DOJ Inspector General Rebuts Trump On Russia Investigation

After a two-year investigation, the Inspector General of the Department of Justice found no basis for the conspiracy theories being pushed by the Republicans regarding the Russia investigation.

The Department of Justice’s Inspector General released a report resulting from a two-year-long investigation of the genesis and conduct of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential campaign that discredits all of the conspiracy theories and accusations that President Trump and his Republican acolytes have been pushing regarding that investigation from the beginning:

A Justice Department inspector general’s report examining the FBI investigation of President Trump’s 2016 campaign rebutted conservatives’ accusations that top FBI officials were driven by political bias to illegally spy on Trump advisers, but also found broad and “serious performance failures” requiring major changes.

The 434-page report issued Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI had an “authorized purpose” when it initiated its investigation, known as Crossfire Hurricane, into the Trump campaign. In doing so, Horowitz implicitly rejected assertions by the president and fellow Republicans that the case was launched out of political animus or that the FBI broke its own rules on using informants.

As the probe went on and the FBI sought court approval to surveil a former campaign aide, officials repeatedly emphasized damaging information they heard about Trump associates and played down exculpatory evidence they found, the report said. The bureau promptly indicated that it would implement dozens of corrective measures in response to Horowitz’s report and that disciplinary action remains a possibility.

Conservatives and liberals alike claimed victory after the report’s release — with Republicans asserting that it exposed serious wrongdoing while Democrats said it validated the Russia investigation. Trump called the report’s findings “far worse than anything I would have imagined.”

“This was an overthrow of government,” he said. “This was an attempted overthrow, and a lot of people were in on it, and they got caught, they got caught red-handed.”

The report, which was based on more than 1 million documents and more than 170 interviews, is the most exhaustive assessment to date of the investigation that roiled Trump’s presidency and would ultimately be overtaken by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. But in the minutes after the document was released, it became clear that the report would not be the last word.

In a statement, Attorney General William P. Barr disagreed with one of the inspector general’s key conclusions, saying the FBI launched an investigation of a 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.”

So, too, did Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr handpicked to conduct an investigation similar to that of Horowitz. “Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.,” Durham said in a statement. “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.”

Durham’s investigation is ongoing — and what evidence he has to rebut Horowitz remains unclear. Some involved in the Russia case said they were mystified by his statement.

A draft of the inspector general’s report contained a footnote saying Horowitz had asked Durham whether he had evidence to support a right-wing theory that the investigation began as a setup by U.S. intelligence using a Maltese professor to entrap the Trump campaign, according to people who saw the draft. Durham said he did not, the people said. That note about the probe’s origins, though, does not appear in the publicly released version of the document. The report has some redactions, but it is unclear if that section was removed or blacked out.
Speaking Monday on MSNBC, former FBI director James B. Comey took aim at Durham, saying he “can’t make any sense” of Durham’s statement disagreeing with the inspector general and predicting that if the prosecutor does not find information to satisfy Trump, someone will be assigned to investigate him.

“Don’t be a part of the sliming of the IG and the department as a whole,” Comey said. “Do your work.”

To be fair, while the report rejected the notion that the Russia investigation had no basis in fact, and that it was based on a “Deep State” effort to undermine the Trump campaign in 2016, it did find some problems with the FISA process related to the surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page:

Horowitz was particularly critical of applications the FBI made to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, asserting that those applications contained “significant inaccuracies and omissions” and that agents “failed to meet the basic obligation” to ensure the applications were “scrupulously accurate.”

The inspector general found that “so many basic and fundamental errors were made by three separate, hand-picked teams on one of the most sensitive FBI investigations that was briefed to the highest levels within the FBI,” he concluded that there was a failure of “not only the operational team, but also of the managers and supervisors, including senior officials, in the chain of command.”

Among those failures was the growing body of information the FBI had gathered suggesting that former British spy Christopher Steele — whose reports were a key element justifying the surveillance of Page — was not as reliable a source as officials had described to the court.

“As the FBI obtained additional information raising significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting, the FBI failed to reassess the Steele reporting relied upon in the FISA applications, and did not fully advise” Justice Department officials of those issues.

