Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Russigate: In the Wake of IG Horowitz

Well, I already dealt with the most important facts from the IG report yesterday. The report found numerous lapses in judgment and procedures in the process of obtaining the repeated FISA warrants on Carter Page, including one possible criminal act by Kevin Clinesmith, lying on the final FISA warrant application about Page's interactions with the CIA, apparently to cover up his previous cooperation with them against the Russians. But when asked directly about whether their hatred of Trump led to all the mistakes, all of them denied it to the IG and they are all good honest public servants, so hey, what are ya gonna do? It's just a miracle that all those errors went against Trump, and all the errors in the Clinton investigation went to Clinton. Flipping coins, they got all heads for Clinton, and all tails for Trump. (Note that Horowitz also lead investigation into the Clinton investigation, of most of the same people) John Durham in strongly hinting that he doesn't quite see it that way. Anyway, lots of links to help digest it, or maybe just piss you off some more.

Capt. Ed at Hot Air, Horowitz Report: Sufficient Predicate For Crossfire Hurricane — But Probably Not The Page FISA Warrant;More: Ordering Audit Of All FBI FISA Warrant Processes; Rips Ohr; Update: Durham Dissents?

The MSM is claiming victory for team Democrat at WaPoo, FBI was justified in opening Trump campaign probe, (but case plagued by ‘serious failures,’ inspector general finds),  also at WaPoo,  James Comey: The truth is finally out. The FBI fulfilled its mission. Allah Pundit at Hot Air, Comey Takes Victory Lap Over IG Report: You’re Welcome, America
This is like running someone over and then doing a told-ya-so dance when the cops announce that you didn’t do it on purpose, you’re just a terrible driver.
John Solomon,The Comey FBI’s 17 worst failures, inaccuracies and omissions flagged in the Russia FISA report and Just how bad was the FBI’s Russia FISA? 51 violations and 9 false statements Not coincidentally, Ace, Fusion Co-Founders Glenn Simpson and Jonathan Winer Refused to Talk to IG; James Comey and Former FBI Attorney James Baker Also Avoided Fully Testifying

Reason, The IG Report Is a Huge Blow to the FBI's Credibility. Why Is It Being Treated Like Vindication? Sundance at CTH, Rank and Vile – FBI Director Christopher Wray Releases Pathetic Letter Following Highly Critical FISA Report… FBI director, we didn't do anything wrong, and we promise not to do it again!

Via the Wombat's In The Mailbox: 12.09.19 fromTwitchy: Mollie Hemingway’s IG Report Thread Paints A Very Different Picture From The MSM. It scathing. JustOneMinute: Something For Everyone In The IG Report On Crossfire Hurricane. Professor Turley from Da Hill, Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us. It's unsettling to me that it spares the FBI from accusations of bias. Althouse finds the Titanic reference within; "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. Horowitz says that investigative icebergs appeared very early on, and the Justice Department not only failed to report that to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court but also removed evidence that its investigation was on a collision course.... Like the crew of the Titanic, the FBI knew investigative icebergs floated around its Russia investigation, but not only did it not reduce speed, it actively suppressed the countervailing reports. Despite the many conflicts to its FISA application and renewals, the FBI leadership, including McCabe, plowed ahead into the darkness."

From "Horowitz report is damning for the FBI and unsettling for the rest of us" by Jonathan Turley (The Hill)(with lots of good detail to support his analogy).
Some little noted findings. Julie Kelly at AmGreat, IG Report Reveals Comey Did Brief Obama on Trump Campaign Investigation. So Obama did carry out a hit job on a political opponent using government resources? According to Democrats that's impeachable, and some recent articles suggest you can, in fact, impeach Presidents after their term of office. Sundance, well, sundance, hones in on some specific redactions to suggest complicty by the Senate Intelligence Committee in IG Report – Continued, Specific, FISA Date Redactions… and one odd one from WaPoo, Ivanka Trump was friends with former British spy Christopher Steele, according to person familiar with the situation, so friendly he set out to torpedo her fathers presidential campaign. From Da Caller, IG Report: Pro-Trump FBI Agent Texted ‘Start Looking For New Jobs Fellas’ On Day After Election
On the day after the 2016 election, a pro-Trump FBI agent texted another, saying that “shit just got real” and joked that some people would have to “start looking for new jobs,” DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz’s report released Monday reveals.

