The Justice Department inspector general says an FBI employee may have altered a document connected to court-approved surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser, but concluded that the conduct did not affect the overall validity of the surveillance application, the Washington Post reports. The person under scrutiny is a low-level FBI lawyer who has since been forced out of the agency. The allegation is in a draft of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report analyzing the FBI’s Russia investigation. The report is scheduled to be released Dec. 9.
The employee was forced out of the FBI after the incident was discovered. Horowitz found that the employee erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim, they said. That conduct did not alter Horowitz’s finding that the surveillance application of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had a proper legal and factual basis. Horowitz has been exploring various aspects of the Russia probe but was focused in particular on applications the FBI filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor Page’s electronic communications. President Trump and fellow Republicans have been clamoring for the report’s release, particularly as House Democrats have held high-profile impeachment hearings. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, plans to hold a hearing with testimony from Horowitz on Dec. 11.