Jeff Sessions on IG Report: ‘A Stunning Development’

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a senior reporter for The Epoch Times based in New York. He covers breaking news.
December 12, 2019Updated: December 12, 2019

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he was stunned by some of the details disclosed in Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on Monday.

In the Horowitz report, it was revealed that an FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, who doesn’t work for the agency any longer, altered an email involved in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process to ultimately surveil candidate Donald Trump’s campaign staffer Carter Page in 2016.

“In my experience, as 15 years as a federal prosecutor, I’ve never seen anything like that,” Sessions told Fox News’s “The Ingraham Angle” on Wednesday. “I think that’s a stunning development in the seriousness of a FISA warrant involving a presidential campaign.”

Horowitz testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday and criticized the FBI for a systematic failure in overseeing a flawed effort to gain authority to surveil Page.

“We are deeply concerned that so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked investigative teams; on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations; after the matter had been briefed to the highest levels within the FBI; even though the information sought through use of FISA authority related so closely to an ongoing presidential campaign; and even though those involved with the investigation knew that their actions were likely to be subjected to close scrutiny,” Horowitz said in his opening remarks.

After questioning, Horowitz stated that he could not outright determine that a bias was involved in the process of applying for a FISA warrant. In the report, he said there was no political bias.

Sessions, who had served as a Republican senator from Alabama, told Fox that the FBI should have told Trump if there was troubling information.

“Normally, the right thing to do is to say, ‘Mr. President, campaign manager, these individuals, we have troubling information about them. You should be very careful with them. We suggest you should not associate with them,'” Sessions said. “Instead of trying to shoehorn an investigation that might have, they hope maybe would develop, you know, information about the president. You should not only be seeking to protect … the campaign or the campaign leaders or the president.”

He called on U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is leading a criminal investigation into the FBI, to look into some of the issues Horowitz raised.

“Mr. Durham has to get to the bottom of this, else the American people will not accept the results,” he said.

In the hearing, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) pressed Horowitz on the role political bias could have played in the FISA warrant on Page.

Eventually, Horowitz replied, “I think it’s fair for people to sit there and look at all of these 17 events and wonder how it could be purely incompetence.”

He also said that he “agrees completely” with the assertion that someone at the FBI needs to be fired. The “culture” also needs to be “changed” at the FBI, he added.