IG’s Report covers up as much as it can but plenty still there to be seen

The depth of the deep state is a wonder to behold, and it is only because of PDT that we have even had a glimpse of it. No one can doubt after all this time that the FBI, along with many other agencies of the American Government, are corrupt to their very depths. There are obviously many who serve honourably, but at the top they are dishonest liars in whose service they actually are is difficult at times to work out.

The Inspector General’s Report has been released which downplays FBI corruption as best it can. If the names James Comey, or Lisa Page and Peter Strzok mean anything to you, then you can be in little doubt just how corrupt this organisation has become. The IG’s Report is about the FISA application. This tells you a lot about what you need to know: John Durham issues statement saying he does NOT agree with IG report conclusions….

US Attorney John Durham, who is performing his own investigation into the origins of the Russia probe, has just released a statement indicating that, per his own investigation, he does not agree with some of the IG report conclusions.

But with this still not being the full story, even the partial tale is quite quite extraordinary: IG Report Reveals Comey Did Brief Obama on Trump Campaign Investigation.

Former FBI Director James Comey briefed President Barack Obama about the investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign before the 2016 election, according to a report released today by the Justice Department’s inspector general.

And to see how widely the deep state corruption is, the media are as complicit as the others, although they are not supposedly committed to working for the country as those who work for the government supposedly are.

No reporter has yet to ask Barack Obama what he knew about his FBI’s counterintelligence probe into Donald Trump’s campaign or when he knew it.

We’ll see what’s coming next. As for impeachment, can a former president be impeached?

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14 Responses to IG’s Report covers up as much as it can but plenty still there to be seen

  1. Elderly White Man From Skipton

    I am among those who think the evidence at hand is more than sufficient to justify Trump’s impeachment. But his partisan supporters will continue to declare the effort a sham and the case unproven while unironically complaining about the lack of direct evidence—and at the same time ignoring Trump’s all-out effort to conceal such direct evidence from Congress.

    Another view: https://thebulwark.com/trump-is-obstructing-justice-and-its-working/

  2. jupes

    The Inspector General’s Report has been released which downplays FBI corruption as best it can.

    Just as predicted. The IG is nothing but a deep-state hack who couldn’t find bias in Peter Strzok’s tweets, and now finds no bias in the FISA application.

    Thank goodness John C. Durham is on the case.

  3. jupes

    Another view: https://thebulwark.com/trump-is-obstructing-justice-and-its-working/

    Lol. The clown who wrote that is still banging on about the Russia collusion hoax!

  4. Roger

    As for impeachment, can a former president be impeached?

    Actually yes, but the penalty is only prevention from holding office again.

    Criminal charges under Federal law would be the bette avenue to pursue, but what are the chances of that ever happening?

    This begs the question, if the apparatus of government in the US is so deeply compromised at the highest levels and seeks to pursue its own interests over that of the people, is the US a functioning democracy anymore?

    The same might be said of the UK – we’ll know more after the election – and even Australia, where policies are rejected at an election only to be furthered by the incoming government. This is a stupid and dangerous game to play – it corrodes our representative democracy. Presumably the rewards are such that those who engage in it deem it worthwhile for themselves (how many parliamentarians from the major parties or members of their families invest in renewables?).

  5. JC

    The one who may be in very serious trouble is Comey. The D’rats won’t help him because of what they think he did to Crooked.

  6. pbw

    No reporter has yet to ask Barack Obama…

    Which says that every reporter has asked him.
    But reporters aren’t expected to be able to express such complicated ideas in English.

  7. Zatara

    The IG is nothing but a deep-state hack who couldn’t find bias in Peter Strzok’s tweets, and now finds no bias in the FISA application.

    As the IG Horowitz is restricted to examining a very small slice of the pie.
    Which is why the key phrase in his report is “I found no evidence….”.
    As in it might be there, but not where I looked.

    Durham on the other hand has the entire pie and he’s chowing down.
    We need to wait until the fat investigator belches.

  8. Leo G

    Just as predicted. The IG is nothing but a deep-state hack who couldn’t find bias in Peter Strzok’s tweets, and now finds no bias in the FISA application.

