07:41 GMT27 May 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The US Justice Department will launch a review of the FBI's handling of requests for surveillance orders from the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) said in what appeared to be a response to calls for an investigation into alleged mishandling of the Russiagate.

    "Department of Justice Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz announced today that, in response to requests from the Attorney General and Members of Congress, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department's and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain US person," the a press release said on Wednesday.

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Republican members of Congress have demanded an investigation into whether the FBI properly handled requests for FISA surveillance warrants on President Donald Trump's former campaign adviser Carter Page.

    The Office of Inspector General also seemed to indicate that it would seek to uncover whether the FBI's surveillance requests were based on information it received from ex-British spy Christopher Steele.

    "As part of this examination, the OIG also will review information that was known to the DOJ and the FBI at the time the applications were filed from or about an alleged FBI confidential source," the release said.

    Republican members of Congress have alleged that the FBI improperly relied on information given to it by Steele to obtain its surveillance warrants. Steele was was at the time conducting research funded by the Democratic Party into Trump's alleged links to Russia.

    The OIG review will examine the Justice Department's and FBI's relations and communications with the "confidential source" in connection to the FISC applications, the release said.

    The Inspector General will consider adding other issues that may come up during the review if circumstances warrant, the release added.

    The FBI sought the surveillance warrants as part of its probe into allegations of Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election. Russia has repeatedly denied interfering in the vote, and Trump has dismissed accusations of collusion between his campaign team and the Kremlin.


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    investigation, US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), Russiagate, US Department of Justice, FBI, United States
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