The DoJ FISA Report — Trump Was Right
“The 17 instances of misconduct cited in the report are damning. … This was very serious misconduct on the part of the FBI.”
The best indication that Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review of FISA applications is a serious problem for Democrats is the fact that The Washington Post listed it as third down in its political headlines this morning.
If the report had dispensed with the Trump administration’s claim that a handful of top government bureaucrats who supported Hillary Clinton, most notably Barack Obama’s former FBI Director James Comey and former CIA Director John Brennan, used the FISA court search warrants as a layup for Robert Mueller’s investigation — in effect a bureaucratic coup d'etat to take Trump down — the report would have been the top headline this morning. That would have teed up subsequent headlines about the House impeachment inquisition and Articles of Impeachment.
Brennan and Comey, and their corrupt Clinton cronies, used their “Crossfire Hurricane” investigation to set Trump up for a takedown. And the best evidence supporting that fact provided by Horowitz: Of the 17 most egregious “errors” a handful of corrupt FBI managers committed in order to justify the FISA warrants and launch the Mueller investigation, every one favored the Clinton campaign.
And that has been the fundamental basis for our objection to these “investigations” from their inception.
According to Horowitz’s report: “We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures. While we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the case agents … we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified. In most instances, the agents and supervisors told us that they either did not know or recall why the information was not shared with the OI (Office of Investigations), that the failure to do so may have been an oversight, that they did not recognize at the time the relevance of the information to the FISA application, or that they did not believe the missing information to be significant. On this last point, we believe that case agents may have improperly substituted their own judgments in place of the judgment of the OI, or in place of the court, to weigh the probative value of the information.”
In other words, members of the deep-state cabal who set Trump up proceeded on the basis of their opinion, which was obviously a reflection of their bias.
To that end, the Horowitz report concludes: “We also found that the FBI did not aggressively seek to obtain certain potentially important information from Steele [author of the fake Trump/Russia dossier]. For example, the FBI did not press Steele for information about the actual funding force source for his election reporting work.”
So, we are to believe that nobody involved in this setup thought to ask the critical question, “Who funded the dossier?” — even though it had been suggested the Clinton campaign was behind it. How convenient! Again, we now know, as Clinton’s FBI backers knew then — that the funding was from the Clinton campaign and the Democrat National Committee.
And a note regarding the report’s assertion that, based on the mandate of what Horowitz was tasked to investigate, there was no evidence of “bias.” Clinton’s backers were high-ranking FBI bureaucrats — of course they did not leave an official trail of evidence pointing to their political bias in kicking off this investigation. However, there is no question that each of the individuals involved in the chain of command demonstrated significant personal bias against Trump. Horowitz was not tasked with evaluating their personal bias, only the evidence directly related to the FISA warrants.
The FBI’s predication for those FISA warrants is what prompted Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham to declare the Horowitz report woefully incomplete. Further, FBI Director Chris Wray has now declared that the warrants were illegal.
According to AG Barr: “The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that 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. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, 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. The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory.”
Barr was highly critical of the implications of the FBI’s “gross abuses” of FISA: “I think from a civil liberties standpoint, the greatest danger to our free system is that the incumbent government use the apparatus of the state…both to spy on political opponents, but also to use them in a way that could affect the outcome of an election. As far as I am aware, this is the first time in history that this has been done… And here I felt this was very flimsy… I think our nation was turned on its head for three years based on a completely bogus narrative that was largely fanned and hyped by a completely irresponsible press. I think that there were gross abuses of FISA and inexplicable behavior that is intolerable in the FBI. I think that leaves open the possibility that there was bad faith.”
Durham, whose criminal investigation report into the origins of Comey’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation is still months away from conclusion, took the unusual step of commenting: “I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff, however, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
Additionally, FBI Director Christopher Wray issued a response to the FISA report, concluding: “We will review the performance and conduct of certain FBI employees who were referenced in the Report’s recommendations – including managers, supervisors, and senior officials at the time. The FBI will take appropriate disciplinary action where warranted. Notably, many of the employees described in the report are no longer employed at the FBI.”
The Wall Street Journal notes, “The FBI corrupted the secret court process for obtaining warrants to spy on former Trump aide Carter Page. And it did so by supplying the court with false information produced by Christopher Steele, an agent of the Hillary Clinton campaign.” The editors noted further, regarding the report’s finding that “the Crossfire Hurricane team’s receipt of Steele’s election reporting on September 19, 2016 played a central and essential role in the FBI’s and Department’s decision to seek the FISA order,” that “This confirms what Rep. Devin Nunes and House Republicans first disclosed in February 2018, which was denied by Rep. Adam Schiff and sneered at by the press at the time.”
Senior Senate Judiciary Committee member Charles Grassley added: “Anyone who values fundamental civil liberties in the United States should be disgusted and terrified by what the inspector general uncovered…on the FBI’s spying on an American citizen. The FBI’s job is to protect Americans, our democracy and our rights. Its actions have done great harm to the public trust and jeopardize the important work that rank-and-file agents do every day for our nation.”
Predictably, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer declared: “For years, President trump and his Republican allies in Congress and the media have speculated wildly about deep-state conspiracies against his presidency. They’re based on the claim that the FBI opened an investigation into the president’s campaign with political motives. [Yesterday] we…got a report from the Department of Justice inspector general that puts these conspiracy theories to rest once and for all. This report conclusively debunks the baseless conspiracy that the investigation into Mr. Trump’s campaign and its ties to Russia originated with political bias.”
That is an award-winning obfuscation!
His House sidekick Adam Schiff piled it on, “It may be too much to hope that this report will put to rest the conspiracy theories about the 2016 election — especially now when the president and his allies are eager to distract from mounting evidence of his abuse of power with respect to Ukraine.”
That notwithstanding, seasoned political analyst Brit Hume concludes, “The 17 instances of misconduct cited in the report — they are damning… The FISA court was clearly taken for a ride by the FBI … up and down the chain of command. … The FBI has had some dark days in its past, but nothing like this recently. … This was very serious misconduct on the part of the FBI.”
Of course, the now-demented James Comey is out taking a victory lap, laughably insisting, “The FBI fulfilled its mission — protecting the American people and upholding the U.S. Constitution.” While most rank-and-file agents are devoted to that mission, Comey was not among them. The report indicates that, among other things, Comey lied to Congress when he asserted he did not open a counterintelligence investigation into Trump prior to the 2016 election, leading to the FISA warrants. But in fact, he did just that.
Finally, responding to the FISA report, Trump said: “They got caught, they got caught red-handed. … Never ever should this happen again in our country.” And he is right.
Update Almost eight months after Trump left office, the FISA court abuse is now clear. The foundation of the Demos’ Russia collusion conspiracy started to crumble with the 2020 indictment of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who, we can reasonably conclude, conspired with high-ranking principals including FBI Director James Comey and CIA Director John Brennan to set Trump up. And the latest indictment handed down by Special Counsel John Durham’s investigation of the coup conspiracy, that of Clinton-connected lawyer Michael Sussmann, starts to tie together some conspirators, but I don’t believe that any indictments to come will lead to consequences for the primary co-conspirators, Clinton and Obama. That, despite the fact that their fingerprints are all over the crime scene.
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