Politics

Who Influenced 2016 More: Russia, or a Small FBI Cabal?

Horowitz testifies that there were "inexplicable" decisions about investigating Trump.

Nate Jackson · Dec. 12, 2019

Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday about his lengthy report on the FBI investigation into Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and early administration. Because Democrats and the Leftmedia would rather focus on impeachment, however, you have CNN and MSNBC cutting away from hearings so viewers would not be exposed to the opening statement from Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). What a contrast from the wall-to-wall coverage of House Democrats during impeachment hearings.

Graham’s remarks were particularly salient, as were Horowitz’s responses.

Regarding the “dossier” written by Christopher Steele and paid for by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC, Graham asked, “Christopher Steele — is it fair to say that he had a political bias against Donald Trump?”

Horowitz responded that “there was a bias that should have been disclosed to the [FISA] court.” How much bias? Steele “was desperate to prevent Mr. Trump’s election.”

And why does that matter? Former FBI Director James Comey was asked in April 2018 how important the fake dossier was to obtaining the FISA warrant and opening the investigation against Trump. “[The Steele dossier] was part of a broader mosaic of facts that were laid before the FISA judge in order to obtain the FISA warrant [on Carter Page],” he insisted at the time. “The dossier was part of that but was not all of it or a critical part of it.”

Actually, as Horowitz made plain in his report and in his testimony yesterday, “We concluded that the Steele report played a central and essential role in the decision to seek the FISA warrant.” Indeed it did, as the House and Senate reported last year.

As for the conduct of the handful of high-level FBI officials responsible for targeting Trump and besmirching the reputation of the entire FBI, Horowitz said some of the conduct was “inexplicable” and that he’s “not ruling out” political bias. He explained, “I think it’s hard to look at all 17 of these events and conclude it was complete incompetence.” That’s a diplomatic understatement if we ever heard one.

Horowitz also says he has referred the actions of the “entire chain of command” in the FISA warrant process for review by supervisors “for consideration of how to assess and address their performance failures.”

Graham noted that “Comey said this week that your report vindicates him,” before asking, “Is that a fair assessment of your report?”

Horowitz flatly rejected such an absurd notion: “You know, I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) cut to the chase, saying, “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence [and] alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the [FISA] court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?”

“That is correct,” replied Horowitz. “That is what occurred.”

Cruz then made an astounding point about equal application of the Rule of Law: “If a private citizen did this — fabricated evidence — would that private citizen be prosecuted?” asked Cruz.

Horowitz answered, “They’d certainly be considered for that.”

A final assertion really sums up the issue at the foundation of Horowtiz’s report. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) noted, “The FBI effectively meddled in an ongoing presidential campaign.” Thus, he asked, “Which is worse? Is it worse to have a foreign government trying to meddle in our elections, or is it worse to have our own government meddling in the election?” He marveled, “To get the FBI to launch [and] pursue surveillance of a rival presidential campaign and then into the newly elected president’s term I think is just extraordinary. I think it is an extraordinary thing when the most powerful law-enforcement agency maybe in the world is able to effectively intervene and influence a presidential election at the behest and with the cooperation of another political party.”

Indeed, the collusion of this cabal of deep-state actors to interfere in a presidential election was far more consequential than anything Russia could have dreamed of doing. And Democrats are perpetuating that with their impeachment charade.

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