“I think we’ll learn part of the story tomorrow,” Carter Page told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday. As Page had learned, “there’s a lot of exculpatory evidence that’s remaining classified, and there’s been internal battles.” On Monday, the former Trump advisor was on full alert when the Department of Justice Inspector General released the massive Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.
“We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many additional errors in the Woods Procedures” of the FBI, the report explains. On the other hand, the Inspector General did not conclude that the decision to surveille Page “was based on improper considerations in the absence of documentary or testimonial evidence to the contrary.” That leaves open the possibility the someone in the DOJ wasn’t talking, or advanced false information.
The FBI’s Peter Strzok, known for texts with Lisa Page touting an “insurance policy,” appears in the report 66 times. Strzok’s supervisor, William Priestap, Assistant Director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, “ultimately made the decision to open the investigation,” and that decision came “after multiple days of discussions and meetings that included Strzok and other leadership in CD, the FBI Deputy Director, the FBI General Counsel, and an FBI Deputy General Counsel.”
Even so, the report contends, “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision.” The report mentions “prosecution” ten times but does not recommend criminal prosecution of any FBI or DOJ official. So Carter Page was right that the report would be redacted and reveal only part of the story. Attorney General William Barr also weighed in.
“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,” Barr said in a statement. “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.” Most of the misconduct was committed in 2016, by a small group of FBI officials, Barr said, and “the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.”
For his part, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, has been taking his time and declining interviews. In the run-up to the release, the POTUS 44 pick got some love from Kristine Phillips in USA Today.
As a federal prosecutor, Michael Horowitz took down the “Dirty 30,” corrupt cops who sold drugs, one of the biggest police corruption cases in New York history. Horowitz was on record that “You have to know where there bank accounts are, where they’ve hidden their money. Then you have to let them know you have the goods.” As Phillips explains, after prosecuting police officers and “other government officials who abused their power,” his former co-workers say “that prepared him to conduct some of the most politically controversial high-stakes investigations in the country.” That might well be doubted.
Corrupt government officials jostle in the IG report, deploying bogus material from Democrat sources to gain a FISA warrant to spy on candidate and President Trump. Yet Horowitz, supposedly a non-partisan type of great integrity, finds no evidence of “political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision,” and issues no recommendation for prosecution. This should come as no surprise.
During an investigation of the Hillary Clinton matter, Horowitz found that multiple statements of former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe were “lacking candor” and that McCabe violated FBI policy by releasing sensitive information to reporters. After the report was released Trump tweeted that McCabe “LIED!, LIED!, LIED!” but McCabe has not been indicted.
In his latest effort, Michael Horowitz lets Strzok and company off the hook, and that sent former FBI boss James Comey into a sack dance.
“So it was all lies,” Comey tweeted, “No treason. No spying on the campaign. No tapping Trumps wires. It was just good people trying to protect America.” This from the longtime Clinton crony who judged the former First Lady “extremely careless” instead of grossly negligent, sparing her from prosecution and keeping her in the campaign. Others had a different take.
“We do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predications and how the FBI case was opened,” U.S. Attorney John Durham said in a statement. “Our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department.”
John Durham’s wide-ranging probe is now a full-fledged criminal investigation. When that comes to trial, nobody will be appraised for “lacking candor” or violating FBI rules. They swear to tell the truth and if found guilty of crimes they go to jail, like the “Dirty 30” prosecuted by Michael Horowitz. One of the dirty cops, Michael Dowd, spent nearly 12 years in prison.
For last three years or more, the upper reaches of the FBI and DOJ have been spying on candidate and President Trump and destroying the lives of people associated with the president, such as Michael Flynn. If nobody goes to jail for corruption on that scale, the Deep State wins, the people lose, and it’s not even close. As President Trump likes to say, we’ll have to wait and see what happens.