NEW: AG Bill Barr Disputes IG Horowitz's Findings On the Trump-Russia Investigation

FBI Director Christopher Wray, with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, testifies as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI’s Clinton email probe and the role of former FBI Director James Comey’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)


Well, this is interesting.

Attorney General Bill Barr is pushing back on IG Horowitz’s coming findings on the Trump-Russia investigation. Recent reports have said that Horowitz will find no political bias in the investigation despite ample evidence numerous high level officials had it out for Trump. As with the IG’s findings on the Hillary investigation, Horowitz’s standard is apparently an admission under oath and sealed in blood, as he found dozens of pieces of evidence of bias there but still concluded there was nothing conclusive.

Now, The Washington Post is saying Barr doesn’t agree with his coming characterizations.

Attorney General William P. Barr has told associates he disagrees with the Justice Department’s inspector general on one of the key findings in an upcoming report — that the FBI had enough information in July 2016 to justify launching an investigation into members of the Trump campaign, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horo­witz, is due to release his long-awaited findings in a week, but behind the scenes at the Justice Department, disagreement has surfaced about one of Horowitz’s central conclusions on the origins of the Russia investigation. The discord could be the prelude to a major fissure within federal law enforcement on the controversial question of investigating a presidential campaign.

Barr has not been swayed by Horowitz’s rationale for concluding that the FBI had sufficient basis to open an investigation on July 31, 2016, these people said

Further down in the article, we get some of his reasoning.

The attorney general has privately contended that Horowitz does not have enough information to reach the conclusion the FBI had enough details in hand at the time to justify opening such a probe. He argues that other U.S. agencies, such as the CIA, may hold significant information that could alter Horo­witz’s conclusion on that point, according to the people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

This is good news. Horowitz, regardless of what you think of him personally, has always been a paper tiger. He has no ability to compel testimony and relies on voluntary cooperation for much of his data gathering. He has some subpoena power over documents, but it’s limited. The IG report on this matter was never going to be a total telling of what happened.

On the other hand, John Durham’s investigation has the full power and weight of the justice system behind it. He’s already impaneled a grand jury and has full ability to compel testimony from any number of figures, including many who never sat down with Horowitz. He also has the power to go after process crimes that occur during those testimonies.

The fact that Barr is willing to say this to associates points to Durham perhaps coming to different conclusions. There’s no doubt some people are going to be prosecuted, it’s just a matter of who. Currently, it’s been heavily reported that Andrew McCabe is going to to be charged for lying to the FBI. There’s also a lawyer who served under Peter Strzok that’s been reported to have illegally altered FISA documents.

Whether we’ll see any bigger names go down, we don’t know yet. I’m a natural skeptic on the issue. Meanwhile, you can expect any questioning of Horowitz’s report to be treated as blasphemy by some on the right who gnash their teeth at any criticism of the bureaucracy. It seems like Bill Barr doesn’t care though.


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