US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to charge the US Justice Department inspector general with investigating the FBI's alleged abuse of its surveillance authority met with sharp criticism from President Trump who believes the matter warrants a probe by prosecutors instead.
The president and some GOP lawmakers have contended that investigators abused their surveillance authority when petitioning the FISA court for a surveillance warrant on former Trump adviser Carter Page, who has been under surveillance since a 2014 probe into a Russian spy ring operating out of New York identified him as an unwitting player and who became a figure of interest in the FBI's Russia collusion investigation.
Trump contended last year without substantiation that former President Obama ordered wiretaps of his New York offices in Trump Tower preceding the election. He has suggested numerous times that the Justice Department should investigate potential surveillance abuses. Sessions said he was acting on allegations by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, D-Calif., who served on the Trump transition team and has been a vocal critic of the FBI's actions, by enlisting IG Michael Horowitz to probe the matter.