Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testifies before a House Committee on the Judiciary and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform joint hearing on’Oversight of the FBI and DOJ Actions in Advance of the 2016 Election’, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, June 19, 2018. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Democrats and the legacy media zeroed in on these two statements from the Executive Summary of the DoJ Inspector General’s FISA abuse report to spin false narratives about what the report actually contained:
“We concluded that (Counterintelligence Division Assistant Director Bill) Priestap’s exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision.”
“We also concluded that … the FBI had an authorized purpose when it opened Crossfire Hurricane to obtain information about, or protect against, a national security threat or federal crime, even though the investigation also had the potential to impact constitutionally protected activity.”
Here are just a couple of media headlines breathlessly spinning that “there was no political bias,” etc.
- NY Times: Report on FBI Russia Inquiry finds serious errors but debunks anti-Trump plot
- NBC News: Internal Justice watchdog finds that Russia probe was justified, not biased against Trump
- com: Watchdog report finds FBI not motivated by political bias in Trump probe
- LA Times: Report sharply criticizes FBI but finds no political bias in Russia probe
- Buzzfeed: “No Evidence”: An Official Probe Has Debunked Trump’s Claim The FBI Planted A Spy In His Campaign
Some of the reports – like Buzzfeed’s breathless headline – were outright fabrications. Others were simply misdirection that ignored key facts uncovered by Horowitz’s team. None of those reports detailed the willful malfeasance of the FBI in defrauding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain FISA warrants on Trump campaign operatives because those details do not support the Democrat narrative that the FBI’s actions were non-political and fully authorized. But then this blatant spinning is just the latest in a long line of lies that the legacy media – and anti-Trump conservative media figures – have been bleating about the FBI’s 2016 “counter-intelligence” investigation from the very beginning.
Twitter personality “Techno Fog” compiled a brilliant thread that exposes the lies and spinning leading up to the release of the Horowitz report. There was clearly a disinformation campaign across the legacy media and other allies of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane (CFH) team who blatantly lied FOR YEARS about both the veracity and use of the now-debunked “Russian dossier” in obtaining FISA warrants in support of the CFH investigation. I encourage you to read the entire thread which names the liars.
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) December 10, 2019
Redstate colleague Streiff also exposed a TON of other media liars in his excellent article linked here, too. Techno Fog’s thread and Streiff’s article provide an excellent segue to “debunk the debunkers,” i.e., to turn the Democrat-media narrative inside-out. Let’s get started.
The Horowitz report stated that the investigators did not find evidence in the form of direct testimony from FBI personnel or in the specific documents associated with CFH that indicated “political bias” on the part of the CFH team. But dozens of PERIPHERAL text messages and emails among the CFH team members and others in the FBI and DoJ that were not directly related to their official investigation clearly confirm their political biases against President Trump. Horowitz chose to split hairs in claiming that no political bias motivated the CFH team.
Despite 2+ years of the cabal (in particularly the slimy Comey) and their allies in the legacy media claiming otherwise, the “dossier” was central and crucial to the filing of the Carter Page FISA application. The “dossier” was a complete fabrication funded by the Clinton campaign and DNC as opposition research on candidate Trump. This was known by the FBI from the beginning and should never have been used as the primary basis for obtaining the FISA warrants. It should be further noted that Glenn Simpson (Fusion GPS) was not interviewed by the Horowitz team, which would have exposed that the dossier was nothing by unsubstantiated POLITICAL opposition research.
After years of spinning that there was no wrong-doing in obtaining those FISA applications, with the release of the Horowitz report, the Democrat-media complex have retreated to everything being “mistakes and incompetence” to avoid the more accurate labeling of politically-motivated willful malice and criminality.
The Horowitz report confirms the 2018 Nunes memorandum in its entirety and, correspondingly, debunks Adam Schiff’s “rebuttal” memorandum. Mollie Hemingway demolishes the false Democrat narrative propagated everywhere at the time by the legacy media. Her article is very important. The Schiff memo was entirely a POLITICAL document aimed at defending the CFH team. It was a much a total lie as was the “Steele dossier.” Both were complete fabrications done for entirely partisan POLITICAL purposes.
Probable cause determinations (the Woods Procedure) were not made as required before submission of the FISA warrant application on Carter Page. Red flag! The CFH principals were anti-Trump, as their personal texts evince. We are supposed to believe that they had no POLITICAL motivations in bypassing the Woods Procedure in order to obtain FISA warrants to spy on Trump campaign operatives? Absurd.