    The IG asserts that it was quite reasonable for the FBI to conclude from the account by Alexander Downer of his conversation with George Papadopoulos that the latter was a willing agent of the Russian intelligence service and that the FBI had no reason to believe that Joseph Mifsud was really the source of the anecdote recounted by George P.
    It’s not a reasonable inference if the FBI had any reason to believe Mifsud was an agent of US or a friendly foreign intelligence service.

  9. OldOzzie

    Best Summed up by WSJ Editorial

    A Trail of FBI Abuse
    The Horowitz report confirms that the bureau deceived FISA judges with the Steele dossier.
    By The Editorial Board

    Dec. 9, 2019 7:38 pm ET

    The press corps is portraying Monday’s report by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz as absolution for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, but don’t believe it. The report relates a trail of terrible judgment and violations of process that should shock Americans who thought better of their premier law-enforcement agency.

    Readers can look at the detailed executive summary and decide for themselves. But our own initial reading confirms the worst of what we feared about the bureau when it was run by James Comey. The FBI corrupted the secret court process for obtaining warrants to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page. And it did so by supplying the court with false information produced by Christopher Steele, an agent of the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    How can anyone, most of all civil libertarians, pass this off as no big deal? The absolution is supposedly that Mr. Horowitz concludes that the FBI decision to open a counter-intelligence probe against the Trump campaign in July 2016 “was sufficient to predicate the investigation” under current FBI rules.

    Yet Mr. Horowitz also notes that these rules amount to a “low threshold for predication.” John Durham, the U.S. Attorney investigating these matters for Attorney General William Barr, said Monday he disagrees with Mr. Horowitz’s conclusions on predication, albeit without elaboration for now.

    Mr. Horowitz confirms what the FBI had already leaked to friendly reporters, which is that the bureau’s alarm in July 2016 was triggered by a conversation that former Trump aide George Papadopoulos had with Australian Alexander Downer. But we learn for the first time that the FBI immediately ramped up its counter-intelligence probe to include four Trump campaign officials: Messrs. Page and Papadopoulos, then campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn.

    The bureau quickly moved to a full-scale investigation it called Crossfire Hurricane. The FBI’s justification, as related to Mr. Horowitz, is that the risk of Russian disruption of the 2016 election was too great to ignore.

    Yet the bureau never told anyone in the Trump campaign, or even Donald Trump, whom or what it was investigating so he could reduce the danger or distance himself from those advisers. The FBI was investigating the campaign but wouldn’t tell the candidate who would soon be elected.

    The FBI abuses escalated when it was presented with the now infamous Steele dossier. Mr. Steele was hired by Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS, the oppo-research outfit hired by a law firm for the Clinton campaign. Mr. Horowitz confirms that the FBI then used the Steele dossier to trigger its application to the FISA court to spy on Mr. Page.

    “We determined that the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order,” Mr. Horowitz says. This confirms what Rep. Devin Nunes and House Republicans first disclosed in February 2018, which was denied by Rep. Adam Schiff and sneered at by the press at the time.

    Mr. Horowitz also finds that the FBI told the FISA court that Mr. Steele was credible without having tried to confirm the details or verify his sources. Mr. Horowitz found no fewer than seven key “errors or omissions” in the FBI’s original FISA application, and 10 more in the three subsequent applications. The latter were especially egregious because they ignored information that the FBI’s own Crossfire Hurricane team had later gathered that cast doubt on the Steele claims.

    The omissions include the stunner that Mr. Page had been working as an “operational contact” for what Mr. Horowitz calls another U.S. agency from 2008-2013. Mr. Page has said this is the CIA, which Mr. Horowitz doesn’t confirm, though he does say that Mr. Page was reporting on his Russian contacts, which the agency deemed credible.

    In other words, the FBI was using Mr. Page’s Russian contacts as evidence against him to the FISA court even as the other agency considered his reports on those Russians to be helpful to the U.S. Mr. Horowitz says the FBI never disclosed this information to the FISA judges.

    “Much of that information was inconsistent with, or undercut, the assertions contained in the FISA applications that were used to support probable cause and, in some instances, resulted in inaccurate information being included in the [FISA] applications,” the report says. This is the Inspector General’s bland way of saying that the FBI deceived four FISA judges.

    Democrats and the press are making much of Mr. Horowitz’s conclusion that he “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation” influenced FBI decisions. But his report does show that political bias was conveyed to the FISA court from the Clinton campaign via the Steele dossier through the FBI.

