IG Report: Political Bias? Duh.
This is the third in a series of reports on the DOJ Inspector General’s Report on the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton email investigation. (Officially called “A Review of the Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election.”) Part one is here. Part two is here.
DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz doesn’t want to call the corruption and bias he found a “duck.” He just spends over 500 pages describing how it walks and quacks.
The IG Report released Thursday states repeatedly that it found no documented proof political bias proved responsible for decisions made in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. (Note the careful wording throughout Horowitz’s report.)
The MSM — perhaps many of the same folks who bought info from FBI agents and officials with game tickets and nights on the town, were quick to call it. “See?! No political bias in the Clinton Investigation! Ha-ha!”
Yeah. Sure. And Joe Scarborough is the next winner of America’s Got Talent.
FBI employees discuss and admit political considerations all the way through the document. And ALL with Hillary in mind.
Let’s take just a couple examples:
One, investigators got orders to take no overt action in the Clinton Foundation investigation before the election. (As if it agents would investigate it after the election if she won. Wanna buy a bridge? Right here in Brooklyn…?) Sally Yates, whose hostility towards Trump waxed legendary, made no bones about it. Politics lay behind that order, not justice. (It’s worth noting. Former State Department IG Howard J. Krongard predicted in January 2016 that Clinton would never see indictment as long as Yates and Loretta Lynch worked at the Justice Department. Prophetic.)
Two, nobody collected devices (phones, hard drives) which would prove the extent to Hillary’s negligence because of election considerations.
Three, Comey’s decision to announce the reopening of the investigation rested on assuring her legitimacy after she won. He assumed she would win. They ALL assumed she would win.
Which gets to another incident. Peter Strzok and team set up to interview Hillary Clinton. Lisa Page warns him to take it easy, limit the team. “[S]he might be our next president,” Page wrote “The last thing you need us going in there loaded for bear. You think she’s going to remember or care that it was more doj than fbi?”
Translation: Don’t tick her off. She’s about to be President. We want to be on her good side.
Remember, Lisa Page is not talking to a boyfriend. She is a top FBI lawyer advising a top FBI investigator.
Horowitz’s M.O. seems to be if he’s given an explanation for a behavior that is not totally out of line with policy or has some rationality he’ll give the FBI the benefit of the doubt. And if something is “inconsistent with typical investigative strategy” — as in the case of allowing witnesses (and potential criminal targets) Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson to sit in on Hillary interview — he’s going to need documented proof of bias in that decision.
A Long List of Decisions
Presumption of innocence is nice. I respect he’s being careful. However, when every single action and decision moves toward the benefit of Hillary Clinton, at what point do you say a thumb was deliberately put on the scale? That Justice was thrown over for Advocacy?
Let’s just take a random grab of 21 actions.
Immunity to Cheryl Mills and others, with nothing in return.
Immunity to Hillary IT guy Paul Combetta without getting to the bottom of who ordered the computers scrubbed.
Allowing Mills to sit in as her attorney.
Agreeing to limit the time-period of Hillary emails examined to exclude any exchanges that might indicate efforts to cover-up efforts to delete troublesome emails.
Not seeing the creation of the private non-governmental system as a sign of intent.
Not seeing her silence about the system as a sign of intent. (She did not reveal the private system. It was uncovered by the Benghazi committee when they went looking for her State Department emails.)
Or seeing the shear amount of classified material she peddled everywhere as a sign of intent.
Not seeing the destruction of 33,000 emails that were under subpoena as a sign of intent.
And not caring that what she said under oath during her Benghazi testimony about handing over all her emails contradicted what she told the FBI. She committed perjury.
Accepting that the former First Lady, former Senator, former Secretary of State didn’t know what was and wasn’t classified regardless of markings.
Not diving into how markings got removed, considering material was transferred from classified systems to unclassified systems.
Changing “gross negligence,” which is the wording of the statute, to “extreme carelessness.”
Changing “reasonably likely” her emails were compromised by hostile actors to “possible”
Removing the reference to using her non-secure email while in a foreign country.
Removing the reference to the “mass amount” of classified material Hillary had on her server.
Loretta Lynch insisting the investigation be called a “matter” rather than what it was, an “investigation”
Not grabbing all the devices or relevant material.
No assessment of the national security damage caused by the highly-classified emails she had left exposed.
Exonerating her before interviewing key witnesses.
Not going through all 347,000 emails on Weiner computer in order to give Hillary an all clear by election day.
Limiting any investigating of Clinton wrongdoing found on the computer to classified State Dept. material
Right there we have 21 decisions. All going Hillary’s way. That’s 21 coin flips landing heads. The odds of that happening? 1-in-2,097,152. Shall we continue?
The Double Standard for Trump
What if we throw in five things the FBI has done in the Trump investigation, but did not do in the Clinton investigation?
No perjury traps (like the Yates, McCabe set up of Michael Flynn).
No knock down the door, early morning raids of associates. (Paul Manafort).
No raiding of her lawyers offices. (Like Michael Cohen)
No charging of lower-level people in the hopes of squeezing information. (Manafort, Papadopolous, Alex Van der Zwaan)
No using of obscure laws to try and pin a charge. (Yates accusing Flynn of violating the Logan Act, which has never been successfully prosecuted.)
You are now up to a 1-in-67,108,864 chance of coincidence.
The One Decision That Worked Against Hillary
One decision by the FBI did work against Hillary: James Comey’s decision to notify Congress and the public that the Clinton email investigation had been reopened. Sure. In the frantic last days of the campaign, that was a blow.
However, even with that decision, consider:
- Those were Hillary’s classified emails on Weiner’s system. That’s on Hillary. Not Comey.
- Comey quickly turned around and closed the case again before the election, despite agents not examining all the evidence.
- Had Strzok and McCabe not sat on the news of the emails found on Weiner’s computer, the case would have been reopened and closed a month earlier. It would have been long forgotten by Election Day.
Which gets to one of the great ironies. According to the IG Report, Strzok made the decision to focus on the Trump-Russia investigation and pocket the Weiner emails for a month. Horowitz suggests Strzok’s political bias — his hatred and determination to “stop” Trump — was behind that decision. A decision that led to Comey’s announcement. A decision Democrats claim hurt Hillary’s chances.
Meaning, the first victim of Trump Derangement Syndrome was Hillary Clinton.