Durbin: DOJ IG Report Is Clear - The FBI's 2016 Russia Investigation Was Not Influence By Political Bias

WASHINGTON— In today’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) confirmed that IG Horowitz found no evidence that the FBI’s 2016 Russia investigation was influenced by improper motivation or political bias against President Trump in his report released on Monday.  Durbin also called for IG Horowitz to report what the DOJ IG has learned about leaks from the FBI New York office to Rudy Giuliani, who is currently President Trump’s personal lawyer, both during and after the 2016 campaign. 

“The Chairman gave an uncharacteristic, flowery, heated opening that went on for some 40 minutes and produced a lengthy record of emails from Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, which repeatedly demonstrated statements of hostility toward candidate Donald Trump,” Durbin said.  “He went on to say ‘these are the people in charge.’  When I read your summary of your findings, you didn’t find either of them to be in charge, did you?”

IG Horowitz responded that Lisa Page or Peter Strzok were not in charge of the FBI’s 2016 Russia investigation.

Durbin continued, “During the 2016 campaign, Rudy Giuliani, who was then a Trump campaign surrogate, bragged about having access to information about the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.  He teased in October 2016 that a surprise was coming, and on November 4, after Director Comey sent his letter re-opening the investigation, Giuliani said, quote, ‘I had expected this…Did I hear about it?  You’re darn right I heard about it,’ the Mayor said.  So how can we be dealing with those kinds of statements that long ago and still not have some resolution as to whether or not he was just bluffing or he had moles in that New York office?  Is there no investigation or has there been no investigation of this?”

IG Horowitz said that they are looking at this question.  He said, “We’re trying to follow up, we’re continuing to do that,” and noted, “We have investigations ongoing.”

Video of Durbin’s remarks in Committee are available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks in Committee is available here for TV Stations.

On Monday, the DOJ IG released a non-partisan report on the FBI’s 2016 Russia investigation, which concluded that the FBI’s 2016 investigation into coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia’s election interference efforts was opened for an authorized investigative purpose with sufficient factual basis.  The Inspector General also found no evidence that the Russia investigation was influenced by improper motivation or political bias against President Trump.  And nothing in the Inspector General’s report calls into question the unanimous conclusion of the intelligence community that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.