Here's the third paragraph:
Our role in this review was not to second-guess discretionary judgments by Department personnel about whether to open an investigation, or specific judgment calls made during the course of an investigation, where those decisions complied with or were authorized by Department rules, policies, or procedures. We do not criticize particular decisions merely because we might have recommended a different investigative strategy or tactic based on the facts learned during our investigation. The question we considered was not whether a particular investigative decision was ideal or could have been handled more effectively, but rather whether the Department and the FBI complied with applicable legal requirements, policies, and procedures in taking the actions we reviewed or, alternatively, whether the circumstances surrounding the decision indicated that it was based on inaccurate or incomplete information, or considerations other than the merits of the investigation. If the explanations we were given for a particular decision were consistent with legal requirements, policies, procedures, and not unreasonable, we did not conclude that the decision was based on improper considerations in the absence of documentary or testimonial evidence to the contrary.
Well for goodness sake! If you were a government bureaucrat and you were going to commit a crime using government bureaucracy as the vehicle for that crime, and you wanted to conceal that crime from bureaucratic watchdogs--what would you do? Wouldn't you ensure that your actions--corrupt as they might be and with whatever illegal intent--followed in form while not in substance with all the applicable "rules, policies, or procedures"? Of course you would! Would you, on the other hand, provide "documentary or testimonial evidence" of your real intent? Uh, NOOOOO!
Exactly what use is an Inspector General like Michael Horowitz who doesn't "second guess discretionary judgments" of officials when those judgments are the spearhead of the most outrageous scandal in US history--an effort by the intelligence apparatus of the US government to prevent the election of a candidate for US President and, having failed in that effort, to drive an elected president from office on the basis of false charges. And now I'm gonna have to plow through 500 pages to try to pull out the facts that might be useful for getting at the truth. I'm frankly hacked off. There's no reason that Horowitz couldn't have come to stronger conclusions.
What a joke. On us. On We the People.
UPDATE 1: Official reaction from John Durham and Bill Barr--excerpted. It's seems pretty clear that they didn't buy off on that third paragraph as adequate any more than I did (h/t to commenter Joe for passing these links along).
“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.”
Note that while Durham has "the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General", he doesn't exactly say that that respect extends to Horowitz personally. He told Horowitz a month ago that Horowitz's conclusions were wrong, and Horowitz went right ahead with a limp wristed approach. You all know how much stress I've placed on "predication" for the FBI investigation and how utterly inadequate--corrupt--the case opening was. It's great to be backed up on that assessment by the guy who's been doing the deep dive into it all. Anyone who thinks Durham didn't clear that statement with Barr, guess again.
Barr's statement is a bit more "nuanced"--clearly he let Durham take the strongest shot at Horowitz's corrupt performance--but he doesn't leave much doubt about his own views.
"Nothing is more important than the credibility and integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice. That is why we must hold our investigators and prosecutors to the highest ethical and professional standards. The Inspector General’s investigation has provided critical transparency and accountability, and his work is a credit to the Department of Justice. I would like to thank the Inspector General and his team.
As you'll see, what Barr is saying amounts to this: Thanks for gathering some facts. Here are our preliminary conclusions, which are that the facts clearly show that the FBI trashed their "credibility and integrity."
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. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.
FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people. The Department of Justice and the FBI are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.
No one is more dismayed about the handling of these FISA applications than Director Wray. I have full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country. I thank the Director for the comprehensive set of proposed reforms he is announcing today, and I look forward to working with him to implement these and any other appropriate measures.
With respect to DOJ personnel discussed in the report, the Department will follow all appropriate processes and procedures, including as to any potential disciplinary action."
UPDATE 2: From what I've seen so far there's very little in this ~500 page report that's news. Not in the sense that we're surprised by anything. We either knew it already or reasonably inferred it. There is more detail, but that's the bottom line. And AG Barr concludes what we all already knew:
the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that ... were insufficient to justify the steps taken.
Reading the report will do nothing but confirm that. With that in mind I'll probably concentrate on Horowitz's handling of legal issues such as predication and the use of the various rules and regulations that the FBI and DoJ used to cover their asses.
UPDATE 3: Gotta luv this:
We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page.
Let that sink in. The OIG investigation found that the FBI systematically hid from the FISC the true nature of their relationship with Carter Page. The FBI systematically created in the mind of the FISC a counter-factual impression. But somehow Horowitz didn't see that as exhibiting "improper motivation." Because the FBI didn't write an EC to the case file stating: "We are acting with improper motivation."
That's just one very brief example. That's what the report is all about. Three monkeys who see only mistakes, not "improper motivation."