Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report detailing potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the Obama administration was initially expected in May, then it was delayed to September. Now, just two weeks from Thanksgiving, Horowitz has yet to finalize his report.
So, what's the hold up? According to former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R), the long delay is related to U.S. Attorney John Durham's probe into the origins of the FBI's Russia investigation, which as of last month became a criminal investigation.
"I don't think it has anything to do with Horowitz delaying it, I think it's the fact that Durham actually is moving forward on some prosecution," Chaffetz told Fox News host Sean Hannity on Friday.
The former Utah lawmaker said he has "talked to enough people" about the investigation to believe Horowitz's report will come before Thanksgiving. He also predicted the report will be a blow to many senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration.
"Sean, I learned a long time ago from inspectors general, when the subjects of the investigation start squealing before it's published, you know it's going to be devastating. That would be [John] Brennan, [James] Clapper, [James] Comey, and [Andrew] McCabe those people are squealing the most right now and I think are going to take at the hardest in the shorts in this report," Chaffetz said.
Jason Chaffetz: FISA report delay signals Durham moving forward on a prosecutionwww.youtube.com
Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, corroborated Chaffetz's theory on Monday. He told Hannity the delay is likely due to a "broadened" scope of investigation and the potential of prosecution.
"I'm concerned for people like [former Deputy FBI Director Andrew] McCabe, [former FBI Director James] Comey, even Rod Rosenstein... Sally Yates — anybody who signed off on one of those FISA warrant applications," Biggs said. "I believe they're culpable in some way."