Trump, Sessions and the DOJ IG: Twists, Turns and Tweets

By Al Perrotta Published on March 1, 2018

President Trump had quite a day. He started Wednesday delivering a somber, beautiful, heartfelt tribute to Billy Graham at the Capitol Rotunda. He ended the day with a captivating meeting with lawmakers on how to stop school shootings. Impressive. Presidential. But …

In between those events, Trump brutally smacked down Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump tweeted it’s “DISGRACEFUL!” that Sessions asked the DOJ Inspector General to “investigate potentially massive FISA abuse” rather than “DOJ lawyers.”

Not so presidential. Makes you wonder what he planned for after dinner. 

Jeff Sessions, ever the southern gentleman, responded quickly. He said in a statement the DOJ “initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against his department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary.” He concluded:

As long as I am the attorney general, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.

Quick Backround

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions confirmed that the DOJ was on the case. It’s investigating allegations that the FBI grossly misused the FISA court process in order to conduct surveillance on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The key component of the FISA application? Opposition research paid for by Hillary Clinton and the DNC, a fact known to the FBI.

It was collected by a foreign agent, Christopher Steele. (With the help of longtime Clinton dirty-ops types.) Steele admitted to high-ranking DOJ official Bruce Ohr that he wanted Trump stopped. That’s another fact known by the FBI but not shared with the FISA court. Further, the FISA Title-1 warrant allowed FBI partisans to gather intelligence on the Trump campaign and transition. 

Sessions told reporters, “the inspector general will take that as one of the matters he’ll deal with.” 

Judging by the tweet, Trump got upset that DOJ IG Michael Horowitz is handling the task, rather than DOJ officials. After all, Horowitz “has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey, etc.” Reports schmorts. Trump wants action already. 

Of course, Trump is being roundly attacked for jumping on Sessions. Again. “Trump at his worst,” tweeted Brit Hume.

Why Things May Not Be As They Seem

But is everything as it seems? 

A casual observer would conclude that Sessions is just pawning off a new investigation based on the Nunes Memo to the Inspector General. And this has Mr. Action in the Oval impatient and angry. 

However, let’s take a closer look. 

Inspector General Michael Horowitz has been investigating the FBI/DOJ shenanigans during the 2016 election for over a year. And he’s not working alone. The IG has roughly 450 investigators working under him. That’s an army. And that army includes DOJ lawyers … exactly the people Trump says he wants on the case. (And IGs do have authority to make arrests, as author Thomas Wictor shows.)

It defies belief to suggest Trump doesn’t already know this. 

Not An “Obama Guy”

Second, Trump asks in his tweet, “Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy?” The answer? Not in the slightest.

IG Horowitz fought Obama tooth-and-nail over all the roadblocks his regime put in front of his work and the work of other IG’s throughout the government. Horowitz also tried to have oversight over DOJ’s National Security Division — the people involved in FISA applications — only to have the request blocked by Trump nemesis Sally Yates in 2015. (Funny. Just as the campaign was getting going. No doubt that’s a coincidence.)

It defies belief to suggest Trump doesn’t already know this.

Third, there is strong evidence Horowitz is already uncovering monkey business having to do with the FISA warrants on Page. We saw the judge in the Michael Flynn case suddenly, surprisingly and without explanation removed from the case. That judge is a FISA judge and very likely was one of those who signed off on a Page warrant. Also, revelations about former FBI counter-intelligence deputy Peter Strzok came out of the IG investigation, as did the revelations about Bruce Ohr. 

Put another way, the Steele dossier, which was the basis for the FISA warrant, has long been on Horowitz’s radar. So have the FBI and DOJ officials who worked the dossier and played the FISA court. 

And Horowitz’s report is expected within a few weeks. 

It defies belief to suggest Trump doesn’t already know this.

Impatient or Fanning the Flames?

Perhaps Trump doesn’t know any of this and was just popping off. Going off message in a way nasty enough for his communications director Hope Hicks to announce mere hours later that she’s up and leaving. 

Perhaps he’s just the type-A tycoon used to quick action when someone gets caught doing wrong. “Why aren’t these people charged already?!” It’s a Yankee thing. The Alabama boy, Sessions, just moves too darn slow.

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On the other hand, perhaps Trump is leading the media right where he wants them to go: Defending Attorney General Sessions. Building up Inspector General Horowitz.

Trump is forcing the media to cover Horowitz’s difficulties with Obama. This includes how Obama and Yates obstructed — and yes, I use that word deliberately — Horowitz’s ability to uncover the FBI and DOJ’s misuse of the FISA courts. 

Most of all, he has now focused his 48.4 million followers and the mainstream media on the Inspector General … an Inspector General set to drop a bomb on Washington, D.C. And an Inspector General whose work the media has ignored.

How much harder did it just get for the media to bury Horowitz’s report when it is published? Thanks to Trump, Horowitz is now heading toward center stage. And by the time Horowitz starts singing, the frenzy will make Beatlemania look a piano recital. 

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