Horowitz Russia Probe is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us, by Jonathon Turley.
The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump.
Horowitz did say that the original decision to investigate was within the discretionary standard of the Justice Department. That standard for the predication of an investigation is low, simply requiring “articulable facts.” He said that, since this is a low discretionary standard, he cannot say it was inappropriate to start.
United States Attorney John Durham, who is heading the parallel investigation at the Justice Department, took the usual step of issuing a statement that he did not believe the evidence supported that conclusion at the beginning of the investigation.
Attorney General William Barr also issued a statement disagreeing with the threshold statement. …
This is akin to reviewing the Titanic and saying that the captain was not unreasonable in starting the voyage. The question is what occurred when icebergs began appearing. …
That threshold finding is then followed by the remainder of the report, which is highly damaging and unsettling. Horowitz finds a litany of false and even falsified representations used to continue the secret investigation targeting the Trump campaign and its associates.
Many in the media have focused on the fact that the IG report failed to turn up any evidence that the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible connections to Russia was politically motivated. The Washington Post‘s key takeaway was that the report amounted to a “triple rebuke” of the president and his allies. CNN’s article lead with “conspiracy theories debunked” and called the Russia probe “legal and unbiased,” before conceding “serious mistakes” that the network predominantly attributed to a “low level FBI lawyer.”
In general, the Trump-critical mainstream media has treated the faltering of the most fervent pro-Trump partisans’ conspiracy theory about a deep state coup as some kind of full acquittal of the FBI. It’s not. The IG report is a chronicle of massive government wrongdoing. …
Trump and his supporters were dead-wrong to attribute to malice what is better explained by stupidity. But the latter is no less troubling, and it would be terrific if the media would spend more time holding the G-men’s feet to the fire.
Watchdog report: FBI’s Trump-Russia probe justified, no bias, by Michael Balsamo at AP.
The report ruled out political bias in the decision to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, a frequent contention by Trump. …
But the inspector general identified 17 “significant inaccuracies or omissions” in applications for a warrant from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor the communications of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page and subsequent warrant renewals, although it also found the bureau was justified in eavesdropping on Page. The errors, the watchdog said, resulted in “applications that made it appear that the information supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case.”
Some of that information came from Steele. The watchdog found that the FBI had overstated the significance of Steele’s past work as an informant, omitted information about one of his sources whom Steele had called a “boaster” and who Steele said “may engage in some embellishment.”
Republicans have long criticized the process since the FBI relied in part on opposition research from Steele, whose work was financed by Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and that fact was not disclosed to the judges who approved the FISA warrant. …
The president has repeatedly said he is more eager for the report of John Durham, the hand-picked prosecutor selected by Attorney General William Barr to conduct a separate review of the Russia probe.
This is like Comey’s report on Hillary Clinton. Comey admitted she broke the law, but just made a feeble excuse and choose not to prosecute. Many others have been sent to prison for far lesser breaches of black-and-white law.
The Horowitz Report is the deep state covering itself without actually lying. The Report damns the FBI, but focuses on non-central parts and technicalities to give an excuse, which becomes the headline. Then the media runs around saying all is ok, no one is sent to jail, and things go on as before. But the details say otherwise.
Wait for the Durham Report.