Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
No, it’s not a “bombshell” that will satisfy Sean Hannity and his “Tick-tock” crew. Michael Horowitz was never going to deliver anything remotely like that, given his bias towards protecting the Department that pays his salary and the constraints under which he is required to perform his job.
The report released today at 1:00 ET contains no criminal referrals. Not one. It finds “no political bias” in the process that led the Obama-era coup cabal within the FBI and DOJ to apply for a FISA warrent to enable it to spy on members of the Trump Campaign, even though the report reminds us of Horowitz’s previous findings of heavy bias indicated in the texts between lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. These abject failures on the part of Horowitz to really do his job will provide temporary succor to the lunatics at CNN and MSNBC, as well as the radical leftist Perpetual Outrage Mob on Twitter.
But that succor will likely be short-lived as the wheels of justice continue to slowly grind on.
To understand that, all you need to see is the following statement issued by U.S. Attorney John Durham in the immediate wake of the issuance of the Horowitz Report:
“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
There’s your “boom.” There’s your “bombshell.”
In fairness to Horowitz, and as Mr. Durham concedes, the IG is limited by law and regulation in the scope of his investigation. He is able to only collect evidence from current and former DOJ/FBI employees. The IG has no subpoena power, no authority to compel documents from anyone outside the Department, and no authority to indict or prosecute anyone.
Mr. Durham has all of those things, along with the personal directive and cover coming from Attorney General William Barr.
In the current public context, Durham’s pointed rebuke of “some of the report’s conclusions” is not only surprising, it is in fact more than a little stunning. After all, Durham, as a DOJ employee, could find himself at some future point in time subject to an investigation led by Horowitz in his oversight responsibilities. The fact that he would issue this pointed and direct statement immediately after Horowitz’s own report is made public tells us volumes about the real level of disapproval Durham – and by extension, AG Barr – really hold for this report.
For his own part, Mr. Barr had this to say:
On the other hand, as more and more out-takes from the Horowitz Report are made public, it is becoming evident it does hold value. Just as the Democrats had hoped that the Mueller Report would provide them with a “roadmap to impeachment”, it is beginning to look like the Horowitz Report could provide Barr and Durham with a “roadmap to prosecution” of many of the Obama-era bad actors.
Here are some examples of the key information Horowitz has laid out:
- Horowitz confirms the FBI never corroborated any of Steele’s allegations against Carter Page: “The FBI did not have information corroborating the specific allegations against Carter Page in Steele’s reports when it relied upon them in the FISA applications.”
- Further, in defending itself to the IG, the FBI contended that it didn’t have to corroborate anything to the FISA court and it had no obligation to determine whether Steele’s allegations were true. The FBI claimed its only obligation was to correctly transcribe Steele’s false charges. That is not what the law and regulations say. Not at all.
- Of applications for warrants to spy on US citizen Carter Page, IG says “numerous instances in which factual representations in those applications were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation.”
- Massive counterintelligence investigation (Crossfire Hurricane) against the presidential campaign of opposing party was started solely on a tip from a foreign government, nothing else, according to Horowitz. A few days later, four campaign officials were targeted, because they’d been to Russia or talked to Russians.
- Horowitz conclusion about this extraordinarily flimsy excuse: he’s “concerned” about investigation handling given “constitutionally protected activity occurring during a national presidential campaign.” He’s also “concerned” about “intrusive investigative techniques that could impact constitutionally protected activity.” Such “concern,” but no action. No criminal referrals, no internal disciplinary actions recommended – just “concern.”
- Horowitz says DOJ/FBI officials all agreed that they should launch massive counterintelligence probe on the basis of that one uncorroborated tip and not tell the campaign, in case they were all in on it. Yet, Horowitz finds “no political bias” in that decision.
- Horowitz found that the FBI falsely claimed to the FISA Court not only that Carter Page was a Russian agent, but also falsely claimed that an unnamed intelligence agency had told the FBI that Page was “not a source” in their efforts to surveil and curtail Russian intelligence efforts.
- Ahead of an application to renew the spy warrant in 2017, a top FBI lawyer doctored evidence from the unnamed agency which confirmed that contrary to FBI claims that he was a Russian spy, Page had in fact assisted the United States in its efforts to counter Russian operations. An e-mail from the agency that clearly stated Page was “a source” for them was doctored by Kevin Clinesmith, a top FBI national security lawyer, to give the opposite impression to the federal spy court.
There will no doubt be more revelations as the day goes on, but these give you a flavor of the real, damning information contained in this report that you will not see reported on CNN or MSNBC.
Again to be fair to Horowitz, a generous reading of this situation could be that he held back on making any criminal or disciplinary recommendations in this report in order to leave those decisions up to Barr and Durham. That’s certainly possible, although the blunt tone of Durham’s statement implies a true dissatisfaction with the IG’s findings, or lack thereof.
In any event, the IG report contains a lot of fodder for Durham’s efforts. Let’s hope he makes good use of every bit of it.
The future of the American Republic depends on these bad actors being brought to real justice.
That is all.
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