Republican Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) has called for a Senate hearing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) pattern of rule-breaking in sensitive investigations.
On Thursday, Cruz sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Dick Durbin asking for an oversight hearing into the FBI following a bombshell report on the Bureau’s conduct.
Cruz was referring to an audit report that was obtained by The Washington Times.
It notes FBI agents violated agency rules at least 747 times in 18 months while conducting investigations into politicians, political candidates, religious groups, and the news media.
Cruz argues that these are exactly the types of sensitive investigations subject to meticulous compliance and oversight requirements to ensure the FBI avoided abusing its immense powers to engage in politically-motivated investigations.
The senator notes that the number and nature of the errors reported in the audit suggest a disturbing pattern of mismanagement, misconduct, and abuses within the FBI.
RELEASE: Sen. Cruz Calls For Senate Judiciary Hearing on FBI Rule-Breaking in Sensitive Investigations
— Senator Ted Cruz (@SenTedCruz) April 1, 2022
Cruz wrote in the letter:
“As the report details, of the 997 non-compliance errors made, 79% were substantial in nature, meaning they were ‘of significance to the matter and…more than a minor deviation from a … requirement.’
“Notably among those is the failure to obtain authorization in opening an investigation, which is ‘about as radical as it gets.’
“Further, several portions of the audit, including those regarding investigative methods, search warrants, and recommendations were redacted, presumably to shelter the FBI from public criticism.
“I am concerned about Director [Christopher] Wray’s FBI and its pattern of stonewalling,” he added.
“For example, the FBI declined to provide responsive information regarding its 2016 probe of Concerned Women for America as requested by Chairman Grassley and similarly declined to provide simple answers in my recent questioning of Director Sanborne, regarding the FBI’s degree of involvement in January 6th.”
Cruz argued that the Senate should hear directly from Inspector General Michael Horowitz and FBI Director Wray regarding the audit.
“I, therefore, call on [Durbin] to convene a full Committee hearing, or to the extent necessary, a closed hearing of the full Committee, to ensure transparency and accountability,” he wrote.
The Washington Times report on the audit explained that “the FBI auditors reviewed a small portion of the bureau’s portfolio.
“They studied 353 cases involving sensitive investigative matters — less than half of the total number of such cases — and found rules broken 747 times from Jan. 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019.”
“Sensitive investigative matters are actions that may impact constitutional rights because they involve people engaged in such things as politics, governance, religious expression, and news reporting.”