Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, edited December 8, 2019
The Department of Justice (Department) Office of the Inspector General (OIG) undertook this review to examine certain actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department during an FBI investigation opened on July 31, 2016, known as
“Crossfire Hurricane,” into whether individuals associated with the Donald J. Trump for President Campaign were coordinating, wittingly or unwittingly, with the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Our review included examining:
- The decision to open Crossfire Hurricane and four individual cases on current and former members of the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort, and Michael Flynn; the early investigative steps taken; and whether the openings and early steps complied with Department and FBI policies;
- The FBI’s relationship with Christopher Steele, whom the FBI considered to be a confidential human source (CHS); its receipt, use, and evaluation of election reports from Steele; and its decision to close Steele as an FBI CHS;
- Four FBI applications filed with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in 2016 and 2017 to conduct Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) surveillance targeting Carter Page; and whether these applications complied with Department and FBI policies and satisfied the government’s obligations to the FISC;
- The interactions of Department attorney Bruce Ohr with Steele, the FBI, Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, and the State Department; whether work Ohr’s spouse performed for Fusion GPS implicated ethical rules applicable to Ohr; and Ohr’s interactions with Department attorneys regarding the Manafort criminal case; and
- The FBI’s use of Undercover Employees (UCEs) and CHSs other than Steele in the Crossfire Hurricane investigation; whether the FBI placed any CHSs within the Trump campaign or tasked any CHSs to report on the Trump campaign; whether the use of CHSs and UCEs complied with Department and FBI policies; and the attendance of a Crossfire Hurricane supervisory agent at counterintelligence briefings given to the 2016 presidential candidates and certain campaign advisors.