An internal watchdog’s report on Justice Department surveillance of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign is slated to arrive in early December—about the same time as a likely House vote on whether to impeach the president.
“Now what you’re going to see, I predict, will be perhaps the biggest scandal in the history of our country,” Trump said Friday of the pending report from the Justice Department’s inspector general.
Trump commented on the expected report and House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry in a phone interview with “Fox & Friends.”
Here is what’s known about what will happen next.
1. What’s Going to Be in IG Report?
The report from Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz on the FBI’s actions in obtaining a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to spy on Trump campaign aide Carter Page will be released Dec. 9. Horowitz is scheduled to testify two days later before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The inpector general’s investigation reportedly will conclude that an FBI lawyer wrongfully altered an email regarding the application for the FISA warrant. The lawyer previously had expressed a strong anti-Trump bias, according to news reports.
However, these news reports say, Horowitz determined that there were proper legal grounds to seek the FISA warrant.
2. Who Is Kevin Clinesmith?
The FBI lawyer in question reportedly is Kevin Clinesmith, who was identified as “Attorney 2” in the June 2018 inspector general’s report about the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to do official business as secretary of state.
Clinesmith worked with line FBI agents on the surveillance warrants targeting Page.
The coming report is expected to conclude that Clinesmith altered an email message that he received from another federal official. The report is expected to say that the FBI lawyer sent the altered message to supervisors who were working to obtain the FISA warrant, without informing them of the changes he made.