- The Washington Times - Monday, December 9, 2019

Former FBI Director James Comey said Monday Attorney General William Barr “slimed” the Justice Department by claiming FBI agents may have spied on the Trump campaign.

Mr. Comey made the claims in a Washington Post op-ed posted just hours after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz found the FBI was justified in investigating alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

However, Mr. Horowitz also found an FBI application to surveil ex-Trump campaign aide Carter Page was riddled with errors, mistakes and omissions.

Mr. Comey said the inspector general’s conclusions dispute claims by President Trump and Mr. Barr that partisan animosity was a factor in opening the Russia probe.

“Well, the wait is over and those who smeared the FBI are due for an accounting,” Mr. Comey wrote. “In particularly, Attorney General William P. Barr owes the institution he leads, and the American people, an acknowledgment of the truth.”

Continuing his attack, Mr. Comey said Mr. Barr “slimed” the Justice Department by supporting the president’s claims of FBI spying on his campaign.

“Unfortunately, it appears that Barr will continue his practice of deriding the Justice Department when the facts don’t agree with Trump’s fiction,” he wrote. “Pointing to his personally commissioned ‘review’ of the FBI’s case-opening, Barr has declared it is too soon to conclude the FBI was right to start an investigation. If his goal is to simply to support president’s conspiracy theories, it will always be too soon to acknowledge the facts.”

Although Mr. Comey took the president and attorney general to task for alleging the FBI has spied on the Trump campaign, the Horowitz report does not directly refute that claim.

The report details the FBI’s use of human sources and undercover informants to obtain evidence for the probe. However, Mr. Horowitz said no informants were placed inside the campaign nor were campaign members recruited as informants.

In fact, Mr. Horowitz revealed for the first time that the FBI used a confidential source to approach an unidentified high-level Trump campaign official in September 2016. The official did not reveal anything of value in the investigation, the report said.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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