FBI Director Christopher Wray, with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, testifies as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI’s Clinton email probe and the role of former FBI Director James Comey’s actions during the 2016 presidential campaign, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, June 18, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Fox News host Sean Hannity said on his show last night that his sources (he doesn’t reveal them) tell him the report may already be in the hands of Attorney General William Barr and that it could be released as early as this week.
Hannity said in May the report was already completed and it was “devastating.”
“Sources are telling me it may now have already been handed to the attorney general,” Hannity said Monday.
This fits the timeline Barr laid out months ago that he expected to receive the report in late May or early June.
The Washington Examiner recounts the focus of the report and re-ups statements made by Fox News analyst Gregg Jarrett about which Russia collusion investigation players could be affected by its release.
Horowitz began his investigation in March 2018, examining the Justice Department’s and FBI’s compliance with legal requirements as well as policies and procedures in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court related to onetime Trump campaign adviser Carter Page as part of a larger counterintelligence investigation into President Trump’s campaign.
At the time, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said the people “likely” in legal jeopardy are former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI General Counsel James Baker, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, “maybe” former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and “certainly” Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson.
If the report is released this week it comes at an opportune time since Democrats led by Rep. Jerry Nadler are set to hold Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress next week for ignoring Congressional subpoenas, according to Democrat sources. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (rather hilariously and ironically) called Barr and McGahn part of a coverup in their refusal to comply with, in the case of Barr, a request to provide the full, unredacted Mueller report (something he is forbidden to do by law); and, in the case of McGahn, a refusal to testify before the House Judiciary Committee led by Nadler.
“This Administration’s systematic refusal to provide Congress with answers and cooperate with Congressional subpoenas is the biggest cover-up in American history, and Congress has a responsibility to provide oversight on behalf of the American people,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said in a statement.
It would appear if the Democrats continue to play this chess game with the Trump administration rather than focusing on writing legislation that somehow sells their arguably unworkable agenda (Green New Deal, Medicare For All, open borders) they will be met with moves that may end up undermining their desired checkmate: a Trump impeachment.
In an April 23 piece, Real Clear Politics explains how Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, begun in Spring 2018, may “hamper” impeachment plans.
Those interviewed by Horowitz and his team over the past year, according to Politico, say he seems intensely focused on undermining the dossier and credibility of Christopher Steele, the former British MI6 agent who produced the document. Steele had served as a confidential source for the FBI since 2010 until a falling out over his leaks to the media about the Trump-Russia probe.
While prominent Democrats have accused Mueller of failing to do his duty and Barr of prioritizing the interests of Trump over the American people, they’ll have a more difficult time assailing Horowitz, a Harvard-educated lawyer appointed by President Obama to the DoJ’s top watchdog post in 2012.
At the beginning of the Horowitz probe, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler – who is weighing whether to begin impeachment proceedings against the president — said it’s a “shame” that the inspector general has to “devote resources to investigate a conspiracy theory as fact-free, openly political, and thoroughly debunked as the president’s so-called ‘FISA abuse.’”
As the probe is winding down, Steele himself appears less sanguine about Horowitz’ findings and conclusions. He has reportedly declined to be interviewed and plans to rebut the IG’s characterizations in a rare public statement.
Nadler is quite bold in dismissing what the players did to obtain FISA warrants as something less than abuse, particularly when he hasn’t yet seen the report. Horowitz’s team could very well come to the conclusion that the warrant process was, in fact, abused.
And if they do, will Nadler and the Democrats have the temerity to move forward with impeachment given that once again an otherwise respected government official has found another piece of the larger effort to unseat a president a violation of ethics if not the law?
Or will Horowitz be the next person to be called nothing more than a stooge working on behalf of Trump?