In a Friday letter sent to Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA), Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), and House Administration Committee Chairperson Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) called on Horowtiz to conduct an “emergency investigation” into Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the Durham probe and whether he has authority to issue an ‘interim’ report.
The four House committee chairs are urging Horowtiz to investigate whether AG Barr, U.S. Connecticut Attorney John Durham, and other political appointees are in violation of longstanding Department policy and federal law to avoid taking any action – including making public comments on ongoing investigations – that could improperly influence the upcoming presidential election, according to a press release.
“Under longstanding DOJ policy, the Attorney General is expected to refrain from commenting on an ongoing investigation. Attorney General Barr and U.S. Attorney Durham have made several public comments that could violate this Department policy and related guidelines,” the Democratic members wrote to DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz.
“Attorney General Barr has signaled repeatedly that he is likely to allow DOJ to take prosecutorial actions, make public disclosures, and even issue reports before the presidential election in November. Such actions clearly appear intended to benefit President Trump politically,” they said.
“The Democratic committee chairs continued, “Few actions would prove more damaging to public confidence in the integrity of the DOJ and our democratic process than the perception that federal prosecutorial power can be used to prejudice a pending investigation or influence an upcoming election.”
“As such, we believe it is imperative that this matter be immediately investigated, that you inform our Committees of your decision to open an investigation, and that you report the results promptly to our Committees,” the Democratic chairs wrote. Continued Below
“For these reasons, we ask that you conduct an emergency review examining the following issues related to Attorney General Barr’s actions and U.S. Attorney Durham’s work,” the Democratic members wrote.
“Few actions would prove more damaging to public confidence in the integrity of the DOJ and our democratic process than the perception that federal prosecutorial power can be used to prejudice a pending investigation or influence an upcoming election. As such, we believe it is imperative that this matter be immediately investigated, that you inform our Committees of your decision to open an investigation, and that you report the results promptly to our Committees,” they said. Continued Below
Read the full letter HERE.
John Durham’s probe has already led to one conviction with former FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who plead guilty and admitted that the altered an email to say that Carter Page was not a source for another government agency. Page has said he worked with the CIA. That email was part of a chain that was used as evidence in the final warrant renewal application in 2017.
IG Horowitz found at least 17 significant errors or omissions during his investigation, which was revealed in his December 2019 report.
“As a result of the 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions we identified, relevant information was not shared with, and consequently not considered by, important Department decision makers and the court, and the FISA applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case. We also found basic, fundamental, and serious errors during the completion of the FBl’s factual accuracy reviews, known as the Woods Procedures, which are designed to ensure that FISA applications contain a full and accurate presentation of the facts,” stated Horowitz’s report.
Related: Comey ‘Can’t Imagine’ He’s A ‘Target’ Of Durham’s Probe, Catherine Herridge Suggests Otherwise)