THE MID-TERMS ARE OVER…NOW WHAT?
…the IG “will issue a separate report relating to those issues when our investigative work is complete at a future date.”
Really??!! That was last summer…where is that report? And… what about those “documents” Congress has sought, Rod Rosenstein has withheld, and President Trump has promised to release???
You s’pose Adam Schiff is gonna help with that?
Dear V’pac Readers,
Admittedly, over the past several months, we have seemed preoccupied with, a) the Hillary email scandal, b) the AG Sessions’ curious appointment of the mysterious John Huber, and c) the bizarre DOJ Inspector General report which was released last June.
If you need explanation on what the “Hillary email scandal” is about, you can stop reading now and go back to playing “Fortnite Battle Royale” or listening to NPR’s “All Things Considered”…either one you’ll be just as well-informed.
Regarding the Inspector General’s report , it revealed considerable misconduct on the part of key members of the FBI and Department of Justice under the Obama administration. Although the report included numerous examples of extreme opposition to the Trump candidacy and election, it oddly failed to conclude there was any “bias” impacting “the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe”.
In the face of fierce pressure regarding the obvious deficiencies in the IG’s email investigation and its conclusions, as well as the incongruence of the simultaneous Special Counsel Mueller investigation of a Trump-Russia “collusion”, Attorney General Sessions named a Utah federal prosecutor, John Huber, to work with the Inspector General in a probe of the previous administration’s “Russia investigation”. HUBER WAS WIDELY CLAIMED TO BE A “QUASI-SPECIAL COUNSEL”, who has prosecutorial powers that the IG did not have.
“The third — and most significant — matter still pending concerns the wide-ranging issues related to the Obama administration’s Russia investigation. The IG makes clear the review did not address improprieties involved in that investigation. Rather, the Russia investigation is a separate matter and the IG “will issue a separate report relating to those issues when our investigative work is complete at a future date.” 6/19/18, The Federalist, excerpts are presented below.
From The Federalist ( excerpt)
The press is spinning the inspector general report as evidence the case is closed, but plenty of important questions remain.
The IG Report On FBI’s Clinton Probe Reveals This Saga May Be Just Getting Started
Margot ClevelandJune 19, 2018
The media has focused almost exclusively on the conclusion of the Justice Department inspector general’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe, which found bias did not impact the probe, as well as the lack of any newly announced indictments or criminal referrals. The goal of course being to downplay the negative findings of the report.
At the same time, the press gave, at most, passing mention to the statement Attorney General Jeff Sessions simultaneously released. But his statement and the findings of the report make one thing clear: This isn’t over.
Here’s why. Throughout the 568-page report, the IG highlighted several areas meriting additional investigation. And Sessions said the report “reveals a number of significant errors by the senior leadership of the Department of Justice and the FBI during the previous administration,” and stressed “this is not the end of the process.”
United States Attorney John Huber continues his work in cooperation with the IG to review certain prosecutorial and investigative determinations made by the Justice Department in 2016 and 2017. Based on his review of the report and his own investigation, Huber will provide recommendations as to whether any matter not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation required further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of Special Counsel.”
Put simply: There is still much to be done and much to come. What is likely over is the possibility the Justice Department will re-investigate Clinton for mishandling of classified information, or prosecute her. That’s a good thing. Clinton is done. While she may never face justice in a court of law, perhaps losing the presidency is a more prescient and proper punishment.
Three areas remain, however, that the IG report tees up for further investigation and potential prosecution.
First, the agents engaged in the anti-Trump texting tête-à-têtes face potential discipline for violating the FBI’s Offense Code and Penalty Guidelines. But, significantly, in referring the matter to “the FBI for its handling and consideration,” the report found their conduct at least “demonstrated extremely poor judgment and a gross lack of professionalism.” So it could also trigger further ramifications.
For instance, beyond the professional ramifications, should Huber conclude the DOJ or FBI agents acted on their bias in their handling of Crossfire Hurricane, that could subject them to criminal liability for lying to investigators: During questioning the agents denied acting on an improper motive, with, for example, Strzok “emphasizing that he never took any investigative step designed to help or hurt Clinton or Trump” and “that the political opinions he expressed in the text messages ‘never transited into the official realm. In any way. Not in discussions, not in acts.’”
Second, the IG report suggests additional actions will be forthcoming to address to DOJ and FBI employees leaking of information to reporters. There are two likely possibilities here. First, the DOJ could charge the leakers with making false statements to investigators if the employees untruthfully claimed they had not provided the information to the journalists. We saw this scenario two weeks ago, when the DOJ announced the indictment of James Wolfe, the former Director of Security with the Senate Intelligence Committee, on charges of making false statements.
Alternatively, the FBI leakers who, as the report detailed, “improperly received benefits from reporters, including tickets to sporting events, golfing outings, drinks and meals, and admittance to nonpublic social events,” could face civil or criminal liability. The IG report hints at that fact, stating “we will separately report on those investigations as they are concluded, consistent with the Inspector General Act, other applicable federal statutes, and OIG policy.”
The third — and most significant — matter still pending concerns the wide-ranging issues related to the Obama administration’s Russia investigation. The IG makes clear the review did not address improprieties involved in that investigation. Rather, the Russia investigation is a separate matter and the IG “will issue a separate report relating to those issues when our investigative work is complete at a future date.”
While the IG report did not directly address the Russia probe, it foretells of a damning indictment of the DOJ and FBI for targeting the Trump campaign in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election. This conclusion becomes obvious when one contrasts the facts known about the Russia investigation with those the IG relied on in analyzing the handling of the Clinton probe.
The IG identified numerous statements in the Clinton probe made by the agents that demonstrated an anti-Trump and pro-Hillary bias and that also “[implied] a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.” But even with this clear evidence of bias, when addressing whether political motives drove the sub-standard investigation into Hillary Clinton, the report’s narrative figuratively shrugs: “Who knows?”
Andrew McCarthy highlighted this aspect of the the report in a column for National Review Online, explaining that while “the report acknowledges that contempt for Trump was pervasive among several of the top FBI and DOJ officials making decisions about the investigation,” the IG never really answers whether “deep-seated bias … affected the decision-making.” The IG does this by framing his focus as determining, not “whether any particular decision was correct; just whether, on some otherworldly scale of reasonableness, the decision was defensible.”
However, the report simultaneously creates the impression that political bias did not impact the investigation, stating, “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative decisions.” (McCarthy also dissects this lawyerly obfuscation, writing: “Directly affected? What does that mean? Do the FBI and Obama Justice Department have to stamp the ‘I’m with Her’ logo on Combetta’s immunity agreement before we can say bias directly affected the decision? Could bias have indirectly affected the decision?”)
But contrast the IG’s willful blindness regarding the impact of the agents’ political bias on the investigation of Hillary Clinton, with the IG’s handing of the same evidence as it concerns the Russia investigation:
Yes, the report does not say that bias impacted Strzok’s handling of the Russia investigation, but when compared with the IG’s treatment of the question of bias in the report, this language signals a much different conclusion once the probe into the Crossfire Hurricane investigation closes.
Several other passages in the IG report likewise foreshadow a scathing review of the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the investigation into the Trump campaign. . . .
More of the article here.