    It was conveyed by Bruce Ohr, a senior Justice Department official whose wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS. Mr. Horowitz may not have found a memo with the words “let’s get Trump,” but his evidence shows that getting Mr. Trump was the goal of Mr. Steele and Fusion GPS. Mr. Ohr met 13 times with the FBI to discuss the Steele findings.

    Even if you buy the “no bias” line, all of this had major political consequences. Fusion GPS used its media contacts to spread word of the Steele dossier’s accusations, and news of the FBI’s use of that dossier became a media hook to suggest the accusations were credible. This became another part of the false Russia collusion narrative played up by the press and the likes of former CIA director John Brennan.

    Mr. Horowitz says Crossfire Hurricane investigators never verified any of the Steele dossier allegations against Mr. Page. Even a year after the first FISA warrant, in September 2017, the report says the FBI had only “corroborated limited information in the Steele election reporting.” Robert Mueller later spent two years looking for proof of collusion and found nothing, while the Trump Presidency was besieged.

    The Horowitz report should not be the end of this tawdry tale. Whether or not there are prosecutions, Messrs. Barr and Durham should release the entire FISA record to the public. The GOP Senate also needs to call the FISA judges to tell their story under oath.

    The FISA process was established in the 1970s as a check on FBI abuse, though we and others warned that it would hurt accountability instead. So it has played out in this case. The U.S. doesn’t need a process that uses Article III judges as political cover to justify abusive wiretaps on innocent Americans, much less on presidential campaigns.

  10. OldOzzie

    Further on the Continuing DemoCraps Schitt and Nadler Treasonous Activities of Fake Impeachment from WSJ

    Schiff Threatens Press Freedom
    When the surveillance state exposes a journalist and his sources, there’s an instant chilling effect.
    By John Solomon

    The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide, the bible for agents, has long recognized that journalists, the clergy and lawyers deserve special protections because of the constitutional implications of investigating their work. Penitents who confess to a priest, sources who provide confidential information to a reporter, and clients who seek advice from counsel are assumed to be protected by a high bar of privacy, which must be weighed against the state’s interests in investigating matters or subpoenaing records. Judges and members of Congress also fall into a special FBI category because of the Constitution’s separation of powers.

    The FBI and Justice Department have therefore created specific rules governing agents’ actions involving special-circumstances professionals, which include high-level approval and review. There are also special rules for subpoenaing journalists.

    If the executive branch, and by extension the courts that enforce these privacy protections, observe the need for such sensitivity, it seems reasonable that Congress should have similar guardrails ensuring that the powers of the state are equally and fairly applied.

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff apparently doesn’t see things that way. His committee secretly authorized subpoenas to AT&T earlier this year for the phone records of President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and an associate. He then arbitrarily extracted information about certain private calls and made them public.

    Many of the calls Mr. Schiff chose to publicize fell into the special-circumstances categories: a fellow member of Congress ( Rep. Devin Nunes, the Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican), two lawyers (Mr. Giuliani and fellow Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow ) and a journalist (me).

    More alarming, the released call records involve figures who have sometimes criticized or clashed with Mr. Schiff. I wrote a story raising questions about his contacts with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, a key figure in the Russia probe, that brought the California Democrat unwelcome scrutiny. Mr. Nunes has been one of Mr. Schiff’s main Republican antagonists, helping to prove that the exaggerated claims of Trump-Russia election collusion were unsubstantiated. Messrs. Sekulow and Giuliani represent Mr. Trump, who is Mr. Schiff’s impeachment target.

    Mr. Schiff’s actions in obtaining and publicizing private phone records trampled the attorney-client privilege of Mr. Trump and his lawyers. It intruded on my First Amendment rights to interview and contact figures like Mr. Giuliani and the Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas without fear of having the dates, times and length of private conversation disclosed to the public.

    Contrary to Mr. Schiff’s defense that he was simply serving the investigative interest of Congress, the release of the phone records served much more to punish people whose work Mr. Schiff found antagonistic than to fulfill an oversight purpose. And it served Congress poorly because it spread false insinuations. Mr. Schiff’s report suggested, for instance, that Mr. Giuliani called the White House to talk to the Office of Management and Budget, implying he might have been trying to help Mr. Trump withhold aid to Ukraine as Democrats allege. The White House says that claim is wrong; the number was a generic phone entry point and no one in OMB talked to Mr. Giuliani.

