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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Tuesday, December 10, 2019
IG Report PROVES Whole Investigation Was As CORRUPT As Comey: Goodwin
AP Michael Goodwin
It’s now official: Russia, Russia, Russia really was fake news from the start. There was no factual basis for the FBI to spy on Donald Trump’s campaign.
That means there was no need for the appointment of a special counsel and that Robert Mueller should have stayed in retirement. It means the two years of rumors and accusations and the giant cloud of suspicions over the White House produced by Mueller’s headhunters were unfair and unjustified.
It also means J. Edgar Hoover can finally rest in peace. James Comey is now revealed to be the dirtiest cop ever to run the FBI.
Those are the most important takeaways from Monday’s remarkable events. In the span of a few hours, the talking points that Democrats, much of the media and government insiders used to try to defeat Trump in 2016 and then upend his presidency were exposed as false and sinister distortions.
Taken together, the findings and statements from the Justice Department are potentially more important even than when Mueller reported he found no evidence Trump colluded with Russia. In effect, we now can say for certain that the search for collusion itself was corrupted from the start and that the numerous examples of misconduct were not honest mistakes.
It was more than a small coincidence that the day started with House Democrats droning on in yet another impeachment hearing. Their determination to drive Trump from office by hook and crook has continued uninterrupted since his inauguration.
But now comes the counter narrative, and it has the advantage of compelling facts.
First came the Justice Department’s Inspector General report, which laid bare a damning series of mistakes, omissions and failures by Comey’s top associates in conducting the Trump campaign probe. The IG, Michael Horowitz, found seven instances alone where agents gave judges inaccurate or incomplete information when seeking a spying warrant on Carter Page, and said 10 more mistakes were added in three following applications.
Horowitz confirmed that the Christopher Steele dossier financed by Hillary Clinton was essential to getting the warrants, even though many in the FBI knew Steele’s information was disputed by someone he identified as a source. If the secret FISA court judges had the information, it’s probable Page never would have been spied on.
Where does he go to get his reputation back?
Horowitz also demonstrated that an FBI agent investigating Gen. Michael Flynn took part in an unrelated meeting with Trump in August 2016 as part of the probe. In other words, the agent was in the same room with his prey and the presidential candidate of the opposition party under false pretenses.
It also happened at a second meeting. If that isn’t spying directly on Trump, what the hell was it?
Horowitz made two crucial findings that gave Democrats and their media handmaidens some comfort. First, he found that the opening of the investigation met the department’s very low threshold requirements. Second, he found no evidence that the documented bias against Trump by agents and officials played a role in the agency’s decision-making or actions.
That conclusion is generous to a fault given that all the mistakes and failures to communicate ran in the same direction as the bias. It’s more than suspicious when agents who are revealed to have said in texts and e-mails that they will stop Trump then conduct an investigation where all the information that doesn’t fit with guilt is somehow misplaced or ignored.
At any rate, the comfort Horowitz provided to Trump haters was quickly shattered. Attorney General Bill Barr and John Durham, the US attorney investigating the investigators, both issued extraordinary statements disagreeing with him on key points.
Barr was especially direct, saying “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.” He also charged that “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.”
Durham, whose probe started as a review but has become a criminal investigation, suggested he has far more information than Horowitz because he is not limited to Justice Department personnel and documents. “Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.,” Durham added.
It is hard to overstate the combined effect of those two statements. They build on the bare facts Horowitz produces to warn that far more damaging information is coming and that the misconduct will not get a pass.
Bring it on. The damage done to the FBI’s credibility by the abuse of power under Comey will take years to restore, but it can begin only when there is a full accounting of what happened in 2016.
Barr and Durham, as they surely know already, will need very thick skins. In addition to the rogue officials who corrupted their offices, the raw hatred for Trump is leading millions of Americans to adopt the dangerous view that anything goes as long as Trump is the target.
If that view prevails, America is finished as a nation of laws. Then it’s only a matter of time until elections no longer matter. And then what?