Michael Evan Horowitz (born September 19, 1962) is an American attorney and government official. He is the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice.
Early life and education
Horowitz is the son of Anne J. and Fred Horowitz. His father owned the women's clothing manufacturer, Paul Alfred Inc.; and his mother owned an antique store in Nyack, New York. He earned a Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University and a Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School.
Following law school he served as a law clerk for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. He then worked as an associate at the law firm Debevoise & Plimpton. From 1991 to 1999 he was an assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. From 1999 to 2002 he worked at the Department of Justice headquarters in Washington D.C., first as a deputy assistant attorney general, then as chief of staff. In 2002 he returned to private practice as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where he focused on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance. During this time he also served as a commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission—a position for which he was confirmed by the Senate in 2003.
Inspector General for the Department of Justice
Horowitz was sworn in as the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice on April 16, 2012. Since 2015, he has also been the chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an organization consisting of all 73 federal Inspectors General.
Horowitz announced in January 2017 that the Inspector General's office would examine evidence related to "allegations of misconduct" regarding FBI Director James B. Comey's handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices and whether Justice Department employees leaked information improperly during the run-up to the 2016 United States presidential election. In June 2018, Horowitz released his report, concluding that Peter Strzok and other FBI employees "brought discredit to themselves" and to the agency. He found that Comey indulged in ad hoc decision-making and did not follow FBI procedures, but that he was not motivated by any political bias.
Another investigation into the FBI and Justice Department was launched by Horowitz in March 2018. This investigation targeted the FBI and Justice Department's filing of four FISA applications and renewals to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and whether or not there was an abuse of this FISA process. A redacted version of the report of the investigation was released December 9, 2019. On November 18, 2019 Senator Lindsey Graham, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced that Horowitz would testify before the committee on December 11 regarding the investigation and provide recommendations on how judicial and investigative systems could be improved.
Findings of FBI investigation of Russia and Trump
On December 9, 2019, Horowitz released his report stating that the FBI found 17 “basic and fundamental” errors and omissions in its applications to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court), but did not find political bias during the investigation of Trump and Russia, nor did he find evidence that the FBI attempted to place people inside the Trump campaign or report on the Trump campaign. However, in a Senate hearing, Horowitz stated he could not rule out political bias as a possible motivation. The report found that the FBI had a legal "authorized investigative purpose and with sufficient factual predication" to ask for court approval to begin surveillance of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.
In 2000, he married Alexandra Leigh Kauffman in Leesburg, Virginia. Kauffman is a former field producer for CNN covering economics and personal finance.