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Justice Department's Internal Watchdog To Review Alleged Surveillance Abuse: NPR



An internal Justice Department watchdog is opening a review of the Department of Justice and the FBI (headquarters pictured here), over alleged abuse of surveillance authority.
                
                
                    
                    Mark Wilson / Getty Images
                    
                

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images
        
    

Mark Wilson / Getty Images.

An internal Justice Department watchdog is opening a review of the Department of Justice and the FBI (headquarters pictured here)
            
        

The Justice Department's internal watchdog says it is launching a review in response to allegations by the Republican lawmakers that the FBI has abused their authority to investigate a Trump campaign adviser in the early days of the DOJ's Russia investigation. [19659008Thedepartment'sinspectorgeneralMichaelEHorowitzsaidinastatementthattheJusticeDepartmentandtheFBIfollowtheproceduresandlegalrequirementswhenapplyingforsurveillanceordersForeignIntelligenceSurveillanceCourt

This individual is not named, but it appears to be a reference to Carter Page, who served as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. Trump's team was released in October 2016.

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee released a memorandum of understanding the early stages of the DOJ Russia rehearsal. Republicans also alleged that the FBI improvisedly relied on an unauthorized dossier compiled by British spy, Christopher Steele, in its application.

That document, known The Trump-Russia dossier was commissioned by a Strategic Intelligence Firm, Fusion GPS, which was hired by Hillary Clinton's Campaign and Democrats.

The Inspector General's review also wanted to look into what the FBI and Justice Department knew "from an Alleged confidential source

After Republicans released their memo in February, they urged the Justice Department to examine the allegations of misconduct. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Democrats dismissed the Republican allegations as Trump and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller's Investigations into Possible Trump Campaign and Russia.

In response to the Republican memo, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee released their own countermemo that concluded there was no misconduct on the part of the Justice Department or FBI in their surveillance of page. They also said the FBI did not rely on the Trump-Russia dossier in its surveillance applications, but rather on multiple sources and on abundance of material to support their case.

On Wednesday, the top Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York,

"It is a shame that the Inspector General has to devote resources to investigate a conspiracy theory as fact-free, openly political, and thoroughly debunked as the President's so-called 'FISA abuse,' "Nadler said in a statement.

" Any objective review of these claims should tell us what we already have Trump campaign officials for their connections to the Russian government, and that the Republicans are desperate to extract from that investigation, "he said

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles Grassley of Iowa, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham –

Republicans, meanwhile, welcomed the Inspector General's review and the FBI's relationship with Steele – applauded the decision to look into the matter. But Graham said he still thinks he needs a second special counsel.


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