Exculpatory information on Carter Page was purposely omitted from the FISA applications. For example, the fact that he was a Confidential Human Source (CHS) for another intelligence agency that actually helped target RUSSIANS would have blown a big hole in that FISA application. In fact, FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith – the guy who emailed “viva la resistance” after President Trump was elected – illegally modified the Carter Page FISA warrant application to claim that he was “not a source” for another agency. Yes, yes, Democrat-media complex, his POLITICAL bias had nothing to do with his illegal actions in modifying that FISA application.
The “mistakes” identified in the Horowitz report were purposeful malfeasance and misconduct. Believing the CFH team’s “mistakes” to be simply the result of their incompetence doesn’t pass the smell test. These were senior people and lawyers, not case agents. FBI agents lied to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They defrauded the FISC by using Steele’s information for POLITICAL purposes. Period.
The FBI claimed in a letter response to Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley in October 2017 that they provided a “defensive briefing” to the Trump campaign team in August 2016. However, the Horowitz report stated that a CFH “supervisor” (Pientka or Strzok) participated in the intelligence briefing given to Candidate Trump and senior members of his campaign team in August 2016. Red flag! That “briefing” was a spying operation, not a presentation on Russian attempts to infiltrate the campaign. Yeah, that FBI letter to Grassley wasn’t POLITICAL and wasn’t intended to provide cover for the CFH team. Riiiight.
Predication of the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation cannot be verified/validated by Horowitz because interviews were constrained to personnel within the DoJ/FBI. Furthermore, James Comey and James Baker (and likely others) relinquished their security clearances and thus could not be asked questions about classified matters by Horowitz and his staff. That enabled them to equivocate about MUCH, making it more difficult for Horowitz’s team to determine the motivations for their various actions. Given Comey’s many anti-Trump public statements, it’s pretty clear that he was “politically motivated” despite Horowitz’s “determination.” A real conclusion cannot be made until US Attorney Durham completes his criminal investigation.
During an interview on NBC News, Attorney General Barr disputes conclusions in the Horowitz report. He stated that he believes the FBI may have operated out of “bad faith” when it decided to investigate alleged Trump campaign collusion with Russia. He also stated that Horowitz simply didn’t find any direct evidence of political motivation for initiating the investigation, but that the “final” decision on that matter has definitely NOT been made yet (John Durham to the rescue!). Finally, he stated that the FBI should have concluded the counter-intelligence investigation after President Trump was inaugurated.
Speaking of US Attorney John Durham, he took the unusual step to release a statement in which he disagreed with some of the conclusions in the Horowitz report.
There is a ton more buried in the Horowitz report, including in the footnotes: exculpatory evidence on George Papadopolous not included in the FISA renewals, McCain/Kramer handing the dossier directly to Comey, Bruce Ohr being Steele’s conduit to DoJ, the mysterious Joseph Mifsud’s role in entrapping Papapolous, etc., etc.
These were not random errors that were made by the CFH team and those who signed the FISA warrant applications; they reflected a pattern of behavior. All of the “mistakes” went in the same direction – against Carter Page and the President. That is statistically impossible if they were similar administrative errors. The big question is whether that pattern predated the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Perhaps better questions are, how far back did the FISA abuse occur, and how many past FISA warrant applications need to be revisited/reviewed/thrown out?
What’s the bottom line? Despite the feverish Democrat-media spinning that is underway, a reasonable person would conclude based on the details in the Horowitz report that there was ample evidence of politically-motivated FBI malfeasance throughout the Crossfire Hurricane Investigation, and that the jury is still out on whether its origination was lawful or based completely on fabricated evidence and Democrat-funded opposition research. Even Horowitz himself stated that no one in the entire FBI chain of command has been vindicated/exonerated for their actions associated with the FISA abuse that was discovered. All he really concluded in his report is that none of the people he interviewed ADMITTED to political motivations in their actions.
The Democrats cannot get around the fact that the debunked “Steele dossier” provided the primary basis for obtaining the Carter Page FISA warrant, and that the FBI withheld exculpatory information on Page and George Papadopolous that would have torpedoed those FISA applications. I’ll wait for the Durham report for the final verdict, but in the meantime, I’ll believe my own “lying eyes.”