Chairman Schiff Statement on Release of Inspector General Report
Washington, December 9, 2019
Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, released the following statement:
“President Trump, his allies in Congress and in the conservative media, long have charged that investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, and into activities of individuals associated with the Trump campaign, were illegitimate and the products of partisan bias. The report by the Inspector General (IG) is the latest to debunk these and other conspiracy theories.
“According to the IG, the FBI’s initial investigation had a sufficient factual basis. It was opened for an authorized purpose — to protect against a potential national security threat or federal crime — and in compliance with FBI policy. The IG found no evidence that political bias influenced the decisions of senior intelligence or law enforcement officials.
“The IG’s investigation did identify issues and errors in the FISA process, including potential misconduct, and I understand that Director Wray is implementing each of the IG’s recommendations and more. Such remedial actions should be appropriately handled by career officials, away from the political arena. In this respect, the Attorney General’s repeated and obviously partisan interventions are disturbing and damaging to the independence of our law enforcement and intelligence services. The Attorney General’s gratuitous attack today on the FBI, echoed by a statement from his handpicked investigator, is designed to undermine the independent conclusions of the Inspector General. It is further evidence — if we needed any after Barr’s misrepresentation of the Mueller report — that AG Barr is not in pursuit of the truth, but rather doing the President’s political bidding.
“Our intelligence and law enforcement personnel have a duty to protect U.S. elections from foreign interference. That’s just what they did. Indeed, they would have been derelict had they not pursued investigations into unprecedented Russian interference in the 2016 elections and related matters. Those investigations were vindicated thoroughly by the Special Counsel’s revelation of serious misconduct, and by the convictions he secured — including of some of the President’s closest associates and advisors.
“It may be too much to hope that this report will put to rest the conspiracy theories about the 2016 election — especially now, when the President and his allies are eager to distract from mounting evidence of his abuse of power with respect to Ukraine. But their baseless attacks on patriotic public servants must end, so we can put our focus where it belongs: on protecting our nation and democracy from attacks by foreign powers.”