Tag Archives: Inspector General’s Report

Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced the Election of a President, by Peter Van Buren

Peter Van Buren identifies the most important conclusion to emerge from Michael Horowitz’s report. From Van Buren at theamericanconservative.com:

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI’s Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of “Fast and Furious”), opened his probe into the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz’s focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage, the 568 page report found it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors… for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.” Comey’s drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. “Lynch’s failure to recognize the appearance problem… and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment.” Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further “created public confusion and didn’t adequately address the situation.”

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts “brought discredit” to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, “Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Another Strzok document stated “we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message.”

To continue reading: Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced the Election of a President

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The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once, by Kurt Schlichter

The Inspector General’s report listed a lot of damning facts, but refused to damn anybody. From Kurt Schlichter at theburningplatform.com:

The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once

The FBI has managed to transform its image from Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., into Special Agent Boogaloo Shrimp, and the Inspector General’s report was the bureaucratic self-policing equivalent of Breakin’ Faith 2: Electric Bamboozle.

Here’s the punchline: MC Hammered, who dropped his Glock and shot a dude whilst bustin’ a move, was one of those “top 5% of applicants” that zombie FBI Director Christopher Wray kept babbling about during his excuse conference following the report’s release. But that guy would not have even placed in competition for the title “Worst FBI Agent Ever” against the toadies, flunkies, and hacks the report highlights.

During his spin cycle news conference, Wray spent a surprising amount of time – that is, any time – boasting about the quality of his FBI honors interns. Great. Put one of them in charge. He, she, or (knowing the current liberal culture of the FBI) xe, can’t do any worse.

Wray’s ruined agency’s best n’ brightest conspired to undo the results of an election to ensure that the liberal politician who wouldn’t derail their gravy train would take office, but hey, a couple hours of diversity classes will fix that right up. I know I feel much better knowing that these bureaucratic superstars are finally going to get some training to inform them that trying to use their power as federal law enforcement agents to swing an election to their preferred political party is wrong. Apparently, that was previously unclear.

The IG report bait n’ switch was just another example of our elite shrugging in the face of indisputable evidence of its own wrongdoing. The bombshells in the IG report could justly be classified as “thermonuclear,” but remember the Comey conference back in July 2016? Its bombshells were thermonuclear too. Integrity Boy laid out an utterly devastating case against Felonia Milhous Von Pansuit, highlighting in damning detail her litany of crimes that would have consigned you, me, or anyone else not in the elite to a long tour in the stony lonesome. And then that Looming Doofus concluded his lengthy summation with, “But never mind.”

To continue reading: The IG Report Was a Whitewash and Devastating All At Once

IG Report: Peter Strzok Statements About Weiner/Abedin Laptop Conflict With FBI Claims About Weiner/Abedin Laptop… by sundance

Somebody is either lying or has their “facts” wrong. From sundance at theconservativetreehouse.com:

General David Petraeus was arrested for leaving his classified schedule on mistress Paula Broadwell’s nightstand.  Kristian Saucier was arrested for taking a classified photograph on a submarine.  Anthony Weiner and Huma Abedin had dozens of classified Clinton emails on a laptop and…

There is a great deal of inconsistent application of law surrounding classified information. There is also a great deal of fatigue surrounding discussion of those inconsistent applications.  Contradictions, inconsistency and obtuse justifications are as rampant in our midst as the political narratives shaping them.  Perhaps that’s by design.

We begin reading Chapter 11 of the IG Report with a growing acceptance that not only is there a need for a special counsel, but there is a brutally obvious need for multiple special counsels; each given a specific carve-out investigation that comes directly from the content of the Inspector General report.   This issue of the handling of the Weiner/Abedin laptop screams for a special counsel investigation on that facet alone.  Why?

Well, consider this from page #388 (emphasis mine):

Midyear agents obtained a copy of the Weiner laptop from NYO immediately after the search warrant was signed on October 30.

The laptop was taken directly to Quantico where the FBI’s Operational Technology Division (OTD) began processing the laptop. The Lead Analyst told us that given the volume of emails on the laptop and the difficulty with de-duplicating the emails that “at least for the first few days, the scale of what we’re doing seem[ed] really, really big.”

Strzok told us that OTD was able “to do some amazing things” to “rapidly de-duplicate” the emails on the laptop, which significantly lowered the number of emails that the Midyear team would have to individually review. Strzok stated that only after that technological breakthrough did he begin to think it was “possible we might wrap up before the election.”  (pg 388)

The key takeaway here is two-fold.  First, the laptop is in the custody of the FBI; that’s important moving forward (I’ll explain later).  Also, specifically important, FBI Agent Peter Strzok, the lead investigative authority in the Hillary Clinton MYE (Mid-Year-Exam), is explaining to the IG how they were able to process an exhaustive volume of emails (350,000) and Blackberry communications (344,000) in a few days; [Oct 30 to Nov 5]

To continue reading: IG Report: Peter Strzok Statements About Weiner/Abedin Laptop Conflict With FBI Claims About Weiner/Abedin Laptop…

Inspector general’s report on FBI and Clinton’s emails shows secrecy threatens democracy, by James Board

The Inspector General’s latest report has been previewed and leaked so endlessly, and its style is so bland, that it’s an anticlimax, especially for those who expecting something earth shaking. However, it its own way, it raises issues of serious concern, which James Bovard does a good job of highlighting. From Bovard at usatoday.com:

The 500-page inspector general’s report released Thursday reveals how unjustified secrecy and poor decisions helped ravage the credibility of both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the FBI.

