“I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this FISA,” Horowitz said in Senate testimony about the report Wednesday.
The whole thing would seem to be a major shot in the arm for President Trump’s claims of misconduct by law enforcement — if only he hadn’t spent two-plus years speculating wildly about things significantly worse than what Horowitz actually found.
Horowitz’s report and testimony provided a number of rebukes to various conspiracy theories lodged by Trump. Chief among them is that the whole thing was a “witch hunt.” Horowitz found that the Russia investigation was warranted; he also found no “evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions” to open the Russia probe and four cases into Trump campaign aides.
But that wasn’t the only one. Here are some other Trump conspiracy theories Horowitz addressed Wednesday when asked about them.
Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower
The claim: “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” — March 4, 2017
Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my "wires tapped" in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
The rebukes: No. 1:
SEN. RICHARD BLUMENTHAL (D-CONN.): Did you find any evidence that the FBI tapped the phones at Trump Tower?HOROWITZ: No. The only surveillance we found is what’s laid out here.
SEN. CHRISTOPHER A. COONS (D-DEL.): Did your investigation identify any evidence President Obama ordered the FBI to tap Donald Trump’s phone?HOROWITZ: We didn’t find any evidence the FBI had tapped any other phones other than the FISA we addressed.
The FBI interfered in the election
The claims: “Those are illegal, improper goals, trying to influence the Election.” — Aug. 1, 2018
“FBI Agent Peter Strzok (on the Mueller team) should have recused himself on day one. He was out to STOP THE ELECTION OF DONALD TRUMP. He needed an insurance policy. Those are illegal, improper goals, trying to influence the Election. He should never, ever been allowed to........— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 1, 2018
“An incredibly corrupt FBI & DOJ trying to steer the outcome of a Presidential Election” — Trump quoting Judicial Watch, on Aug. 16, 2018
“....An incredibly corrupt FBI & DOJ trying to steer the outcome of a Presidential Election. Brennan has gone off the deep end, he’s disgraced and discredited himself. His conduct has been outrageous.” Chris Farrell, Judicial Watch.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2018
BLUMENTHAL: I didn’t find any conclusion that the FBI meddled or interfered in the election to affect the outcome.HOROWITZ: We did not reach that conclusion.
The FBI tried to overthrow Trump, once in office
The claims: “This was an overthrow of government. This was an attempted overthrow.” — Dec. 9, 2019
“This was an overthrow attempt at the presidency. They tried to overthrow the presidency. This is a disgrace.” — Nov. 22, 2019
“So, I really say, now we have to get down because this was a coup. This was an attempted overthrow of the United States government.” — April 25, 2019
BLUMENTHAL: Is there any evidence that you found that the FBI tried to overthrow the president?HOROWITZ: No, we found the issues we identified here. That’s what we found.
The FBI planted an informant in his campaign
The claims: “Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI ‘SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.’ — May 17, 2018
Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2018
“The corrupt Mainstream Media is working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign! Surveillance much?” — May 31, 2018
The corrupt Mainstream Media is working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign! Surveillance much?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018
The rebukes: No. 1:
BLUMENTHAL: Did you find any evidence that the FBI planted informants in the Trump campaign?HOROWITZ: No.
BLUMENTHAL: Did you find evidence that the FBI put spies in the Trump campaign?HOROWITZ: I’m going to speak to the terminology used in the department that we oversee, which is “confidential human sources.” And we did not find evidence that the FBI sought to place confidential human sources inside the campaign or plant them inside the campaign.
The FBI tried to entrap his campaign aides
The claim: “They are Entrapping people for misstatements, lies or unrelated things that took place many years ago. Nothing to do with Collusion. A Democrat Scam!” — Dec. 16, 2018
....The Russian Witch Hunt Hoax, started as the “insurance policy” long before I even got elected, is very bad for our Country. They are Entrapping people for misstatements, lies or unrelated things that took place many years ago. Nothing to do with Collusion. A Democrat Scam!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2018
BLUMENTHAL: Did you find any evidence that the FBI tried specifically to entrap any of the individuals who were the focus of their investigation — namely, Manafort, Flynn, Papadopoulos or Page?HOROWITZ: Entrapment’s a legal term when you’re moving forward on a criminal case, and we didn’t see that in this case.