    Likewise, Mr. Schiff published call records between Mr. Giuliani and me and suggested they involved my Ukraine stories. Many contacts I had with Mr. Giuliani involved interviews on the Mueller report and its aftermath or efforts to invite the president’s lawyer on the Hill’s TV show, which I supervised.

    Mr. Schiff’s team has tried to minimize the conduct because he never subpoenaed my phone records directly but extracted them from others’ call records. That defense is laughable. Once a journalist and his calls are made public through the powers of the surveillance state, there is an instant chilling effect on press freedom.

    I know this firsthand. In 2001 and 2002, when I was a reporter for the Associated Press, the Justice Department obtained my home phone records and the FBI illegally seized my mail without a warrant in an effort to unmask my sources on federal corruption and stop publication of a story about the government’s counterterrorism failures before 9/11. In the end the FBI returned my reporting records, apologized to me privately, and announced new rules to avoid a repeat for other journalists.

    Yet by that time many of my longtime sources had told me they had chosen not to contact me for fear of being detected. Others would only meet in person, concerned that my phones were wiretapped.

    Similarly, in the days since Mr. Schiff’s phone-record release, I have had people who openly talked to me on the phone this year suddenly ask to communicate only by encrypted apps. They don’t want their names splashed in the next congressional report. And they fear a bipartisan open season on phone records of political opponents in the future.

    Rep. Mike Turner (R., Ohio), a member of the Intelligence Committee, tells me he’s drafting legislation to put guardrails on future congressional subpoenas for phone records. That’s a good start, but more needs to be done sooner.

    Mr. Schiff appears to assume that Congress enjoys unlimited investigative powers under the Constitution’s Speech or Debate clause. He does not. I recommend the chairman examine the record in McSurely v. McClellan, a two-decade legal battle that began in 1967 and pitted a powerful committee chairman against a liberal activist couple in Kentucky. It is widely regarded—along with the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s—as one of most egregious episodes of misconduct in the modern history of congressional oversight.

    In one of the final appellate decisions in that topsy-turvy case, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that Congressional oversight isn’t boundless and that the Speech or Debate Clause has limits. The final paragraph of that ruling derided a “sorry chapter of investigative excess.”

    The judges wrote that their decision “can only stand as a small reaffirmation of the proposition that there are bounds to the interference that citizens must tolerate from the agents of their government—even when such agents invoke the mighty shield of the Constitution and claim official purpose to their conduct.” That principle is due for another affirmation.

    Mr. Solomon is an investigative journalist who has written for the Associated Press, the Washington Post, “60 Minutes” and the Hill, among others.

    Dec. 9, 2019 7:28 pm ET

  11. Zatara

    The Reason for Conflict Between Horowitz and Durham is Crystal Clear

    The ONLY evidence the FBI cited for the opening of Crossfire Hurricane is the singular conversation between George Papadopoulos and Australian Ambassador Alexander Downer and/or Downer’s asst. Erika Thompson.

    That conversation between Downer and Papadopoulos was George Papadopoulos relaying a rumor he heard from Joseph Mifsud and is the totality of evidence used to initiate Crossfire Hurricane.

    This investigative predicate is where Durham and Horowitz have a conflict. Horowitz says the predicate was justified, Durham says not-so-much.

    Durham says: “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 FBI case was opened“. This is important because the difference between the inspector general and the U.S. attorney is that John Durham has interviewed Downer and Mifsud, and Horowitz has not.

    As I said earlier, the scope of the investigations are vastly different, as is the role of the IG vs. the US Attorney. The IG reports, the Attorney charges and prosecutes.

  12. Chris M

    DC Whispers:
    First IG Horowitz does not have the power to indict. That alone makes his investigation very limited in both scope and recourse.

    Second, and this is something that goes terribly under-reported by Big Media – the report itself goes through an intensive review process by the very institutions it is reportedly investigating. In short, the DOJ, the FBI, the CIA, etc., review and ultimately have the power to approve or deny aspects of the report linked to their respective departments – all under the guise of “national security.”

