FBI Director Christopher Wray and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz will certainly be in the focus when they face the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday to testify on Horowitz’s shocking report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.
The report which was released last week criticizes former FBI Director James Comey and refers to five other bureau employees for potential disciplinary action. Most notably, it found that the anti-Trump text messages exchanged between FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI attorney Lisa Page “potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations.”
On the other hand, Horowitz also notes in the report that the FBI’s move not to prosecute Clinton in July 2016 was not politically biased against then-candidate Donald Trump.
Despite text messages in which the FBI agent and attorney lament the fact that Trump was elected president, the watchdog didn’t find evidence that “the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations.”
“The question I have [is] was the Department of Justice and the FBI, the people in charge of the Clinton investigation, were they really in the tank or not,” asked Judiciary Committee member Lindsey Graham, prior to the report’s release. “We’ll see what the conclusions are and I will challenge Mr. Horowitz [on whether] his conclusion that they weren’t in the tank makes sense. Time will tell.”
The report found that then-director Comey was “insubordinate” when he didn’t inform then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch that he planned to announce Clinton won’t be charged. What’s interesting is that Horowitz found that Comey himself conducted FBI business using his personal email account in a manner “inconsistent with Department policy.”
During the hearing this afternoon, Republicans on the committee are expected to grill Wray, who maintained Thursday that “nothing in the report impugns the integrity of our workforce as a whole or the FBI as an institution.”