The media has gone into overdrive trying to get ahead of the December 9th release of DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on FISA Abuse during the 2016 election. According to The New York Times:
The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.
The determination by the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, is expected to be a key finding in his highly anticipated report due out on Dec. 9 examining aspects of the Russia investigation. The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped. The startling accusation generated headlines but Mr. Trump never backed it up.
The finding is one of several by Mr. Horowitz that undercuts conservatives’ claims that the F.B.I. acted improperly in investigating several Trump associates starting in 2016. He also found that F.B.I. leaders did not take politically motivated actions in pursuing a secret wiretap on a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — eavesdropping that Mr. Trump’s allies have long decried as politically motivated.
If Goldman’s claims are correct, I’ll be very curious to see how Horowitz characterizes the roles of Alexander Downer, Joseph Mifsud, Stephan Halper, Azra Turk, and others, all of whom tried to entrap a young, naive junior foreign policy advisor, George Papadopoulos, to the Trump campaign. I think the New York Times is playing with semantics. No one has said the FBI placed informants inside the Trump campaign. They did, however, send informants to spy on and hopefully entrap members of the campaign.
The left takes straw man arguments and tries to debunk them. Democrats claim Republicans deny that Russia interfered in the 2016 election. No Republican has made that claim. Republicans are well aware that Russia tried to interfere. We do, however, deny that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians.
Goldman goes on to state that the Mueller report “reaffirmed the factors that the F.B.I. used to open its investigation, and Mr. Horowitz’s findings are also said to show that the F.B.I. acted properly in opening the inquiry.” The Mueller report was not intended to, nor did it address the behavior of the FBI. The Special Counsel was set up to search for evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election and the FBI’s spurious claim that President Trump had obstructed justice.
The Horowitz report is meant to address the premise for (or the probable cause) as well as the handling of the FBI’s application to the FISA Court for a warrant to spy on Trump campaign advisor Carter Page. A redacted copy of the first application was made public in July 2018. Even with the redactions, it was pretty clear that British spy Christopher Steele’s bogus and unverified dossier constituted the bulk of the evidence used to support their application. The other known supporting document was a Yahoo News article written by Journalist Michael Isikoff in September 2016. Isikoff’s source had been Steele. This is a technique called circular reporting.
Then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe himself told lawmakers the FBI would not have received the warrant to spy on Page without the dossier. Now Democrats and their co-conspirators in the media are reporting the FBI had additional documentation to support they had “probable cause” to surveil Page. Although we won’t know if this claim is true until December 9th, it’s odd no one has ever mentioned it before. Dan Bongino, who has followed this case closely addressed this in a podcast this week. I posted on this issue here. Here’s what Bongino had to say about that.
Are the leakers “now suggesting there is something else out there”? McCabe himself once said there would have been no warrant without the dossier. “Where is it? Where’s the beef?…Where is this information they’re claiming would be probable cause? Your dossier was false. Your information on Carter Page was false and now it’s alleged you manipulated evidence to get this passed through the court? Where’s the other stuff?…You’re suggesting that hiding out there is a gift basket of information that was used to spy on the Trump team that was verified and true that would have led to a warrant anyway? And it hasn’t leaked yet? Nobody’s heard it? Mueller didn’t find it? The press didn’t find it? So there’s probable cause to believe the collusion hoax was real?”
Goldman also writes, “Mr. Horowitz concluded that the F.B.I. was careless and unprofessional in pursuing the Page wiretap.” Are visions of former FBI Director James Comey’s exoneration statement of Hillary Clinton forming in your brain? Comey had changed his assessment of Clinton’s handling of classified material from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”
Finally, how does the left reconcile the fact that U.S. Attorney John Durham’s investigation into possible FBI/DOJ misconduct has transitioned into a criminal investigation? This step was taken shortly after two trips taken by Attorney General William Barr and Durham to Rome and London.
All of this, as described in my above-mentioned post, is the mainstream media setting the stage to thrust a new narrative onto the American people. Over the past week, there’s been an obvious attempt by CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post and other left-leaning media outlets to get ahead of the most damaging revelations expected to be contained in the IG report. It will set the tone as they brace for the most frightening report of all, the Durham report. That’s the one they fear the most.