Last updated on March 2, 2021 4:05 pm
By Jeff Mordock
FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday that every FBI employee referenced in a scathing Justice Department Inspector General report on the origins of the infamous Trump-Russia probe has been referred for discipline.
“Every single one of them, even if mentioned only in passing, has been referred to our Office of Professional Responsibility, which is our disciplinary arm,” he said.
Mr. Wray did not say if any of the employees have been disciplined or how many employees have been impacted. He also cautioned that some FBI officials mentioned in the report left the bureau before the report was released, meaning the agency can’t take any action against them.
Speaking before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mr. Wray said the disciplinary process has been “slowed down” so as not to interfere with special counsel John Durham’s criminal review of the early stages of the FBI probe into potential ties between members of former President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.
No proof of wrongdoing was found in the initial investigation into potential Trump-Russia ties, special prosecutor Robert Mueller determined.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz in 2019 issued a damning assessment of the FBI’s actions during the early stages of the Russia collusion probe. It concluded that FBI employees withheld or doctored evidence to obtain a surveillance warrant for a Trump campaign official.
Mr. Horowitz also concluded that surveillance applications submitted to a court to obtain the warrants were riddled with errors and shoddy work.
The report said the FBI failed to adhere “to its own standards of accuracy and completeness” when it filed applications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to monitor former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith ultimately faced criminal prosecution for actions uncovered through Mr. Horowitz’s investigation.
Clinesmith last year pled guilty to altering a document to justify the surveillance of Mr. Page. He changed a document to show that Mr. Page was not a source for the CIA, even though the CIA said otherwise in the original message.
He was sentenced to one year of probation.
The case was prosecuted by Mr. Durham, whose investigation was spurred by the Horowitz report.
Mr. Wray said the disciplinary reviews have been halted to assist with the Durham probe, but did not explain the reason for the hold-up.
Mr. Durham’s investigation has been focused on the activities of the Crossfire Hurricane — the nickname the bureau assigned to the Trump-Russia probe — investigation within the FBI.