Michael Horowitz Part II

Conservatives for months have been waiting breathlessly for the release of the Horowitz report on the sources and the basis for the inception of the FBI investigation into collusion with the Russians by the Donald Trump campaign. Horowitz is the Inspector General of the Department of Justice. His report was expected for release in the late Spring of 2019. It will be released to the public Monday, December 9.

Supposedly the delays are the result of witnesses who, for whatever reasons, did not cooperate with Horowitz regarding testimony early in the investigation but decided to come forward late. Their doing so is rumored to be because of fear of Federal Prosecutor John Durham, who was tasked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate all the 2016-2017 matters in the election. These matters include the Clinton Foundation, FISA warrant applications and all details about the warrants, and who the players were in the surveillance of members of the Trump campaign by the FBI. Durham, unlike Horowitz, has subpoena power. He can convene grand juries (and probably already has), interrogate witnesses, and has wide latitude to obtain evidence of wrongdoing. It is expected many who are included in the Horowitz report are subjects of Durham’s investigation. They are choosing to cooperate with Horowitz so as to not make themselves Durham’s targets for their lack of cooperation.

                   President Trump with U.S. Attorney General William Barr

Just a week after Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz’s report on the Obama administration’s spying on the Trump campaign in 2016 was published, The Washington Post released another supposed leak.

Attorney General Barr apparently disagrees with the Inspector General that Obama officials and agents were justified in spying on Trump’s campaign and Trump’s transition team, according to the Washington Post report.

Barr may include a formal letter in the report or may publicly state his concern.

According to leaks, behind the scenes at the Department of Justice, there appears to be a disagreement over one of Horowitz’s central conclusions about the origins of the Russian investigation. The conflict could be the beginning of a significant rift within the federal agency over the controversial issue of investigating a presidential campaign.

Barr has not been influenced by Horowitz’s “logic” to conclude that the FBI had a sufficient basis to open their investigation on July 31, 2016. Horowitz will testify in the Senate on Dec. 11 about the findings of the investigation into possible FISA abuses.

For more than a year and a half, Horowitz has been investigating an alleged abuse of FISA by the Obama Justice Department and FBI during the 2016 elections against President Trump.

But the report is more than just a FISA abuse; it is a whole conspiracy campaign against President Trump orchestrated by the Democratic Party in cooperation with U.S. intelligence agencies. The IG report will also likely result in the declassification of documents requested by high-ranking Republican legislators for several years.

Republicans and President Trump had argued that the FBI’s alleged FISA abuses, which occurred when the federal agency sought criminal links between Trump’s campaign team and Russia during the 2016 campaign, were politically motivated.

In fact, in recent months, several documents have been uncovered that corroborate those claims, for example:

  • Text messages obtained by Fox News showed that before the FISA application was approved, FBI agents were dealing with a senior Justice Department official who had “continued concerns” about “possible bias” of a source pivotal to the application.
  • The 2016 messages, sent between Lisa Page and then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, also revealed that members of the intelligence bureau circulated at least two ‘anti-Trump’ blog articles.
  • These text messages were based in part on information from former British spy Christopher Steele who cited Page’s alleged links to Russia. The FBI assured the FISA court that the media independently corroborated Steele’s claims, but it later came to light that Steele had previously leaked those data to the press.
  • The FBI did not clearly state that Steele worked for a company hired by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

Much of the Steele dossier has been discredited or unfounded. In fact, the extensive report by special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence of alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign members and the Kremlin.

The “Disagreement”

Reports are beginning to float to the surface that Barr is basically saying that Horowitz, confined as he is to examine issues related to the DOJ, doesn’t have the information he and Durham have uncovered as to what other agencies (such as the CIA) and entities may have been doing during the investigation.

He doesn’t have all the information, Barr says, so his conclusion might be appropriate within the limited parameters he had to work with, but there’s more to the story.

That’s it.

It’s not a slam against Horowitz, nor is it a slam against the report. Only an acknowledgment — and a necessary one, given the spin-doctoring that’s been happening in the lead up to the report’s release next week — that Horowitz was limited in the scope of his investigation.

This is actually how governing is supposed to work, with the players showing respect for each other’s roles and taking care not to step on toes. The Obama administration had a different view of how the intelligence agencies were supposed to function, and Barr seems to be thinking back to a time before super-sharing between agencies was a thing.

South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham warned that if you believe Horowitz and Barr are at odds with each other in their upcoming reports, you’re buying into the spin.

“Be wary of the Washington Post and the New York Times reporting on what is coming up with Horowitz. They have been trying overtime to spin this thing to diminish its effect, to downplay it,” Graham said Monday.

“I can tell you without any hesitation Attorney General Barr has every confidence in the world in Mr. Horowitz,” Graham added. “He believes that he has done a good job, a professional job, and he appreciates the work and the effort he has put into disclosing abuse at the Department of Justice.”

Summary

Uncharacteristically, Radio Host Rush Limbaugh has been skeptical of any blockbuster revelations of DOJ and FBI wrongdoing in the Russia collusion probe being included in the Horowitz report. Conservatives have been nervously anticipating the story, hoping that there will be certain damning information added that will result in criminal referrals to the DOJ for the prosecution of those who allegedly illegally created and maintained the allegations of Russia collusion by the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. Many Conservatives will be sorely disappointed if no action is recommended by Horowitz.

On the other hand, Federal Attorney John Durham has all the power necessary to do exactly what Horowitz cannot do: grand juries, subpoena witnesses, issue indictments, even conduct arrests. And Durham made an announcement recently that his investigation is now considered a criminal investigation as compared to that of Horowitz.

All this means, Folks, is that we are set for waiting again for any definitive information about alleged wrongdoing by those in the Obama White House, the FBI under James Comey, the Department of Justice under Attorneys General Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder, and by management at several of the intelligence community departments: specifically John Brennan and James Clapper.

Yes, this is a convoluted and intricate period of digging for the truth. What bothers many Americans is that no one seems to know for certain who are the “guys wearing the black hats” and who “wear the white hats.” Are the investigators in all this clean and objective, or are they “in the tank” for the perpetrators? In other words, millions have queasy stomachs when thinking through it all.

It’s sad to know that any people who work for the American people in government are evil. But there’s one thing that is indisputable: there are plenty of people in our government who are evil. Corruption runs amuck. We must discover who they are, identify their specific wrongdoing, and hold them accountable.

Do you think that will ever happen?

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