Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz appeared before Senator Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) Intelligence Committee Wednesday to answer questions about his report on the FBI investigation’s basis and inception. The 434-page report, Horowitz penned one point and one only that gave the Lame-Stream Media and Democrats a possible out for the rampant corruption in the Trump investigation. He stated there was no provable partisan political bias that started the FBI investigation. He did not indicate there was no political partisanship among those who investigated.
The Media danced; Democrats threw victory parties; fired FBI Director James Comey and Obama former CIA director John Brennan decided to excoriate the President via Twitter for their exoneration they perceive from the Horowitz Report. Those thoughts are far from the truth.
First, Horowitz did not say there was NO political bias that started the investigation. He said his team could not PROVE it was the basis for its beginning. There’s a big difference. Why do I say that? Throughout the report, Horowitz detailed dozens and dozens of examples of the political bias of members of the F.B.I. and DOJ that certainly played into a one-sided investigation.
Further, he identified seventeen specific examples of what he termed severe “errors” by the FBI. He used errors instead of labeling those instances “criminal acts” because the job of his team was not to investigate criminal matters but to find facts to prepare a report. If there are exposed criminal acts — and there are positively egregious criminal acts — Federal Attorney John Durham, who is now conducting a separate and criminal investigation, will handle those.
Is the Horowitz report a slam-dunk for President Trump? It depends on which media source to which you read, listen, or watch to get the “truth” of the report. No matter which source you use for your information, be confident of this one thing: there will be indictments, and people will be prosecuted for grave crimes before this is complete. “This is complete…” is not going to be for some time. I can picture a scenario in which we are still dealing with F.B.I.wrongdoing during the 2016 election cycle and beyond for several years to come. The fishing net has caught-up a bunch of fish.
Let’s dig in.
There were serious errors in the applications for secret eavesdropping warrants.
- Mr. Horowitz found that F.B.I. Officials appeared to discount evidence that did not support probable cause to wiretap Carter Page while playing up information that seemed to justify one. “That so many fundamental errors were made by three separate, handpicked teams on one of the most sensitive F.B.I. Investigators briefed to the highest levels, and that F.B.I. Officials expected it would eventually be subjected to scrutiny, raised important questions regarding the F.B.I. chain of command’s management and supervision of the FISA process,” the report said.
- The Inspector-General did not speculate whether the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would have granted the application — renewed three times — to wiretap Mr. Page anyway. But he said the F.B.I. should review the actions of everyone who had a hand in drafting the applications. And he identified in each form where information verifying a fact was not included.
- Relying on the F.B.I.’s information, the Justice Department first obtained court approval to wiretap Mr. Page in October 2016. The wiretap application portrayed Mr. Page, who had recently stepped down as a Trump campaign aide and had close ties to Russia, as a suspected unregistered agent of a foreign power. Mr. Horowitz found dozens of examples of missing or flawed documentation in the applications to wiretap Mr. Page. By the way, while the FBI intimated in all of the FISA warrant applications that Carter Page was a known Russian operative, Page was NOT working for Russia, but was a C.I.A. operative working directly with the CIA! Guess what: then CIA Director John Brennan knew that and hid it from all.
- The applications relied heavily on information provided by Christopher Steele, a British former intelligence agent whose research was funded first by Mr. Trump’s Republican rivals, then by Democratic organizations. Mr. Steele told the F.B.I. that he based much of his information on a confidential source. But when the F.B.I. Interviewed that person, the source failed to back up some of Mr. Steele’s assertions, the report said. For instance, according to the F.B.I. Interview, the source saw “nothing bad” about communications between the Trump team and the Kremlin, and never discussed WikiLeaks with Mr. Steele, according to the report. The F.B.I.’s failure to inform the court of those discrepancies was a severe error, Mr. Horowitz said. “Despite the inconsistencies between Steele’s reporting and the information his primary sub-source provided to the F.B.I., the subsequent FISA renewal applications continued to rely on the Steele information, without any revisions or notice to the court,” the report stated.
- The F.B.I. also failed to notify the court after it learned that Mr. Steele was “desperate” to undercut Mr. Trump, the report said. Kevin Clinesmith, a low-level F.B.I. lawyer, altered an email from the C.I.A. to incorrectly state that Mr. Page was not a source for the intelligence agency. That error was then repeated in an application to renew the warrant. Mr. Horowitz has referred his findings of Mr. Clinesmith to possible criminal investigation for making a false statement.
The Attorney General said the F.B.I. failed to justify the steps it took to investigate the Trump campaign.
Attorney General William Barr praised one element of the Inspector General’s findings, saying the report showed “malfeasance and misfeasance” and “clear abuse” of the wiretap application process by the F.B.I. But Mr. Barr also suggested that he disagreed with Mr. Horowitz’s conclusion that the F.B.I. had sufficient reason to open an investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia.
“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the F.B.I. launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Mr. Barr said in a statement.
