FISA report drop could scramble Trump impeachment effort

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz plans to drop his long-awaited report on FBI surveillance during the 2016 campaign just as House Democrats are moving toward likely articles of impeachment.

For allies of President Trump, the timing could be perfect.

No matter how the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act review judges the actions of law enforcement with regard to Trump campaign associate surveillance, the report will give Trump the opportunity to shift focus once more to the Russia “witch hunt” — and, as he has before, attempt to link that to Democrats’ escalating impeachment inquiry over his dealings with Ukraine.

“What they have coming out is historic,” Trump himself teased last week, in an interview with “Fox & Friends.”

Previewing his rhetorical line of attack, he said: “This was spying on my campaign. … This was an overthrow attempt at the presidency.”

As he’s already telegraphing, Trump is poised to argue anew that he has been the victim of unfair investigations since he was a candidate for president — and allies say he’ll be able to hammer home those claims, at a time when he’ll need to keep any wavering Republicans by his side should impeachment head to the Senate for trial.

Horowitz has been investigating alleged FISA abuses related to the Justice Department and FBI’s surveillance of Trump associates during the 2016 campaign for more than a year and a half. The report, which is said to have few redactions, is expected to be made public on Dec. 9. – READ MORE

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