Tuesday, November 12, 2019

OIG Report: When, How Deep?

Last night Sean Hannity obtained remarks on the state of the OIG FISA Report from Jason Chaffetz and the head of the House Freedom Caucus, Rep. Andy Biggs (video below). Rather than present a full transcript, I'll present a summary that closely tracks their words. Their remarks were relatively brief, but very much to the point. The common thread is that they believe that the delay in issuance of the report has to do with Horowitz having to repeatedly expand the scope of his investigation as whistleblowers kept deciding to come forward.

The business that both mention--that IG Horowitz' investigation expanded beyond DoJ to include other agencies--shows how complicated this has become. Those other agencies all have their own IGs, and DoJ's IG, Horowitz, doesn't have authority on his own to investigate beyond the confines of DoJ. Even within DoJ his authority is split with OPR (Office of Professional Responsibility which, unlike OIG, is not independent). Hannity points out at the start that OIG has ample resources--in fact it's rather huge, with over 600 employees. My speculation would be that it's possible that--with all the knowledge of detail, with all the accumulation of crucial documentation that was reviewed,that OIG investigators have acquired and worked with over the past at least two years--Barr believed that it was best to keep them working while Durham's team got in place and up to speed. That would require securing cooperation from outside DoJ and a willingness to work with Horowitz that wasn't required by the IG law. There's likely a big story there.

Now, on to Chaffetz and Biggs.

Basically, Hannity had been talking to Sara Carter, who maintains that the FISA Report will be out before Thanksgiving and will include important criminal referrals. Working from Carter's statements, Hannity pretty much demands to know why things have gone on so long. His guests, of course, are more than happy to respond. Here's how it goes:

Jason Chaffetz: Chaffetz agrees with Carter that the OIG investigation has gone on long enough--any delay past Thanksgiving would be "highly suspicious." In saying this Chaffetz shows he's aware of the need to maintain faith with the public, who deserve answers--government is run for their benefit, not for the benefit of government officials (I believe that's the theory, although government officials may disagree or wish to "nuance" that concept). Originally it was thought that up to 20% of report would be redacted, but now, says Chaffetz, "not nearly so much" so much of the report will be redacted. Also, it's believed that the report will "envelope in" people from outside DoJ--people like John Brennan and others--extending into other agencies. "This tangled web was much deeper than just the people at DoJ. It will also show how they manipulated and used the media here in the US to move forward the political agenda of those at the top of the FBI."

That last bit is, to me, a bit naive. The idea that the media was "manipulated" rather than being willing and active participants is one bit of naivete. The other bit of naivete is the idea that the FBI was running the Russia Hoax. As Chaffetz himself says: This tangled web was much deeper than that. The FBI could not on its own secure the cooperation of, for example, MI6 or GCHQ, etc. My contention has always been that no bureaucrat takes these kinds of risks without covering his behind, and that means assurances from those above him. Ultimately the buck stops in the Oval Office.

Andy Biggs: In response to Hannity's demand to know who might be at risk for prosecution, Biggs very sensibly responds: Anyone who touched the FISA applications--Comey, McCabe, Rod Rosenstein, Sally Yates.

Note the very matter of fact, unblinking, inclusion of Rod Rosenstein in that list of rogues, which I've also stressed. The big question is, I think: When did Rosenstein begin cooperating? We know that he was under OIG investigation fairly early on with regard to FISA. How did all that proceed? I think we'll be finding out fairly soon--and what a story it may be!

Biggs goes on to include among those at risk "sources and anyone who suppressed information." He also points out that, when Horowitz did his last report, OIG kept getting whistleblower information at the last minute, which led to pushing back the report's release as OIG followed out new leads. "We've been promised this FISA report for months." That tells Biggs that Horowitz had to broaden the scope of his investigation, just as with his previous investigation--and that broadening probably happened repeatedly. Biggs believes the highest levels of the Intelligence Community--perhaps Brennan, perhaps Clapper--are "potentially culpable."


  1. Re culpability: "perhaps Brennan, perhaps Clapper..."

    Like the story of the Emperor's New Clothes, we are having trouble seeing what is plainly before our eyes...

    As for manipulation of the media, I offer the following tape from 2018, which is truly horrifying in retrospect:

    Naively manipulated or co-conspirators?

    At 3:45 the Susan Glasser chides Trump for 'not supporting the foreign policy of his own foreign policy team'.

    At 4:20 Cooper chides Trump for not believing the US intelligence community, 'which is his intelligence community'.

    Cooper mocks Trump for wondering what happened to the Clinton server...

    The MSM has not during this entire sorry episode ever challenged the story line fed to them by the 'intelligence community' or the 'foreign policy team'.

  2. "chides Trump for not believing the US intelligence community, 'which is his intelligence community'."

    Yeah, after Dubya swallowed whole, the WMD stuff from 'HIS intelligence community'.
    How's that work out?

  3. "The idea that the media was 'manipulated' rather than being willing and active participants is one bit of naivete."

    Thanks for that. Long ago sick of hearing the various refrains of the press having been "asleep" or "duped" or "fooled" in regard to this or that scandal. If it were true, it would imply that the press is populated by idiots with a flat learning curve. If not true, then they're incredibly dishonest scum of the highest order. It is one or the other, and possibly both.

  4. Dennis Prager helped me to understand leftism with his commentary. He likens it to a religion or religious faith. This makes sense to me and I find it consistent with comments that the President isn't following the 4th branch of government's instructions.

    As to the delays, I have my moments of frustration. But I think that this IG report is going to be consequential and shocking. Many in the know have intimated that the American People will be stunned when we read everything that happened.

    Yes, the media are willing accomplices. The Dems, Deep State and Media, if you submitted their DNA to, you'd find they descend from the same tribe. So their interactions qualify as incestuous.