According to the report, the handling agent, the co-case handling agent, and the special agent for one of the FBI’s Confidential Human Source (CHS), were all fans of Donald Trump, and exchanged text messages about their support.
On the disagreement from John Durham, many articles, little nothing new. We know that he has the ability to compel more people to testify, and that he has interviewed with foreign intelligence agents, so he may officially know a great deal more than Horowitz "officially" knows. Sundance,   U.S. Attorney John Durham Does Not Agree With IG Horowitz Conclusions…, Alex Pappas, Fox, US Attorney Durham objects to IG findings on Russia probe origins in stunning statement.

Althouse catches slippery language at NYT, "Barr and Durham Publicly Disagree With Horowitz Report on Russia Inquiry."
The NYT reports.
“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....
The statements from the Justice Department’s top official and one of his key investigators gave Mr. Trump’s supporters ammunition to dispute one of the key findings in the long-awaited report by Mr. Horowitz that excoriated the F.B.I.’s handling of a wiretap application used in the early stages of its Russia investigation... [and] exonerated former bureau leaders of accusations by the president and his allies that Mr. Trump was the victim of a politicized conspiracy to sabotage his campaign and his presidency.
Exonerated? I remember when "exonerated" had a strong meaning — back when the Mueller report was said not to have exonerated Trump because it did not prove Trump's innocence but only failed to prove guilt. Now, to fail to prove guilt is to exonerate? Ah, yes, it was in the text of the Mueller report: "While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."

Given the importance of the word "exonerate" in the Mueller report and its narrow meaning there, the press should refrain from using the word "exonerate" in the broad sense to mean that the inspector general merely could not find the evidence that FBI officials acted out of political bias. To be consistent with Mueller-talk, one ought to say that while the IG's report does not conclude that the FBI officials acted out of bias, it also does not exonerate them.
Bill Barr swiftly jumped on the Durham bandwagon. Sundance,  Attorney General Bill Barr Statement Following IG Review: “A clear abuse of FISA process”…
The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI 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. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory.

Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source.

The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.
The Peacock admits AG Barr condemns IG report's finding that FBI probe of Trump campaign was justified. Victoria Taft at PJ Media, AG Bill Barr Just Issued a Translation of the DOJ IG Report & It’s a Red-Hot Rebuke of ‘Intrusive’ Spying on Trump
Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, 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.
Streif at Red State, Bill Barr Gives the Real Bottom Line About the DOJ IG Report
We an argue until the cows come home about all manner of trivia but the big picture is this: the FISA Court was lied to by the FBI. It was lied to knowingly and through negligence. Key leaders who were responsible for pushing the FISA warrant through on Carter Page were either pig ignorant of their legal responsibilities or they chose to ignore those responsibilities because they knew what FBI headquarters wanted done. None of this is a good look and I hope that Barr lights a fire under FBI Director Wray and makes him fix what is broken.
Chuck Ross at Da Caller finds Nunes: FBI Withheld Exculpatory Information On Carter Page From FISA Court

Sundance, Lindsey Graham Press Conference – Three Key FISA Moments Highlight Gross FBI Misconduct…
  1. January 2017 the FBI contacted the Steele Dossier sub-source and was informed the dossier was remarkably unreliable, out of context, and full of “bar talk”.
  2. January 2017 the FBI lied. Telling the FISA Court the sub-source validated the dossier as evidence in order to get a renewal; a claim they repeated in April.
  3. June 2017 the CIA told FBI Lawyer Kevin Clinesmith that Carter Page was working for them; and then Clinesmith changed that notification so he could submit the last renewal.

Politico whines that Possible pardons loom for former Trump aides, which is entirely reasonable now, based on ample evidence of FBI and DOJ misconduct.

I'll hold the impeachment stuff (all sound and fury, no progress) and Ukraine stuff for later...

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