Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), the former Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, said Monday that Americans should be “disgusted” and “terrified” by the FBI’s spying on Americans.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general (IG) released his report, which found that the FBI had an authorized “purpose” to investigate the 2016 Trump campaign; however, the agency committed a series of wrongdoings in the process.
The IG report found that the FBI made “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the agency’s applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, stating agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to make sure their applications were accurate.
Grassley said that Americans should be disturbed by the FBI’s spying on Americans through the use of FISA warrants.
Sen. Grassley said in a statement Monday:
Anyone who values fundamental civil liberties in the United States should be disgusted and terrified by what the inspector general uncovered in today’s report on the FBI’s spying on an American citizen. That such abuse was carried out against a citizen working on a political campaign is just that much more disturbing. Not only did the FBI use highly-invasive surveillance tools that undermined the Fourth Amendment rights of an American, it also used a counterintelligence briefing with the campaign as an intelligence gathering operation without coordinating with other intelligence community officials.
I began raising questions about the FBI’s reliance on Christopher Steele immediately after revelations of his involvement with the FBI’s Russia probe. We now know that the FBI failed to disclose Steele’s credibility problems and political motivations when pushing the FISA Court to grant surveillance authority based largely on his research. On at least 17 separate instances, the FBI botched the FISA applications by neglecting to share exculpatory information with the officials who vetted the applications, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and simply presenting inaccurate information.
The FBI’s job is to protect Americans, our democracy and our rights. Its actions have done great harm to the public trust and jeopardize the important work that rank-and-file agents do every day for our nation.
“I look forward to the results of the inspector general’s FISA audit, as well as U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation and I hope we can all work together to begin restoring the standing of America’s top law enforcement agency,” Grassley concluded.