Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)
First, in case you missed it because it came late yesterday afternoon, my summary of the Horowitz Report and its ramifications can be found here – The IG Report: Not a Bombshell, But a Roadmap.
GOP Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe appeared on last night’s Fox Report with Bret Baier for an 8 minute segment. Ratcliffe’s answers to Baier’s questions are very revealing on a number of counts with a scattering of real bombshells throughout. Sad that neither Baier nor anyone else in the corrupt news media is curious enough to follow up on them. Below is the clip of that interview, followed by a transcript:
The IG’s role is to find facts, not to necessarily make conclusions. The facts in Horowitz’s report say that the FBI’s senior leadership kept an investigation going based on an entirely unreliable dossier even though they knew they didn’t have a valid basis to do so. pic.twitter.com/cTdLi6VaGS
— John Ratcliffe (@RepRatcliffe) December 10, 2019
Here’s the transcript, compiled with laborious effort for the voracious readers who typify the fan base for Today’s Campaign Update. You’re welcome.:
Baier: I want to ask you about impeachment first. Is is a foregone conclusion that the House Democrats will vote on impeachment?
Ratcliffe: Yes. It appears the Democrats have burned the lifeboats behind them. They have made this decision, they’ve got nowhere to go. I think they have to answer to their base. I think it’s a terrible decision for the American people. You can see what it’s not based on – it is entirely political. But I gotta tell you, Brett: As a Republican, It’s good for us.
Baier: Do you have any reason to believe that any of your GOP colleagues will vote for impeachment?
Ratcliffe: No. On the other hand, I can say with pretty good certainty that there will be Democrats that won’t vote to impeach the President.
Baier: Do you think Nancy Pelosi has the votes right now?
Ratcliffe: I think she probably does. I think she won’t call the vote unless she has the votes, so I think she probably does. They’re going at breakneck speed. They’re losing support, and before they lose enough to get it across the finish line, and that’s why they want to have it next week after only being in the Judiciary Committee, the Committee of jurisdiction, for less than a week.
Baier: What happens if your side does not get a minority day hearing, which it doesn’t look like is going to happen?
Ratcliffe: We won’t. I think it will just demonstrate to the American people how perverted this process has been, how they won’t follow any of the precedents or standards, particularly as it relates to fairness during the process.
Baier: You mentioned today, an interview with the inspector general, with the intelligence committee…it’s a little hard to follow it here on set, ahh
Ratcliffe: It’s a little cryptic, I had to be. I had to be because it still hasn’t been released by Chairman Schiff. It’s the first deposition that was taken and it’s the only one that hasn’t been released. And the reason is – it doesn’t have anything to do with protecting the whistleblower’s identity: It has to do with protecting the whistleblower and Chairman Schiff from having their credibility questioned.
The whistleblower did not make truthful disclosures to the inspector general. I questioned the IG about that – the transcript will reveal that. That ought to be made public. No one should be voting to impeach an American president before they look at the real origins of this. The origins of this was not a whistleblower filing a complaint on August 12. It was a person who later became a whistleblower walking into Chairman Schiff’s office two weeks before that.
Baier: So you have zero hope that you will hear from Adam Schiff or the whistleblower.
Ratcliffe: He wasn’t even at the hearing today. He’s been making all of the decisions behind this and he wasn’t even at the hearing today.
Baier: Ok, let’s turn to the IG report – this is the Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, take a listen. [Plays a clip of Schumer lying about the IG report.] That was the top headline that the Democrats focused on in this line: “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of political bias or improper motivation.” You response?
Ratcliffe: So there’s two important things that went on here. One: Did the FBI meet the very low threshold for an articulate and factual basis to really suspect there was a threat to national security? The IG made the conclusion that they met that very low threshold to get the investigation started. The problem for the FBI and for the Democrats who want to somehow declare this as a victory is, everything after that is an indictment of the process. Even if there was a basis to open it, everything that came after it was exculpatory. There was no reason to continue it.
And the second part of this that’s really important is, when they got to the stage of a FISA application in October, as you see in here, this report is just completely full of what the IG politely says are errors and omissions. Another way of saying that is ‘lies, misrepresentations, false statements and a failure to turn over exculpatory information.
Baier: Is that what strikes you most about this report?
Ratcliffe: Absolutely. It’s a validation of every one of us that’s been saying there was FISA abuse. It’s why the Attorney General’s statement today was, ‘this is clear evidence of FISA abuse.’ Unfortunately, we were right about that, and that’s a real problem for the FBI.
Baier: But this doesn’t back up the President’s ‘it’s a coup to take him down’ in this report…
Ratcliffe: Actually, I don’t know that you can say that, Brett…
Baier: …well, at least the IG says that.
