In a huge blow to Trump, DOJ watchdog found no evidence to support the claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign




In a huge blow to Trump, DOJ watchdog found no evidence to support the claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign
In a huge blow to Trump, DOJ watchdog found no evidence to support the claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 campaign  

Reuters


  • The Justice Department's inspector general found no evidence to support President Donald Trump's claim that the FBI inserted spies in his 2016 presidential campaign, The New York Times reported.

  • Trump has repeatedly and baselessly alleged that the FBI inserted covert operators in his campaign.

  • He also alleged, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama had intelligence officials tap his phones, a claim the IG's report is also expected to undercut.

  • While the IG report undermines Trump's most extreme claims, sources told The Times, it also faults the FBI for making bureaucratic mistakes when applying for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

This story is breaking. Check back for updates.

The Justice Department's inspector general reportedly found no evidence to support President Donald Trump's claim that the FBI spied on his 2016 presidential campaign while investigating whether the campaign was conspiring with the Russian government to interfere in the election, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

The Times article builds on reporting from the Washington Post, which initially broke the story last week.

Trump has repeatedly and baselessly alleged that the FBI inserted covert agents into his campaign. Trump and his allies dubbed this purported scandal "Spygate."

He also alleged, without evidence, that former President Barack Obama ordered US intelligence officials to tap his phones, a claim the IG's report is also expected to undercut.

After taking office, Trump ordered the DOJ to investigate his claims. The inspector general, Michael Horowitz, will release his full report on the matter on December 9.

While the report undermines the president's most extreme claims, it also finds fault with how the FBI handled its surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page, according to the Post.

Specifically, Horowitz found discrepancies and bureaucratic mistakes in how the FBI applied for a warrant seeking the wiretap. The IG also found evidence that an FBI employee may have altered an email connected to the Page wiretap, but concluded that the employee's conduct had no effect on the overall validity of the application or on the bureau's overarching investigation.

However, Horowitz has reportedly requested that federal prosecutors look into the FBI lawyer's alteration of the email.

Broadly, the IG report finds that the surveillance of Page was legally justified and not driven by political bias, as Trump claims.

Trump recently predicted the anticipated IG report would reveal "perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country."

  • Read more:

  • Women are the biggest supporters of impeachment and want Trump removed by an 18-point margin

  • Moderate Republicans went all in defending Trump at the impeachment hearings, which means Democrats have no chance to win them over

  • A recent court ruling could open the floodgates and let Congress haul in all of Trump's allies who have refused to testify in the impeachment inquiry

  • New documents show Trump kept 2 sets of books for his biggest property in Manhattan, pointing to potential financial fraud

NOW WATCH: Extremists turned a frog meme into a hate symbol, but Hong Kong protesters revived it as an emblem of hope

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