power to declassify materials as part of the effort.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, has also vowed his own examinations of the beginnings of the Russia probe. He told CNN this week that he expected to call Horowitz to testify after his report was released, and he also might bring in former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos to testify.

Papadopoulos was also subject to FBI surveillance, and it was his conversation with an Australian diplomat that sparked the FBI's counterintelligence investigation in July 2017.

Horowitz did not say when the report would be released.

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