  13. OldOzzie

    Horowitz Report Is “Triumph” For FISA Abuse ‘Whistleblower’ Devin Nunes: WSJ’s Kim Strassel

    In her usual succinct and clarifying manner, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel took to Twitter overnight to summarize the farcical findings within the Horowitz Report (and Barr and Durham’s responses).

    In sixteen short tweets, Strassel destroyed the spin while elucidating the key findings of the Horowitz report (emphasis ours):

    Yup, IG said FBI hit threshold for opening an investigation. But also goes out of its way to note what a “low threshold” this is.

    Durham’s statement made clear he will provide more info for Americans to make a judgment on reasonableness.

    The report is triumph for former House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, who first blew the whistle on FISA abuse. The report confirms all the elements of the February 2018 Nunes memo, which said dossier was as an “essential” part of applications, and FBI withheld info from FISA court

    Conversely, the report is an excoriation of Adam Schiff and his “memo” of Feb 2018.

    That doc stated that “FBI and DOJ officials did NOT abuse the [FISA] process” or “omit material information.”

    Also claimed FBI didn’t much rely on dossier.

    In fact, IG report says dossier played “central and essential role” in getting FISA warrants.

    Schiff had access to same documents as Nunes, yet chose to misinform the public. This is the guy who just ran impeachment proceedings.

    The Report is a devastating indictment of Steele, Fusion GPS and the “dossier.”

    Report finds that about the only thing FBI ever corroborated in that doc were publicly available times, places, title names. Ouch.

    IG finds 17 separate problems with FISA court submissions, including FBI’s overstatement of Steele’s credentials. Also the failure to provide court with exculpatory evidence and issues with Steele’s sources and additional info it got about Steele’s credibility.

    Every one of these “issues” is a story all on its own.

    Example: The FBI had tapes of Page and Papadopoulos making statements that were inconsistent with FBI’s own collusion theories. They did not provide these to the FISA court.

    Another example: FBI later got info from professional contacts with Steele who said he suffered from “lack of self awareness, poor judgement” and “pursued people” with “no intelligence value.” FBI also did not tell the court about these credibility concerns.

    And this: FBI failed to tell Court that Page was approved as an “operational contact” for another U.S. agency, and “candidly” reported his interactions with a Russian intel officer. FBI instead used that Russian interaction against Page, with no exculpatory detail.

    Overall, IG was so concerned by these “extensive compliance failures” that is has now initiated additional “oversight” to assess how FBI in general complies with “policies that seek to protect the civil liberties of U.S. persons.”

    The Report also expressed concerns about FBI’s failure to present any of these issues to DOJ higher ups; its ongoing contacts with Steele after he was fired for talking to media; and its use of spies against the campaign without any DOJ input.

    Remember Comey telling us it was no big deal who paid for dossier?

    Turns out it was a big deal in FBI/DOJ, where one lawyer (Stuart Evans) expressed “concerns” it had been funded by Clinton/DNC. Because of his “consistent inquiries” we go that convoluted footnote.

    IG also slaps FBI for using what was supposed to be a baseline briefing for the Trump campaign of foreign intelligence threats as a surreptitious opportunity to investigate Flynn.

    Strassel’s last point is perhaps the most important for those on the left claiming “vindication”…

    When IG says he found no “documentary” evidence of bias, he means just that: He didn’t find smoking gun email that says “let’s take out Trump.”

    And it isn’t his job to guess at the motivations of FBI employees.

    Instead… He straightforwardly lays out facts.

    Those facts produce a pattern of FBI playing the FISA Court–overstating some info, omitting other info, cherrypicking details.

    Americans can look at totality and make their own judgment as to “why” FBI behaved in such a manner.

    Finally, intriguing just how many people at the FBI don’t remember anything about anything. Highly convenient.

  14. Richard Standley

    Is this the Second American Civil war unfolding before our very eyes???
    The first Civil War erupted when the Democrat-led Southern states were horrified at Lincoln’s attempt to abolish slavery…
    Now, the Democrat-led “fire fight” is on, fanned by a lopsided media…
    It’s not the issue that horrifies them… it’s that an outsider of the deep state political system actually became president…
    “How does one change a corrupt system?” asks a pro-active Trump..
    “CHANGE!!!!???? CHANGE????!!!” yell the opposition and its media acolytes…

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