Tacitus’s text follows:
The final product of the Department of Justice Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, is a study in schizophrenia. On the one hand Horowitz reports that there was no EVIDENCE that political bias directly affected the investigation:
There were clearly tensions and disagreements in a number of important areas between Midyear agents and prosecutors. However, we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions we reviewed in Chapter Five, or that the justifications offered for these decisions were pretextual.
Nonetheless, these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation and the investigation’s credibility. But our review did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed; rather, consistent with the analytic approach described above, we found that these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation by the Midyear agents and prosecutors and that these judgment calls were not unreasonable. (see p. iii)
But then there is the multiple examples of bias exhibited by key FBI investigators throughout the report. The anti-Trump prejudice exhibited by Peter Strzok is undeniable:
. . . we were concerned about text messages exchanged by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Special Counsel to the Deputy Director, that potentially indicated or created the appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. As we describe in Chapter Twelve of our report, most of the text messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, the suggestion in certain Russia- related text messages in August 2016 that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact presidential candidate Trump’s electoral prospects caused us to question the earlier Midyear investigative decisions in which Strzok was involved, and whether he took specific actions in the Midyear investigation based on his political views. As we describe Chapter Five of our report, we found that Strzok was not the sole decisionmaker for any of the specific Midyear investigative decisions we examined in that chapter.
IG Horowitz is adopting a very narrow legal interpretation while opting to give DOJ and FBI officials the benefit of the doubt. In other words, unless he was presented with “documents” or “testimony” that political bias was influencing decisions, Horowitz decided to assume that everyone was acting in good faith. I suspect this was introduced into his draft by DOJ and FBI reviewers who were alarmed at the obvious conclusion an objective reader would reach if they only read the facts-the DOJ and FBI were crooked.
Despite the efforts to soften the blow on the FBI and DOJ, Horowitz still manages to stick the knife in deep. His account of the debacle surrounding the discovery of classified Hillary emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop illustrates this point:
As we describe in Chapter Nine of our report, the explanations we were given for the FBI’s failure to take immediate action on the Weiner laptop fell into four general categories:
• The FBI Midyear team was waiting for additional information about the contents of the laptop from NYO, which was not provided until late October;
• The FBI Midyear team could not review the emails without additional legal authority, such as consent or a new search warrant;
• The FBI Midyear team and senior FBI officials did not believe that the information on the laptop was likely to be significant; and
Key members of the FBI Midyear team had been reassigned to the investigation of Russian interference in the U.S. election, which was a higher priority.
We found these explanations to be unpersuasive justifications for not acting sooner, given the FBI leadership’s conclusion about the importance of the information and that the FBI Midyear team had sufficient information to take action in early October and knew at that time that it would need a new search warrant to review any Clinton-Abedin emails. Moreover, given the FBI’s extensive resources, the fact that Strzok and several other FBI members of the Midyear team had been assigned to the Russia investigation, which was extremely active during this September and October time period, was not an excuse for failing to take any action during this time period on the Weiner laptop. (see p. vi of the IG Report)
I will put it in plain, crude English–Horowitz thought the FBI excuses were bullshit. But he could only deduce that they were lying. He did not get a document showing Comey directing Strzok to stall the investigation. Yet, stall is what the Comey FBI did.
There is more evidence of the FBI’s extreme prejudice against Trump and in favor of Hillary. Again, Horowitz only mentions this in passing, put does concede that the behavior and actions are bizarre, but this is hidden in footnote 181 (which is found on page 328):
We were surprised to learn that FBI leadership decided to assign many of the key members of the Midyear team, immediately after determining that no charges should be brought against then candidate Clinton, to the Russia investigation, which touched upon the campaign of then candidate Trump. This is particularly so given the questions being raised by candidate Trump and his supporters regarding the declination decision in the Midyear investigation. While we recognize that staffing decisions are for management to make, we question the judgment of assigning agents who had just determined that one candidate running in an election should not be prosecuted to an investigation that relates to the campaign of the other candidate in the election. The appearance problems created by such a staffing decision were exacerbated here due to the text messages expressing political opinions that we discuss later in this report.
When I worked with the CIA we used to call this No Shit Analysis. Thank you Captain Obvious. Why in the world would you assign the same people who were working on the Hillary Clinton investigation on the Trump/Russia Collusion investigation when both cases were still active?
This is more than a problem of appearance. This is circumstantial evidence of an attempted political coup. I give Horowitz credit for at least putting this fact on the record. But his refusal to call this out for what it is can be attributed to his caution of not appearing to be partisan. He is striving mightily to be a straight shooter.
Horowitz does miss the boat on the question of Hillary’s actual guilt/criminality for putting classified material on her private server. The IG repeats the nonsense from Comey, who recommended to Attorney General Lynch that:
. . .the Department decline prosecution of Clinton, and asserted that “no reasonable prosecutor” would prosecute Clinton based on the facts developed by the FBI during its investigation.
