Senate Judiciary Committee member John Kennedy, R-La., said Wednesday that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA abuse during the 2016 Trump presidential campaign made him want to vomit.
While questioning Horowitz, Kennedy said the inspector general did a good job in compiling his report and that its findings are not a reflection on him.
“I’m about 70 percent of the way through but I’m going to finish it, and it is tedious… It’s supposed to be tedious,” he said.
“After about 15 percent of the way through, it made me want to heave,” Kennedy added. “After about 25 percent of the way through I thought I had dropped acid — it is surreal, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Horowitz replied that the contents of the report also continue to “surprise” him.
Kennedy later referred to the FBI’s investigation into alleged connections between Trump campaign associates and Russia — dubbed “Crossfire Hurricane” — as “Misfire Hurricane” and asked whether some of the upper-level officials that have remained at the FBI since the campaign are still working on FISA surveillance applications.
Horowitz said the bureau itself may be a better source for those answers.
The Louisiana Republican also asked about Bruce Ohr, a Justice Department official who formerly led the Organized Crime-Drug Enforcement Task Force, and had been demoted after his connection to Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm responsible for the anti-Trump dossier, came to light.
“It’s easier to divorce your spouse around here than get fired,” Kennedy remarked.
The senator also got the inspector general to state on the record that the report “does not vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership.” However, he clarified that former FBI lawyer Lisa Page was not involved in the “FISA chain” of officials, but took part in other “discussions.”
Earlier in his line of questioning, Kennedy remarked that Horowitz must have “strong kidneys” to withstand several hours straight in the witness chair.
The tone of the inspector general’s testimony overall ran counter to much of the coverage surrounding the report’s release that focused on the finding that investigators found no evidence of political bias and were indeed justified in launching the 2016 probe.
Horowitz reaffirmed that finding, touted by congressional Democrats eager to defend the probe, at Wednesday’s hearing. But his testimony as a whole amounted to a tough assessment of the bureau’s actions — and clarified that his two-year review on the Russia probe’s origins and use of FISA warrants to surveil a Trump campaign aide did not close the book on the bias question either.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.