Justice Department Watchdog Briefs Lawmakers on FBI Bias Inquiry

(Bloomberg) -- A closed-door meeting with the Justice Department’s internal watchdog Thursday sparked sharply different takes from House Republicans and Democrats on whether there’s much the public doesn’t know about government investigative actions during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“It confirmed a lot of the things we suspected,” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, a Republican on the Judiciary Committee, who declined to provide details on the meeting with Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

Jordan has been among leaders of his party alleging that bias and mishandling by the government tainted the probes of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and of Russian election interference.

Democrats who attended the briefing had a different take-away.

“I walked away with a feeling there was nothing that changed the ultimate conclusions of the Inspector General,” said Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois, a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

In his June 14 report, Horowitz’s office found there was anti-Donald Trump sentiment by some within the FBI during the Clinton investigation and that “the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

But he also said “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.”

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