Ratcliffe: Well, the IG’s role is to find facts, not to make conclusions, and actually I agree with most of the facts that the IG finds. The facts in here say that the FBI’s senior leadership kept an investigation going where they knew they had no evidence – it was based on a dossier that was entirely unreliable and they knew it. And they did that, to continue an investigation into a candidate that later became President. And they didn’t have a basis to do that. And that’s in this report.
Baier: What about the criticism of Barr, that he comes out with this statement today, clearly differing on several points with the IG, and a short time later the U.S. Attorney, John Durham, puts out a statement in which he says his findings do not jive with what the IG finds. That’s pretty rare, is it not?
Ratcliffe: No, it’s not. Because really what it is is a sign of respect. John Durham waited until Horowitz’s report came out – that’s why he hasn’t made public statements. But now that the IG report is out, he is free to talk about the facts about what he has found. The first thing that he told you was, ‘I appreciate the IG, but my jurisdiction isn’t limited. I have greater jurisdiction, and what I have found isn’t consistent with his conclusions about that seminal issue, the predication issue.’
The AG’s special prosecutor in this case, John Durham, is saying, ‘I have a problem with the predication here. I disagree with the IG – there was not probable cause to open this investigation.’ So, I think…
Baier: Critics have said that ‘if he’s a prosecutor, does he make his case, bring it to a grand jury, make a charge before making a statement.’ Republicans were very critical of James Comey and what he did…
Ratcliffe: Absolutely, and he didn’t make a finding with respect to that [as Comey did]. What he said was, ‘I take with the IG’s findings and conclusions regarding the predication issue…’
Baier: He didn’t say what his was.
Ratcliffe: He didn’t say what his was. But I think it’s a clear sign of where he’s going on this, which is ‘I have greater jurisdiction. I’ve done a lot more with regard to this investigation,’ and I think in short order we are going to hear from John Durham that the predication just wasn’t there, as most of us really don’t see it even in this report.
Baier: So we’ve characterized, on our panel in talking about this, that there’s two tracks here: There’s the impeachment track, and then there’s this John Durham/IG track. Is it your sense that there’s a race now to figure out who’s gonna get to the finish line on what happens?
Ratcliffe: I’ve said that all along, that that’s what’s driving this fast track [on impeachment]. They want to impeach this President so that when news like this comes out, they can say ‘gosh, we’re sorry there was FISA abuse, but this guy still should’ve been impeached.’ That’s why they’ve been racing through this. This report by itself, I think the more you look at it, the more you see, it’s an indictment of Jim Comey’s leadership at the FBI. This is a profound statement about how bad things were there with regard to an investigation that was continued without evidence to support it. I think folks at the FBI are horrified and dismayed by what’s in this report, and it’s only gonna get worse by what John Durham finds because he has the ability to go out and talk to the intelligence communities and people who weren’t working in the government.
To me, the most intriguing piece of this interview is Ratcliffe’s statement about there still being one more interview transcript – the very first interview taken in the basement of the Capitol Building – that Adam Schiff has refused to release. When you look at what Ratcliffe reveals about that transcript, that the witness says that Eric Ciaramella in fact walked into Schiff’s office two weeks before his fake whistleblower complaint was filed, you can see why Schiff refuses to release it.
After all, during the recent impeachment hearings before his Committee, Schiff very publicly and repeatedly denied assertions by GOP members that he knew the whistleblower’s identity and had in fact met Ciaramella. The fact that he refuses to release this single transcript would, in a world where we had an actual, working journalism profession, set off a firestorm of demands from the news media that Schiff release the transcript immediately.
But we don’t have an actual, working journalism profession in our country anymore, so no such firestorm will come.
Even more interesting to me is that what Ratcliffe said to Baier was not very “cryptic” at all, and probably violates Schiff’s dictatorial secrecy order about the content of any transcripts that haven’t been released. It will be interesting to see if Schiff attempts to retaliate. I doubt he will, because doing so might actually wake some of the lapdog fake journalists up from their nap on the subject.
The other reason why I took the time to transcribe this particular clip out of all the interview clips available this morning is because Ratcliffe himself is a former U.S. Attorney. He more than anyone understands how all these moving parts interrelate to one another.
Ratcliffe also reinforces what we pointed out here yesterday afternoon: That the real news about all of this is not what Horowitz’s report finds, but what Durham said in his statement that immediately followed the report’s release. Because it is Durham who has subpoena authority; it is Durham who has the power to compel testimony from witnesses outside of the DOJ/FBI employee base; it is Durham who has the power to impanel grand juries – which he has already done; and it is Durham who has the power to issue indictments and order arrests and stage perp walks.
The IG Report is out. Now, it’s Durham Time.
That is all.
Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.