F.B.I. officials had sufficient reason to open the investigation into links between Russia and Trump campaign aides in 2016 and acted without political bias, a long-awaited report said on Monday, but it concluded that the inquiry was a rushed and dysfunctional process marked by serious errors in documents related to a wiretap.
ABC reports that even though a major Department of Justice inspector general report released Monday determined the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election was launched with an authorized purpose, President Donald Trump claimed that the report “was far worse than I ever thought possible.”
“It’s a disgrace what’s happened with respect to the things that were done to our country,” Trump told reporters at the White House Monday afternoon. “It should never again happen to another president.” He called the report’s findings “an embarrassment” and “dishonest” and said it was “a very sad day.”
New York Times reports that the exhaustive report by the Justice Department’s independent inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, faced an immediate challenge. Attorney General William P. Barr sought to undermine the key finding that investigators had an adequate basis to open the inquiry, known as Crossfire Hurricane.
Following the release of the report on Monday, FBI Director Chris Wray and Attorney General William Barr gave conflicting responses to the findings from the report.
“I think it’s important that the Inspector General found that in this particular instance the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization,” Wray told ABC News in an exclusive broadcast interview on Monday.
Barr, in a statement reacting to the report’s release, stated that he believed the evidence compiled by Horowitz showed that the FBI “launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”