This bombshell couldn’t have dropped at a worse time for House Democrats, who just wound up their impeachment inquiry hearings. Having presented evidence that Donald Trump acted in a manner that offended the sensibilities of members of the foreign service and diplomatic corps and nothing more, Congress now begins a week-long hiatus for the Thanksgiving holiday.
But as they leave, a troubling new report adds to the mounting evidence that Trump was a victim, not a villain, in the 2016 election run-up. Late yesterday the Justice Department reported that it is investigating an FBI official for allegedly altering a document as part of the Trump-Russia probe.
As CNN notes somewhat apprehensively:
The possibility of a substantive change to an investigative document is likely to fuel accusations from President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI committed wrongdoing in its investigation of connections between Russian election meddling and the Trump campaign. …
The finding is expected to be part of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s effort to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide. Horowitz will release the report next month.
At this point, it is not clear how critical a role the altered document played in the FBI’s investigation of Page. “The alterations were,” however, in the words of CNN, “significant enough to have shifted the document’s meaning and came up during a part of Horowitz’s FISA review where details were classified, according to the sources. According to the Washington Post, it did not change Horowitz’s finding that the FISA application had a legal basis.”