As a result of those findings, Horowitz has launched a broader audit of FISA work, to study how systemic those problems may be for FISA applications in counterintelligence and counterterrorism cases. He did not, however, conclude that the bureau’s applications to monitor Page should have been rejected.

“We do not speculate whether the correction of any particular misstatement or omission, or some combination thereof, would have resulted in a different outcome,” the report said. “Nevertheless, the Department’s decision-makers and the court should have been given complete and accurate information so that they could meaningfully evaluate probable cause before authorizing the surveillance of a U.S. person associated with a presidential campaign.”

For the better part of the time that it was pending, the President and his supporters at places such as Fox News Channel had been building up anticipation for the Inspector General’s report. The report, they obviously, hoped, would provide evidence support their claims that the investigation was politically biased, that there was a political bias inside the F.B.I. against the President that motivated the investigation, and even that there spies inside of the Trump campaign. Instead, the report rejects each of those conclusions and claims, finding that the investigation was opened and continued for entirely legitimate reasons and that the investigation, under both the F.B.I. and later under Special Counsel Robert Mueller. In other words, essentially everything that the President and his supporters said about the Russia investigation was wrong. Of course, anyone who was paying attention at the time would have realized that the President was speaking nonsense when he called the investigation a “witch hunt” and claimed that it was part of a plot to undermine his Administration.

As Mark Mazzetti at The New York Times notes, though, the release of the Inspector General report has not caused the President and his supporters to take back their previous accusations. Instead, it has led them to dig in even further, and to pin their hopes on the results of another investigation:

WASHINGTON — President Trump and his allies spent months promising that a report on the origins of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation would be a kind of Rosetta Stone for Trump-era conspiracy enthusiasts — the key to unlocking the secrets of a government plot to keep Mr. Trump from being elected in 2016.

On that point, the report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, did not deliver, even as it found serious problems with how F.B.I. officials justified the surveillance of a Trump campaign aide to a federal court.

But by the time it was released, the president, his attorney general, his supporters in Congress and the conservative news media had already declared victory and decamped for the next battle in the wider war to convince Americans of the enemies at home and abroad arrayed against the Trump presidency.

They followed a script they have used for nearly three years: Engage in a choreographed campaign of presidential tweets, Fox News appearances and fiery congressional testimony to create expectations about finding proof of a “deep state” campaign against Mr. Trump. And then, when the proof does not emerge, skew the results and prepare for the next opportunity to execute the playbook.

That opportunity has arrived in the form of an investigation by a Connecticut prosecutor ordered this year by Attorney General William P. Barr — and the president and his allies are now predicting it will be the one to deliver damning evidence that the F.B.I., C.I.A. and even close American allies conspired against Mr. Trump in the 2016 election.

Mr. Barr made clear his thoughts on the inspector general’s report on Monday in a blistering public statement in which he described how the F.B.I. in 2016 “launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions” and carried out surveillance “deep into President Trump’s administration.”

He chose to leave out the fact that the inspector general had found that the F.B.I. had solid reason to open its investigation, choosing instead to say that in his view there was insufficient reason “to justify the steps taken.”

The attorney general’s comments echoed his statements after the conclusion of the investigation by Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel. In a significant political victory for Mr. Trump, the special counsel found that there was no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia, and did not make a judgment about whether Mr. Trump had obstructed justice.

But Mr. Barr went further, suggesting that the president had been a victim of America’s law enforcement machinery and pledging to investigate the origins of the inquiry.

The man he has asked to lead that investigation, John H. Durham, the United States attorney in Hartford, Conn., chummed the waters on Monday by releasing a highly unusual statement saying he disagreed with some of the findings of the inspector general’s report and had a mandate to conduct a broader, more thorough investigation.

Mr. Durham is carrying out his inquiry in the heat of a presidential campaign, raising the prospect that Mr. Trump could seize on his findings should they come out in the months or weeks before the 2020 election.

As Mazzetti goes on to note, this fits into a pattern we’ve seen from the Administration and the GOP:

In early 2018, Republicans fueled speculation that the release of a document written by Mr. Nunes would prove widespread F.B.I. surveillance abuses during the 2016 campaign and show how the bureau opened its Russia investigation based on a dossier of uncorroborated information provided by a former British spy, Christopher Steele.

