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)
The Inspector General’s report on the Trump-Russia investigation is nearing release, supposedly coming next Monday. In it, we are expected to receive all manner of evidence showing misconduct and bias, yet once again Horowitz is reported to have punted on actually making a judgement that it affected the investigation. You know, because we are all supposed to believe that rabidly partisan investigators who purposely mislead the FISA court to target a presidential campaign just made some honest mistakes or something.
New details are coming out on exactly what was omitted and it confirms much of what’s been suspected for years.
The Justice Department watchdog found omissions in renewal applications the FBI submitted to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking warrants to monitor onetime Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
A draft of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, due out next week, shows the FBI failed to convey to the court that not all of the information it used from British ex-spy Christopher Steele was entirely reliable, according to the Washington Post.
“Entirely reliable” is the understatement of the century. The Steele Dossier was a hodgepodge of insane, Russian fueled conspiracy theories and easily found information giving it the air of credibility. The FBI purposely didn’t tell the court the true origins of the information, nor that it had not been verified. The only reason not to do that is to hide from the court the political nature of it.
But as we’ve been expecting, this will simply be another piece of evidence that Horowitz does nothing with. It’s being reported that he’ll still conclude the warrant was justified. Based on what? It’s hard to imagine given we know the Steele Dossier made up most of the “evidence” at the time.
FBI agents interviewed one of Steele’s subsources and found that Steele’s raw intelligence, in need of further verification, was not completely reliable. Horowitz’s investigators found the FBI failed to convey this information in the later applications, but according to sources familiar with a draft of the report, the omissions were “apparently” not sufficient enough for the watchdog to conclude the applications should have been rejected.
I suppose it’s not surprising that the bureaucracy would massage itself this way. Just like with his conclusions on the Hillary investigation, Horowitz has set a standard so high in order to charge bad conduct that it’s basically impossible to reach. An FBI official would have to strip naked and shout admissions of guilt in this dude’s yard to get him to conclude wrongdoing occurred. Even then, I’m not sure he would.
Remember, we had dozens and dozens of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page riffing about taking down Trump and showing gross bias, yet Horowitz still judged it didn’t affect the investigation. The same thing is going to happen with this latest report. We’ll get plenty of hand slapping and strongly worded condemnations of behavior, but Horowitz won’t do anything to actually damage the agency he works for.
I’ve got to give Democrats credit because they are absolute geniuses. They’ve managed to get much of the conservative media to throw support behind an Obama appointee who refuses to make the tough calls. How is it that such deference is never given to Republican appointees? Yet, the right lines up like suckers every time to proclaim all career bureaucrats are above reproach. Horowitz has proven that he’s going to walk up to the line but never cross it. If that means ultimately excusing deeply biased behavior within the FBI in order to protect the FBI, so be it.
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