John H. Durham, a federal prosecutor whom Mr. Barr appointed to run a separate criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation, backed Mr. Barr’s findings in his own highly unusual statement. “Last month, we advised the inspector general that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the F.B.I. case was opened,” Mr. Durham said.
Were there problems with the use of informants?
Mr. Horowitz concluded that the F.B.I. did not attempt to place informants or undercover agents inside the Trump campaign, but he found that the current policy for using informants should include more oversight.
As part of the Russia investigation, F.B.I. Agents authorized the use of at least one informant to determine whether Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos were working with the Russians. The informant met with the two men while they were still associated with the campaign.
The use of the informant, Stefan A. Halper, a Cambridge professor, has led Mr. Trump and his allies to accuse the F.B.I. of spying on his campaign. The F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, has defended the bureau against accusations of spying. On two separate occasions, A.G. Barr in interviews (one in testimony before a Congressional committee) stated that it is clear the F.B.I. DID spy on the Trump Campaign. When asked that question in Wednesday’s hearing, Mr. Horowitz also stated the F.B.I. spied on Mr. Trump.
Mr. Horowitz’s team scrutinized the F.B.I.’s roster of informants for any work they might have done in connection with the Russia investigation. He found that the F.B.I. did not try to infiltrate the campaign itself. And the inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. used informants to interact with anyone on the Trump campaign before the official opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
The inspector general said Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor who met with Mr. Papadopoulos and offered him dirt on Hillary Clinton, was not an F.B.I. informant.
How Bad Was It?
In a partial example of just how vile was this investigation by the F.B.I., watch this snippet between Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and I.G. Horowitz:
Put in perspective, Horowitz made it clear in Wednesday’s testimony that the Steele Dossier WAS part of the initial FISA warrant application and each FISA renewal. He also stated an F.B.I. attorney in dramatic fashion edited an email to prove that Carter Page was indeed working with Russia. The actual email said precisely the opposite.
Fired F.B.I. Director James Comey immediately after the Horowitz Report release ran to Twitter to say this:
So it was all lies. No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America.
— James Comey (@Comey)
In the Horowitz hearing, the Inspector General stated this: “No one was vindicated in this report.” Further, Horowitz noted that Comey violated numerous guidelines and broke federal statutes. Regardless of what Comey claimed, you can bet the John Durham investigation will result in Comey indictments with at least one trial to follow.
Who else was tagged for wrongdoing in the Horowitz Report? Andrew McCabe, Peter Strozk, John Brennan, James Clapper, that unnamed F.B.I. attorney who forged a FISA application, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, and that list is just getting started. Many more will face the Grim Reaper when the dust settles on all this.
What this has exposed is what many have believed not only existed but has thrived in Washington for years: a Deep State. What precisely does that mean?
- James Comey is likely going to be remembered as the most corrupt F.B.I Director in U.S. history.
- John Brennan lied multiple times before Congress, and this report reveals he hid many facts from the DOJ attorneys, investigators, and conned the FISA courts to gain illegal access to surveillance of the Trump Campaign.
- There was deep political bias through numerous levels of employees in several Intelligence agencies. While it was first thought that corruption was specifically within senior management members of several of those agencies, it now appears it made its way through numerous levels in the F.B.I., C.I.A., D.N.I., and other agencies. It is certain that even though F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray has stated he has already taken suggested “corrective actions” within the F.B.I. contained in the Horowitz Report. If he has done so, it is apparent that he had to have at least known about the wrongdoing that occurred under Comey if not personally complicit.
- It is expected that in the Durham criminal investigation that members of the Obama F.B.I. and DOJ and probably even some from the White House staff will be implicated.
The Deep State is real. But the above government employees did not act alone. There were those in Congress that at least knew much of what was happening. If evidence confirms that, here’s what that means: some workers in the three Constitutional branches of government — Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Branches — will be implicated. But there’s one more:
Though not Constitutional, today’s Media took an active role in this fake collusion investigation into Donald Trump. The Media are guilty of suborning perjury, falsifying information used in news reports, and knowingly presented through corrupt government officials defaming information about Trump officials while publicly supporting the lies of those active in this coup d’état.
In the committee hearing in his opening remarks, Sen. Lindsey Graham finished with this advice to us all: “Don’t judge the personnel of our Intelligence Agencies based on this. This does not tell the story of those agencies. We’re better than this.”
I like Mr. Graham, who I consider a great conservative lawmaker. But, in this case, I am now inclined to disagree with the Senator. I feel that far more than have previously been thought to be “great Americans committed to the Rule of Law” that work within these agencies have been, and probably are, driven by gross political bias. And I’m not referring to political ideals which every American has the right to hold. For decades, members of the Government were undoubtedly encouraged to support and vote for their political preferences. But they were instructed to leave their political perspectives at home — no partisanship was allowed on the job in which they work for ALL Americans.
That’s changed: the Deep State has a much bigger choke-hold than I suspected on the heart that beats to keep our nation alive.
Wake up, America!