Mr. Trump’s allies used the F.B.I.’s objections to the release of the Nunes memo to promote a Twitter campaign —#releasethememo — and in February of last year Mr. Trump ordered it declassified.

It landed mostly with a thud, and it even ended up debunking the claim that the dossier was the origin of the F.B.I.’s Russia investigation. The Nunes memo confirmed press reporting — that the investigation began after a Trump campaign aide told an Australian diplomat that the Russian government had obtained thousands of emails from Mr. Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

But the president’s allies soon found another opportunity: the Justice Department’s announcement of an investigation into the origins of the Russia inquiry led by Mr. Horowitz. It would be this investigation, they predicted, that would reveal the depths of the F.B.I.’s perfidy.

Inevitably, it’s likely that when the investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham fails to find the conspiracy that the President and others have been pushing, they’ll reject that and demand some other investigation. This isn’t unlike how Republicans acted during the Obama Administration with respect to matters such as the Fast & Furious investigation, the investigation of IRS targeting of conservative organizations, and of course the seemingly endless Benghazi investigation, which was investigated by six separate committees that failed to find any wrongdoing before being investigated by a Select Committee in the House of Representatives that found exactly the same thing. As with these previous investigations, the Republicans have already made up their minds and nothing is going to sway them from changing their minds.

Here’s the report:

FILED UNDER: Congress, Donald Trump, Law and the Courts, Politicians, Russia, Russia Investigation, U.S. Constitution, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. The truly depressing part of all of this is that the actual truth doesn’t matter and the spinning is already out of control–with Trump’s pronouncements being utterly irresponsible and Barr’s behavior unconscionable.

    And I say that recognizing that there are real issues worthy of criticism here, but the report clearly undercuts the administration’s main thesis, but there will be no acknowledgement of that fact.

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  2. senyordave says:

    The ghost of John Mitchell must be smiling somewhere. IMO Barr has already leapfrogged him to his rightful position as the most dishonest AG in history. Is there anything he will not do or say to defend Trump? BTW, the fact that he feels comfortable spending $30,000 to have a party at a Trump party should be a major story but it barely merits a mention in the media.

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  3. Mikey says:

    @senyordave: No kidding. I can’t allow a contractor to buy me a cup of coffee at Starbucks because it might somehow influence my purchasing decision, but Barr gets to blow $30K up his boss’s ass and that’s just peachy? Fucking ludicrous.

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  4. Kathy says:

    When you consider Iran-Contra, all the wrongdoing there at least had the purpose of advancing US interests, as the Reagan administration conceived them to be.

    Now, all the corruption, abuse, and wrongdoing in this White House, only has the purpose of Trump’s aggrandizement.

    This is even worse that I thought it would be when Trump ran and later won the election. No, I didn’t think he’d “pivot” to the center; read about the scorpion and the turtle. But I expected he would govern in his country’s interests, not his own.

    I also didn’t expect such abject submission by the GOP politicos, or by the Republican base. We’re at 1984 levels in some respects. Reality is what Dennison says it is, no matter how self-evidently ridiculous or fallacious. If he were so inclined, tomorrow he could claim 9/11 was an inside job undertaken by the FBI and CIA, who then made us believe it was Al Qaida (who were really just peaceful pious Muslims cloistered in Afghanistan), and his base would eat it up.

    The only reason this may not happen is the emotional investment in anti-Muslim animus in said base, party, and Orange Clown.

    In the fable, the turtle and scorpion both drown. If we’re lucky, the same will happen to the GOP and Trump.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I do not understand how this country goes forward, if one of the major political parties and nearly one half of the electorate insist on their own “facts”…and those “facts” have no basis in reality.
    It’s time to write the obituary of our system of Government, and charge Republicans with destroying it.

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  6. reid says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Trump is the perfect person to lead the GOP with their party-over-reality philosophy. It’s disturbing how bad they’ve become in terms of being able to lie about everything so easily. This is what happens when you elect unethical people to office. Republicans apparently don’t care.

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  7. rachel says:

    @Kathy:

    But I expected he would govern in his country’s interests, not his own.

    I would have bean pleasantly surprised if he had. There is nothing — but nothing — in his history to suggest that was ever going to happen.

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  8. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    One can argue the USSR and China did this for decades.

