The Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Michael Horowitz should have been disturbing to all Americans regardless of your political affiliation. As Chairman Lindsey Graham said, it was as if J. Edgar Hoover had been resurrected from the dead. Under Hoover’s long-standing leadership intimidation and abuse by the FBI were common. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was fraught with serious performance failures from its inception. Senator Cruz couldn’t have been more accurate when he referred to the FBI’s handling of Crossfire Hurricane as “Beavis & Butthead.” Mr. Horowitz could not identify any political bias in the initiation of the Russia investigation. There can be no other explanation for the extreme carelessness and incompetence at all levels of the FBI other than a desire to bring down Donald Trump. FBI lawyers and agents falsified FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) applications to obtain surveillance authority and ultimately spy on Carter Page. The justifiable reason given for singling out Mr. Page was the fact that he had contacts with various Russians. What was not disclosed to the FISA court was that Mr. Page was acting in a capacity as a CIA informant at the time. Although Donald Trump was not specifically targeted, the President was correct that he was “spied” on through his contacts with Carter Page. In essence, everyone with whom Mr. Page came into contact was spied upon. Instrumental in all of the FISA applications was a salacious research document that was paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Known as the Steele Dossier, it was composed by Christopher Steele, a former British Intelligence Officer who retired in 2009. Neither Steele nor the FBI verified the accuracy of the information that was ultimately submitted to the FISA courts. Steele’s “research” consisted of second-hand information that was nothing more than rumor and speculation, some of it during gathered from conversation over beers. The FBI later determined that Steele further embellished much of the report.
James Comey, FBI Director at the time of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation, believes the Horowitz report vindicated him. How could three different, hand-picked teams of top FBI agents make repeated and numerous basic, fundamental errors on FISA applications? As FBI Director Mr. Comey was responsible for the behavior of his agents. How do we know there was not an atmosphere of animus at the very top of the FBI that spread through the ranks? One glaring oversight in the situation of Donald Trump was that he was never informed that the FBI believed the Russians were trying to infiltrate his campaign. I feel it was an intentional effort to trap Trump in a crime of espionage that could not only end his campaign but put him in jail. The current FBI Director, Christopher Wray must reform the agency and assure that such incompetence does not occur in the future. Americans must again have faith in their top law enforcement agency. Senator Graham has discussed revising the FISA court system to prevent a repeat situation. We must feel secure that our everyday movements and conversations are not constantly monitored. Such behavior may be considered commonplace in Communist China, Russia and North Korea, but the U. S. Constitution is supposed to protect our most basic liberties from government intrusion.