- The Washington Times - Monday, February 3, 2020

FBI Director Christopher Wray will testify before the House Judiciary Committee this week about a scathing report from the Justice Department inspector general that found the bureau bungled its investigation into the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the panel announced Monday.

Mr. Wray is set to appear before lawmakers on Wednesday to discuss FBI oversight. It will be Mr. Wray’s first congressional testimony since Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report in December.

The inspector general uncovered serious issues with the FBI’s application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to wiretap former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Mr. Horowitz found numerous missteps by the FBI including withholding evidence and doctoring an email submitted as evidence to the court.

Since the report was released, Mr. Wray outlined more than 40 corrective steps he says the bureau is making to ensure it doesn’t make the same mistakes again. In a filing with the FISC, Mr. Wray said the bureau will tighten its procedures for gathering evidence under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Mr. Wray also apologized to the court, which had publicly rebuked the FBI in a stinging memo.

“The FBI has the utmost respect for this Court and deeply regrets the errors and omissions identified by the Office of the Inspector General,” Mr. Wray wrote in the filing, saying the FBI’s handling of the Page warrant was “unacceptable” and “unrepresentative of the FBI as an institution.”

David Kris, the adviser selected to monitor the FBI’s changes, said Mr. Wray didn’t go far enough with its reforms. He called Mr. Wray’s proposals “insufficient.”

Lawmakers from both sides will likely grill the FBI director about Mr. Horowitz’s claim that he couldn’t conclude if political bias played a role in the FBI’s errors.

Republicans will likely say that just because Mr. Horowitz couldn’t find bias, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t an issue. Democrats, meanwhile, will use the conclusion to prove the FBI’s probe into the Trump campaign was justified and free from partisan decision-making.

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

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