Yesterday’s Inspector General report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton contained plenty of bombshells, including a promise by lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok that “We’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president. The report reveals how unjustified secrecy and squirrelly decisions helped ravage the credibility of both Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the FBI. But few commentators are recognizing the vast peril to democracy posed by the sweeping prerogatives of federal agencies.

The FBI’s investigation of Clinton was spurred by her decision to set up a private server to handle her email during her four years as secretary of state. The server in her Chappaqua, N.Y. mansion was insecure and exposed emails with classified information to detection by foreign sources and others.

Clinton effectively exempted herself from the federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The State Department ignored 17 FOIA requests for her emails prior to 2014 and insisted it required 75 years to disclose emails of Clinton’s top aides. A federal judge and the State Department inspector general slammed the FOIA stonewalling.

Clinton’s private email server was not publicly disclosed until she received a congressional subpoena in 2015. A few months later, the FBI Counterintelligence Division opened a criminal investigation of the “potential unauthorized storage of classified information on an unauthorized system.”

The IG report gives the impression that the FBI treated Hillary Clinton and her coterie like royalty — or at least like personages worthy of endless deference. When Bleachbit software or hammers were used to destroy email evidence under congressional subpoena, the FBI treated it as a harmless error. The IG report “questioned whether the use of a subpoena or search warrant might have encouraged Clinton, her lawyers … or others to search harder for the missing devices [containing email], or ensured that they were being honest that they could not find them.” Instead, FBI agents worked on “rapport building” with Clinton aides.

To continue reading: Inspector general’s report on FBI and Clinton’s emails shows secrecy threatens democracy

Washed, Bleached and Rinsed, by James Kunstler

James Kunstler saves SLL the trouble of having to write about the Inspector General’s report. From Kunstler at kunstler.com:

The FBI brass must have needed hazmat suits to scrub DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on agency misconduct around the 2016 elections. The result of their mighty exertions is something like 500 pages of pasteurized tofu. I will be surprised if a new scandal does not erupt over exactly how the scrubbing went down, and I wouldn’t count out the possibility of the original unscrubbed report emerging from deep inside the FBI itself. You have to wonder how embarrassed Mr. Horowitz is, and whether he, or others seeking to defend his integrity, might do anything about it.

In any case, the report managed to whitewash or evade altogether the most troubling angles of the FBI’s role around this garbage barge of institutional roguery. Among unanswered questions: just what were Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch up to in their mysterious airport tête-à-tête July 2016, a few days before then FBI Director James Comey let Mr. Clinton’s wife, a presidential candidate, off the hook on the email server issue? How did Deputy FBI Director Andy McCabe consort with Clinton campaign bag-man and then Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in a way that dropped nearly $700,000 into Mrs. McCabe’s own campaign war chest for a state legislative race? How did the wife of FBI higher-up Bruce Ohr get on the payroll of the Fusion GPS company that brokered the nefarious Christopher Steele “dossier?” How did the FBI conceal the Clinton campaign’s payments for the Steele dossier from judges who ruled on FISA warrants against Trump campaign associates?

Instead, the OIG report focused on the now-shopworn “love-bird” emails between FBI counter-espionage chief Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, finding only a vague “biased state of mind,” but nothing tied to any particular actions taken by them, despite overt declarations of intent by Strzok to “stop” Trump, presumably by using the powers of the FBI. Former FBI Director Comey got off with the equivalent of a wrist-slap on vague allegations of “insubordination” — to whom? What did insubordination have to do with Comey granting immunity to many Clinton campaign factotums before Mrs. Clinton was interviewed by the agency (not under oath, by the way, for reasons never advanced nor discussed in mainstream media).

If this is the end of all these matters then the FBI will remain permanently tarnished and the public interest will have been very poorly served by a tractable Inspector General who is sure to be a national joke in the months ahead — the pooch screwed by his own pack. The USA really can’t take a whole lot more institutional failure without irreparable political damage. Americans will become only more distrustful of our reckless leviathan state, and more inclined to disrespect it.

To continue reading: Washed, Bleached and Rinsed

Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI, by Jonathan Turley

James Comey did many things that would justify his firing by President Trump. The Department of Justice Inspector General’s report, released yesterday, should at least take the possibility of that firing bringing an obstruction of justice charge off the table. From Jonathan Turley at thehill.com:

Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI
© Getty Images

James Comey once described his position in the Clinton investigation as being the victim of a “500-year flood.” The point of the analogy was that he was unwittingly carried away by events rather than directly causing much of the damage to the FBI. His “500-year flood” just collided with the 500-page report of the Justice Department inspector general (IG) Michael Horowitz. The IG sinks Comey’s narrative with a finding that he “deviated” from Justice Department rules and acted in open insubordination.

Rather than portraying Comey as carried away by his biblical flood, the report finds that he was the destructive force behind the controversy. The import of the report can be summed up in Comeyesque terms as the distinction between flotsam and jetsam. Comey portrayed the broken rules as mere flotsam, or debris that floats away after a shipwreck. The IG report suggests that this was really a case of jetsam, or rules intentionally tossed over the side by Comey to lighten his load. Comey’s jetsam included rules protecting the integrity and professionalism of his agency, as represented by his public comments on the Clinton investigation.

The IG report concludes, “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report will leave many unsatisfied and undeterred. Comey went from a persona non grata to a patron saint for many Clinton supporters. Comey, who has made millions of dollars with a tell-all book portraying himself as the paragon of “ethical leadership,” continues to maintain that he would take precisely the same actions again.

Ironically, Comey, fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and others, by their actions, just made it more difficult for special counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute Trump for obstruction. There is now a comprehensive conclusion by career investigators that Comey violated core agency rules and undermined the integrity of the FBI. In other words, there was ample reason to fire James Comey.

To continue reading: Comey can no longer hide destruction caused at FBI