    China in particular had one period where government tried to impose facts on the world, like how much rice could be grown planting it twice as deep and half as close to other seedlings, and the result was massive famine, while Mao and his government exported food and believed they had huge surpluses.

    This period remains known to history as “The Great Leap Forward.”

    I vote the Trump era be dubbed “The Crazy Years.” (yes, this is taken from Robert Heinlein)

  9. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Today’s GOP: “Facts? We don’t need no stinking facts.”

  10. pylon says:

    That state is not only deep, it’s wide.

  11. @Kathy: Indeed. This kind of public manipulation is the hallmark of deeply authoritarian regimes.

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  12. Scott F. says:

    Inevitably, it’s likely that when the investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney for Connecticut John Durham fails to find the conspiracy that the President and others have been pushing, they’ll reject that and demand some other investigation.

    We should expect Barr’s hand-picked guy to gin up the findings of his investigation, including the fabrication of evidence. There is no bottom with these people, so now gaslighting is no longer the limit. Outright fraud will be committed in broad daylight and the Republicans will stand behind it without blinking an eye.

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  13. Jim says:

    Horowitz did not say there was no political bias to illegally spy on Trump advisers. He said there was no evidence of political bias, which means no one confessed to him or left a document that said they were spying because they hated Trump.

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  14. @Jim: So, basically, you are saying that the lack of evidence still means the thing you want to be true still is?

    That’s not how evidence works.

    Or am I missing your point?

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  15. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Jim: It also means they had sound, legally justifiable reasons for the things they did and the evidence to back up those decisions. But then I guess looking at the actual evidence is not what people do when the specific evidence they want to find is not there.

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  16. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Jim:
    I bet you were all in favor of 11 investigations into Benghazi!!!
    Absolutely sure the next one would prove you right.
    When do you think, exactly, all you Republicans became insane?

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  17. Sleeping Dog says:

    @reid:

    Trump is the perfect person to lead the GOP with their party-over-reality nation philosophy

    fixed that for you.

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  18. reid says:

    @Sleeping Dog: I used to call them party-over-country, but I think party-over-reality is a step further. It’s all true, though, sadly.

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  19. Jay L Gischer says:

    The notorious pee tape has pretty much the same evidential basis as the deep state conspiracy against Trump. That is to say, there ain’t really much evidence for it at all, and we have a bunch of other evidence for other stuff that would explain much of the behavior of the people involved.

    And both of them are in the same category as Sasquatch, Nessie, Champ, and Ogopogo. No, these things can’t be disproven.

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  20. Kathy says:

    Let me tell you a curious thing:

    Often when posting here I’ll check my facts with online sources, mostly Wikipedia, and sometimes I find that what I thought was mistaken, and even on occasion plain false. When that happens, I adjust my post accordingly, or scrap it altogether.

    It takes a few minutes only, and it helps my credibility.

    It’s hard to believe such simple, and admittedly shallow, fact-checking is beyond the ken of so many republicans, especially politicians who ought to know better.

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  21. @Kathy: It is because in far too many cases it is about power, not being right.

  22. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jim: @Steven L. Taylor:

    It’s religious thinking, magical thinking. The only evidence that is acceptable is that which supports the pre-existing conclusion. Contradictory evidence is false ipso facto. Faith not reason. It’s why Trumpaloons never win arguments: they live in fantasyland and their ‘ideas’ don’t survive contact with reality. So they reject reality.

    Cult45.

    What’s odd to me is that they keep trying. It’s exactly like the hundred or so times in my life that some Christian came toddling up all full of what they thought of as reasonable arguments and left five minutes later with bruised egos and departing threats of hellfire. If you refuse to accept my nonsensical beliefs you’ll be killed by Jesus! Pretty much the Trumpaloon argument today: if you challenge Tangerine Jesus there will be civil war!

    I do enjoy the note of desperation. I think normals forget what these people thought it would be like. They thought Tangerine Jesus was so obviously God our Savior that we’d all bow down in the end. They thought they’d be swaggering down streets of gold owning libs and singing Onward Trumpie Soldiers. Instead they’re in a trench, in the mud, cowering, and knowing that if they stick their heads up we’ll machine gun them.

    OTOH, much like evangelicals, Cult45 worshippers love to feel oppressed. Kind of an S & M thing I suppose.

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  23. Scott F. says:

    @Kathy:
    Who needs credibility?

    There is video of Senator Lindsey Graham calling Trump a nut job in 2016 and now he is one of POTUS’ most reliable defenders. Sen. Graham is on the record, on the House floor, claiming impeachment doesn’t require proof of criminality and now he loudly proclaims that Trump’s impeachment isn’t about a provable bad act. Yet, Senator Lindsey gets interviewed by every media outlet in the world and has a seat whenever he wants on the Sunday news shows.

    Truth is dead. Long live Power.

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  24. CSK says:

    @Scott F.: According to Rush Limbaugh and One America News, Lindsey Graham is deeply involved in Ukrainian corruption–and profiting hugely from it, as are 80% of Republican senators.

    These are the sources from which Cult45 gleans its “facts.”

  25. Gustopher says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    It is because in far too many cases it is about power, not being right.

    And once again, I am reminded of a statement by Senator Roark from Sin City (which is so over the top that it should never be used as an explanation of anything, but here we are):

    Power don’t come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big, and gettin’ the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ’em by the balls.

    All the Republican Congress critters, reading the call summary and saying they see nothing wrong. Every time they choose to “believe” Trump rather than their own lying eyes… Wvery time they repeat shifting Trump explanation number twelve, knowing that numbers one through eleven blew up…. that’s how much power Trump has.

    I don’t know if the resident and transient Trumpaloons are True Believers or if they just play along, but at least half the Republicans in Congress are smart enough to know better.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Gustopher:
    Kudos for the Sin City quote. I love that movie.

    As people who’ve read my books know my mind goes to very dark places. Actual thought process from the other day: I passed some decorative ceramic mushrooms on the street, which reminded me of the ceramic cows that were all over Chicago a few years ago, which led to wondering how you could shatter one of those cows which would reveal a sharp edge at the break. With which you could murder someone by pushing their neck down on that edge. Not a decapitation, that’d be easy. No, you’d want a near-total severing. The victim is able to stand for just a moment and we see that all that’s holding his head on is the spine. Head lolls back. Maybe get into his POV, watch the way his field of view shifts from horizontal to vertical. And wouldn’t that be a cool scene?

    So, I’m always delighted when I find someone who lives in that same mental neighborhood and is in the arts as opposed to Supermax. Cannibal Frodo. Rodriguez and Miller. I could have drinks with those boys.

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  27. the Q says:

    What’s ominous is the statements by Barr and Durham is that IG Horowitz’s scope wasn’t broad enough or covered “foreign” sources. Barr has been globetrotting and with Durham will cite “foreign” intel sources for additional info on the “dark state”.

    So, in effect, these traitors will side with foreign agencies against our own intel conclusions. This leaves these idiots prone to manipulation by these foreign sources who can make up anything they know these clowns want to hear…further inciting the partisan hatred and accomplishing the exact goal of Putin and the Chinese…..division.

    Also, the takeaway from the IG report for the winguts is “now there is proof the deep state was out to get Trump with their phony, “trumped” up FISA applications.

    They will totally disregard the first section of no conspiracy and hop straight to the FISA justifications of which the IG strongly disapproved

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: That’s why they have Conservepedia and the RWNJ media machine. They can fact check against their own facts.

    It’s kind of like, no, check that, it’s exactly like going to Genesis for biology and geology. I’ve said before, truth doesn’t mean to them what it means to us. It means true to the faith.

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  29. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Even if Trump were to take down the GOP–or even the whole Conservative Movement–there would still be aristocratically minded Americans who would use zero-sum thinking to conclude that “those people” should be kept “in their place” (i.e. down) and factions from whatever people “those” were who would embrace the thinking in hopes of being accepted–in much the same way as Trump still does with Manhattanites. Trump is simply still only a symptom. He’s not the disease.

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  30. CSK says:

    @gVOR08: Yes, but bear in mind that Cult45 believes that the press and the Democrats are engaged in a giant conspiracy to conceal the real truth from them. That’s why they rely on crackpot blogs such as The Gateway Pundit for “information.”

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  31. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: @Scott F.: I may have missed something, but I thought we saw this same show during the Benghaaaaaaazzzzzzziiiiii!!!iiiii) hearings.

  32. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    Kind of like fact-checking the situation in America with Pravda.

  33. Mikey says:

    @Jim: You obviously have absolutely no idea how an IG investigation works.

    This text message exchange between two FBI agents was revealed in the IG report. I’m sure you and the rest of the Trumpist dipshits have no problem with this, right? All above-board? No indication of bias? And of course, they should never have their identities revealed so they can be dragged through the mud and attacked by President Toddlerpants!

    (For those not already familiar with the terminology, CHS is Confidential Human Source, and SSA is Supervisory Special Agent.)

    We reviewed the text and instant messages sent and received by the Handling Agent, the co-case Handling Agent, and the SSA for this CHS, which reflect their support for Trump in the 2016 elections. On November 9, the day after the election, the SSA contacted another FBI employee via an instant messaging program to discuss some recent CHS reporting regarding the Clinton Foundation and offered that “if you hear talk of a special prosecutor.. .! will volunteer to work [on] the Clinton Foundation.” The SSA’s November 9, 2016 instant messages also stated that he “was so elated with the election” and compared the election coverage to “watching a Superbowl comeback.” The SSA explained this comment to the OIG by saying that he “fully expected Hillary Clinton to walk away with the election. But as the returns [came] in .. .it was just energizing to me to see …. [because] I didn’t want a criminal to be in the White House.”

    On November 9, 2016, the Handling Agent and co-case Handling Agent for this CHS also
    discussed the results of the election in an instant message exchange that reads:
    Handling Agent: “Trump!”
    Co-Case Handling Agent: “Hahaha. Shit just got real.”
    Handling Agent: “Yes it did.”
    Co-Case Handling Agent: “I saw a lot of scared MFers on … [my way to work] this
    morning. Start looking for new jobs fellas. Haha.”
    Handling Agent: “LOL”

    Maybe Trump should just call them “Handling Agent and his lover Co-Handling Agent.”

    SAD!

  34. Kathy says:

    I’ve been thinking about Caligula lately.

    He was the third Roman emperor, at least the third to formally be the Princeps and to hold the title of Augustus.

    Leaving aside the stories of sexual escapades involving incest, or perhaps not, he was by all measures an awful man and a terrible ruler. He was killed by the palace guard, formally the Praetorian Guard, tasked with protecting the emperor and the imperial family.

    No reason to bring him up.

    Of course, the Guard were troubled about the direction the empire was heading in.

    But, still, no reason to bring this up.

    the Guard was not political, not involved in the politics of the day. not then, anyway.

  35. Guarneri says:

    “Some problems??” “Some problems??”

    Let’s shed a little perspective on your propaganda piece.

    Horowitz did not say there are just conspiracy theories. That’s your bull.

    What Horowitz said was that the original decision to investigate was within the “discretionary standard.” You fail to point out, counselor, that the standard for the predication of an investigation is low and requires only “articulable facts.” That is, “My hands were tied.” And how did this all start? A 28 year old campaign volunteer blabbering in………..wait for it………in a bar. Sparkling FBI work there. How about this: Doug Mataconis is an ax murderer. I heard it in a bar. The FBI will be at your door soon……..

    Let’s turn to this “exonerating” report, which reports both false and falsified reps being used to pursue Trump and the Trump team.

    Horowitz says the Justice Department removed facts and failed to report this to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. (This is no doubt an area Durham is going)

    a) The Justice Department didn’t interview several key individuals or vet critical information and sources in the Steele dossier. In fact, Justice Department officials told Horowitz that they did not interview campaigners because they didn’t know if the campaign was compromised. Some bull about tipping off the Russians. And yet the Russians were directly told about the allegations by CIA Director John Brennan andPres. Obama. Whatup with that?

    b) Meanwhile, the story dissolves. Horowitz detailed how evidence proved exculpatory of any Trump collusion or conspiracy with the Russians. Carter Page? The CIA told the FBI that Page was working for us, but it never made it into the FBI’s FISA court approval. That’s, what’s the word I’m looking for, oh yes, fraud. In fact, Horowitz found that Justice concluded there was no probable cause on Page to support its FISA investigation.

    c) So what did the FBI do? Top FBI officials (as in McCabe) intervened and ordered investigators to look at the Steele dossier instead. You know, the one funded by those noted neutral parties the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

