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Senate Republican calls on Trump to declassify record on FBI surveillance of campaign adviser

Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) is calling on President Trump to declassify the record of the FBI’s use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to surveil former campaign adviser Carter Page after the Justice Department’s inspector general found errors in the applications.

“The Inspector General report showed the FBI was willing to do anything in order to spy on Carter Page, including making 17 significant inaccuracies and omissions. The American public deserves to know everything the FBI did,” Kennedy said in a statement Friday.

“I’m asking President Trump to declassify the entire record so that Attorney General Barr and FBI Director Wray can release it to the American people. If the FBI wants to continue the employment of rogue, politically-motivated agents, then let the public read the entire record.”

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Republicans have pounced on Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report published this week on the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling, in which he detailed a breakdown in the bureau’s request to a court overseeing FISA applications.

“I think the activities we found don’t vindicate anybody who touched this,” Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee, on which Kennedy sits, at a hearing this week.

The inspector general reported a total of 17 “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in the applications to monitor Page, taking particular issue with applications to renew the FISA warrant and hammering the FBI for failing to sufficiently explain the errors. 

“This has got to be fixed. At a minimum, somebody’s got to be fired,” Kennedy said at the hearing. 

“There’s got to be a change in the culture, also,” Horowitz replied.

While Horowitz maintained that the FBI’s probe was not borne out of political bias, Republicans have seized on his issues with the bureau’s FISA requests to suggest that the agency was determined to investigate Trump’s campaign.

The Trump administration already disclosed a set of redacted documents related to the wiretapping of Page, saying he was surveilled because the agency believed he had “been the subject of targeted recruitment by the Russian government.”

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