Comey and his band of incompetents insisted, apparently, that they found no evidence of intent by Hillary Clinton to misuse classified material. That is total horseshit. The evidence is indisputable by the very fact that classified material was on an unclassified server. How is that so?
There are two types of classified computer systems throughout the U.S. Government. One handles material classified as CONFIDENTIAL and SECRET (the military calls this the SIPRNET). The other handles TOP SECRET material (it is called SOIS in the military network). You cannot send TOP SECRET material to a computer that is cleared only for SECRET. The only way to move TOP SECRET or SECRET material to an unclassified computer requires that you print off a hard copy and scan it or that you download it on a thumb drive (or other media) and then physically copy it to the UNCLASSIFIED server. This is not something that happens by mistake or is inadvertent.
Helen Keller could see this simple fact. Hillary Clinton most certainly showed intent to put classified material on an unclass system. The central question is who did this and why? Unfortunately, Horowitz does not address this point. It remains unanswered.
I think it is important to emphasize that the FBI did confirm that Hillary’s unclassified server did store classified material and that it was comprised (see p. 144):
INSD assessed the FBI Midyear Exam investigation successfully determined classified information was improperly stored and transmitted on Clinton’s email server, and classified information was compromised by unauthorized individuals, to include foreign government’s or intelligence services, via cyber intrusion or other means [referring to compromises of email accounts associated with certain individuals who communicated with Clinton’s server, such as Blumenthal].
Horowitz will appear before Congressional committees next week to testify about this report. He is certain to face tough, pointed questions. I anticipate that there will be more clarity on why he pulled some punches in the written document. What is beyond dispute is that former FBI Director Comey has been completely discredited.
COMMENTS (A few of the early ones; worth reading)
Fred • 14 hours ago
you quoted the report: “…we found that these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgments…” which reinforces a point that needs to be made. As you state: “Horowitz decided to assume that everyone was acting in good faith.” I agree with the IG, they were acting in good faith. Let me explain.
If you get back to Chapter 10, section E, pg 323 you’ll find Comey quoted:
”But you know if anything, I suppose like if it’s unconscious, I may have been consoled that it wasn’t going to make any difference anyway.” That line is right after “Comey told us that “like the rest of the world [he] assumed that Hillary Clinton was going to be elected president.””
As many on the left know, especially those faithful to the lastest and greatest from Harvard – “unconcious bias” theory; having “unconcious bias” is very bad and you need to own up to it. Which Comey does here.
But these FBI agents did not have “unconcious bias” that made them sit on info Comey says he should have had weeks earlier. They had and were faithful to “concious bias” of hating Trump and working to keep him from being elected. They, and Comey, just assumed she was far enough ahead in the polls that she would win anyway. And help cover up what they did once she won. So they were acting in good faith – to one another – in rigging an election.
DianaLC • 2 hours ago
I am, however, not looking forward to the Congressional questioning. It will be just another political game to watch.
Hillary will never face justice. Will the popular kids in the FBI get what they deserve? While I am sure the training Ray has ordered for them will annoy them, as such HR style training programs often do, will it change their ways? [Oh, and guess who is now working in the FBI’s HR department?]
Sid Finster • 17 hours ago
FWIW, I can confirm Publius’ central point regarding “intent”.
After Comey exonerated HRC, I asked a veteran prosecutor that I know whether Comey was correct in stating that HRC would not be prosecuted because she lacked intent to violate the law. (In legal terms, this is called “specific intent”.)
My prosecutor acquaintance, a member of Team D, confirmed somewhat sheepishly that specific intent is not an element of a criminal prosecution. All that the prosecutor need to prove his case is to show that the defendant intended to do the act complained of, not that the defendant intended to violate the law.
In other words “I just shot the bastard six times. Him dying was between him and God.” is not a defense.
The Report was the equivalent of Comey’s exoneration of HRC over servergate. Just enough finger wagging to look like Something Serious Is Happening Here, but no consequences, even though it was abundantly obvious that laws were broken.
Eric Newhill • 18 hours ago
My understanding is that the fact of Clinton’s classified emails on Weiner’s laptop was not just merely stalled by FBI machinations, but that the FBI would have actually totally hidden it if a NY district AG hadn’t started calling the FBI/DOJ asking why they weren’t moving on it. I presume that, at that point, Comey had to announce a re-opening of the investigation because he didn’t want to get caught, by a NY whistleblower, effecting a cover-up on Clinton’s behalf.
If that is correct, it takes the wind out of the Democrat retort that Comey couldn’t have been involved in a coup conspiracy because his re-opening of the case two weeks prior to the election had a negative impact on Clinton. He didn’t want to re-open. He was forced to by the NY investigation.