A Former federal prosecutor said that the FBI risked powers needed to protect the United States for “partisan reasons” and risked the country’s security during the investigation into claims Russia colluded with former President Donald Trump in 2016.
“The scandalous thing here is that we now know in the history of this that it will be written is that the intelligence and law enforcement apparatus of the government was put in the service of the politics of one party in connection not only with an election, but when that failed, it was sustained for another two years in order to hamstring a sitting United States president,” Andrew McCarthy told “The Story” host Martha MacCallum. “He was the president that needed to govern the United States. They did this for partisan reasons.”
Special Counsel John Durham released a report on the origins of the FBI investigation of allegations that Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign colluded with Russia Monday that found that the FBI “did not and could not corroborate” the claims.
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Claims that former President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia relied on evidence from the now-discredited Steele Dossier. Michael Sussman, a lawyer for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, was acquitted on charges of lying to the FBI in May 2022 that stemmed from his involvement in pushing the dossier, which was reportedly funded by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee through the Perkins Coie law firm.
Durham’s report said that FBI agents abused laws governing domestic surveillance in the investigation into Trump. The FBI obtained warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor communications by Carter Page and other associates of former President Trump during Trump’s successful 2016 campaign for the White House.
“What if the truth is worse? What if they know what an influence operation is and they’re lying about it? If you can’t trust them, we can’t trust them to wield those powers,” McCarthy said. “It’s not like if we take the powers away, it’s fine because we’ll be safe.”
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“We need the powers to protect the country,” McCarthy continued. “When they rolled the dice for partisan reasons, what they put in the middle of the table were these powers that we need to protect the United States.”
The FISA abuses were discussed during a Feb. 9 hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee’s Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.
On Monday, the FBI released a statement:
The conduct in 2016 and 2017 that Special Counsel Durham examined was the reason that current FBI leadership already implemented dozens of corrective actions, which have now been in place for some time. Had those reforms been in place in 2016, the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented. This report reinforces the importance of ensuring the FBI continues to do its work with the rigor, objectivity, and professionalism the American people deserve and rightly expect.
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