State Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing the FBI and the Justice Department violated federal criminal law in their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, according to investigative reporter Paul Sperry.
Horowitz, who informed members of Congress Wednesday that his draft report has been completed, has referred his findings to John W. Huber, the U.S. attorney in Utah, for possible criminal prosecution, Sperry said.
Huber was appointed by Attorney General Jeff Sessions in March to work with Horowitz to investigate the accusations of FBI misconduct.
He also said the Horowitz report found former FBI Director James Comey and former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates targeted Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s national security adviser, in a counter-intelligence investigation one year before Flynn communicated with the Russian ambassador in December 2016 as a Trump transition official.
The trigger, Sperry said, was Flynn sitting at the same table with Russian President Vladimir Putin at a December 2015 event in Moscow.
Sperry points out, however, that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein also was at the table with Putin.
Comey and Yates had at least five members of Trump’s team under secret federal surveillance during the 2016 campaign, Flynn, Sperry said.
BREAKING: IG Horowitz has found “reasonable grounds” for believing there has been a violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s and has referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) May 17, 2018
In a letter to members of Congress on Wednesday, Horowitz did not say when the results of the review will be officially released to the FBI, DOJ and congressional committees, Fox News reported.
The agencies and committees will go over the information to determine if any of it should be protected from disclosure.
“Additionally, consistent with our usual process, we have asked the Department and FBI to provide us with any comments they wish us to consider regarding the report’s accuracy and completeness,” Horowitz wrote in his letter to lawmakers.
For more than a year, Horowitz has been examining allegations such as whether or not it was improper for Comey to make a public announcement about the FBI’s decision not to refers charges to the Justice Department in the Clinton investigation.
Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe also is under scrutiny. In April, Horowitz sent a criminal referral for McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington in response to his finding that McCabe leaked information to media about the Clinton investigation and lied about it to investigators.
“We will update you on the specific timing for the report’s release, and I will be prepared to provide a briefing and testify publicly about our findings and conclusions as soon as the report is released,” Horowitz said.
In November, Horowitz said his team was looking at whether “certain underlying investigative decisions were based on improper considerations.”
It was Horowitz’s review that uncovered the anti-Trump texts of FBI official Peter Strzok, who wrote of an “insurance policy” in case Trump became president. The texts led to Strzok’s removal from Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation.