FILE – In this Sept. 4, 2013, file photo, then-incoming FBI Director James Comey talks with outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller before Comey was officially sworn in at the Justice Department in Washington. On May 17, 2017, the Justice Department said it is appointing Mueller as special counsel to oversee investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
We’ve been hearing for the better part of a year now that the DOJ’s Inspector General is on the verge of releasing a damning report detailing corruption in the Trump-Russia investigation. This supposedly centers on abuse of the FISA system, where the FBI and DOJ presented documents they knew weren’t verified or credible as evidence. The biggest example of that is, of course, the Steele dossier, which we know formed the majority of the basis for the warrant despite the FBI already being made aware its chief source was a liar.
There were also other questions, specifically involving why the FBI targeted Trump associates in what now appears to be a pretty clear case of entrapment. George Papadopoulos was famously approached by Joseph Mifsud and told the Russians had dirt on Hillary Clinton. Despite lying to the FBI three times in the years following, Mifsud has escaped all persecution, which strongly points to him being some kind of intel asset that requires protection. Steven Halper, a known government agent, and “Azra Turk” (we know that was an alias) also played starring roles in the drama.
To say the web is tangled is an understatement. The depth of whatever operation was being run against the Trump campaign went all the way to the top, with political appointees like James Comey, James Clapper, John Brennan, and Loretta Lynch being aware and involved.
Heading into the fall, we are once again being assured that IG Horowitz’s report is right around the corner and that it’s going to be devastating. Sen. Lindsey Graham echoed this promise on Sunday.
Hotair.com provides a transcript.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: Well, you’ve got three lanes here. You have what the committee will do, my committee, you’ve got Mr. Durham who’s looking at criminality — he’s the U.S. Attorney in Connecticut — And you’ve got the DOJ Inspector General report. I think it will be coming out in weeks, not days, not months. The Horowitz report will probably be ugly and damning regarding the Department of Justice handling of the Russia probe.
MARIA BARTIROMO: Tell me about that, we know that the DOJ is not prosecuting James Comey. Learned that about a month ago. We know we just got the so-called 302 out of Bruce Ohr, that’s the investigation and interviews of Ohr with the FBI. And the IG report, we were supposed to get it months ago. How come it is so late?
GRAHAM: Every time you turn around you find something new. Mr. Horowitz is doing a very in-depth dive about the FISA warrant application. The behavior regarding the counterintelligence operation. He will send his report over to the Department of Justice, they will look at for classified information. I am going to meet with the Attorney General next week, I want to declassify as much as possible. On the American public to hear the story, I want all of this information to come out, I didn’t want people to believe what I said I want them to read for themselves how bad it was.
The warrant application to the FISA court, I think quite frankly was a fraud. I want all the committee cases out, where they will notice Christopher Steele hated Trump and that he was an unreliable informant. I want this information coming out that the Steele dossier with information coming from Russia is unverified information, I want the transcripts surrounding interviews with Papadopoulos to be released where it was clear he was not working with the Russians.
I want it all out. I want people to see how this investigation got so off the rails and I want people to be held accountable and I am patient, and not in a hurry, I want to do it right.
Color me skeptical.
Perhaps it’s the past three years of seeing absolutely no one held accountable for anything regarding corruption at our major institutions, but the idea that any of this will matter seems far less than a certainty at this point. We’ve known for a very long time that the FISA application was largely fraudulent and broke protocol. You’d be hard-pressed to find any mainstream media reporting at all on the subject. They can’t even bring themselves to admit the Steele dossier was mostly garbage. We’ve already seen figures like James Comey, Peter Strzok, and Andrew McCabe be referred for prosecution, only to have the DOJ decline to move forward. Even in the case of Papadopoulos, information essentially proving he was setup has exclusively become the domain of right-wing media.
In other words, there are two major questions at play here. One, will the report actually be “damning”? And two, if it is, will it be broadcast any further than conservative media? My suspicion, knowing what we know, is that the report will include information that is embarrassing to the Obama administration at large. But I also know it’s going to be quickly buried and spun otherwise no matter what it actually says. The groundwork for the excuses has already been laid, with numerous editorials making the case that they were just trying to protect the country. That narrative isn’t going to change.
Lastly, let’s say the IG does uncover criminal activity and recommends yet more prosecutions. Will the DOJ act? Or will they ultimately decide protecting themselves is more important,? That has clearly been the path FBI Director Wray has chosen as he’s stonewalled investigations the past few years.
I sincerely hope that everything before this point has simply been leading up to the hammer dropping. That the DOJ is finally going to grow a spine and start prosecuting people. That letting James Comey off the hook was just a prologue to going after him on more serious charges. If our institutions ever want to start earning back trust, those things would be prudent.
Will any of this end up mattering though? I’ll believe it when I see it.
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