    Horowitz calls BS on media claims that the dossier was a small part of the case presented to the FISA court. He finds that it was essential. Horowitz concludes there was no sharing of information with FISA judges that might call into question the credibility of the dossier or Christopher Steele himself. In fact, investigators learned that critical facts reported to the FISA court were false. An old trick was used, circular confirmation, using Yahoo News article as independent corroboration without telling FISA that Steele was in fact the root source of that article. Dossier allegations were later deemed unfounded. Horowitz trashes Steele’s credibility, and when Steele’s illustrious source was interviewed he pleaded no knowledge. Just more bar talk. But Justice/FBI was going with it.

    d) Horowitz found that an FBI lawyer doctored a critical email showing that Page was actually working for us, not the Russians.

    I could go on.

    “Some problems??” Indeed. Far from an exculpatory result, the Horowitz report is damning. If they didn’t know the whole basis for an investigation was a sham from day one, they knew it soon after. However, media propagandists, and now you, conveniently choose to focus on the low bar aspect of the conclusion without proper context, while tut tutting about Republicans conspiracy theories. Yours are lies of omission. Fortunately the public propaganda campaign won’t stand. Durham did not speak out for no reason. He doesn’t strike me as one appreciative of those trafficing in BS.

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  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Once again your case is all tangential to the issues. You blah blah blah about irrelevant process questions. Of course you know you’re convincing no one here, we’ve all actually stayed informed and not by Tucker and Zero Hedge. Your real motive is self-justification. You need a rationale, however paper thin, to go on lying, mostly to yourself because cultie lies don’t work outside of the cult. You’re a worm on a hook, squirming and writhing and getting nowhere.

    Trump is a traitor. Just like I told you years ago. It’s not even a question anymore, he is openly, clearly, unmistakably a traitor. And of course you know it. But you’re far too weak a man ever to admit error, especially one as catastrophically stupid as supporting Trump, a man you wouldn’t let babysit your kid.

    You know he’s a traitor and you support that treason. Which is exactly what I predicted right here, what, three years ago? I told you, Drew. And here you are, exactly where I said you’d inevitably land.

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  37. Pylon says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: Jim is correct if course. The lack of evidence just shows how effective the conspiracy is. /s

    (Marked for sarcasm because my previous post seems to have been misconstrued).

  38. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Guarneri:

    If they didn’t know the whole basis for an investigation was a sham from day one, they knew it soon after.

    Soon after???
    When the investigation turned up well over 200 instances of the Trump campaign colluding with Russians?
    When most of Trumps closest advisors ended up in jail because of the investigation?
    When it was determined that Obstruction of Justice likely prevented a finding of Conspiracy.
    Seriously, Drew…
    34 indictments or pleas.
    Manafort, Flynn, Stone. Papadopoulas. Gates will get probation. Van der Zwaan.
    13 Russian nationals. 13 Russian Intelligence Agents. Kilimnik.
    3 Russian Companies.
    That’s a fuqing sham in your book?
    If you think your accusation of Doug will garner the same results…you should go for it.
    Jesus gawd…you are a fool.

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  39. Mikey says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Gates will get probation.

    Someone apparently offered Gates money to clam up.

    Prosecutors: Mueller Witness Whose Testimony Doomed Manafort Was Offered Money Not to Cooperate

    Former Trump campaign deputy chairman Rick Gates, the former Paul Manafort associate who flipped and cooperated with the Mueller investigation, was offered “monetary assistance” not to cooperate with the government, federal prosecutors said on Tuesday.

    From the government’s motion for downward departure and memo in aid of sentencing (you can read the rest of the filing below):

    Finally, is important to note that the public nature of this case has made Gates and Gates’ family the subject of intense media scrutiny. Gates’ cooperation has been steadfast despite the fact that the government has asked for his assistance in high profile matters, against powerful individuals, in the midst of a particularly turbulent environment. Gates received pressure not to cooperate with the government, including assurances of monetary assistance.

    It would be very interesting indeed to know who offered this. Pretty much the definition of obstruction of justice.

  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mikey:

    It would be very interesting indeed to know who offered this. Pretty much the definition of obstruction of justice.

    Indeed. IANAL…but seems like Bribery, and Obstruction.