Monday, December 9, 2019

MULTIPLE UPDATES: FISA Report: We Waited How Long For THIS?

Obviously I've only just started on the Executive Summary, but the third paragraph in tells you the story: Comb through the report for factual details, limited as they may be, but don't waste your time on conclusions--such as, mistakes were made but there was no bias, etc.

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).

John Durham:

“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.

Bill Barr:

"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."


  1. I am going to limit my comments because I know that you are going to be very busy today. After this comment (for the next few hours) I will only send links to assist you when I think that they will be beneficial.

    But I have to add one humorous comment based on yor title that we waited this long for the report.

    Every American will receive a tee shirt stating "We spent over $20 million and 20 months and all we got is this lousy tee shirt."

  2. I would suggest you start with Chapter 11, and use the previous chapters for the details 11 deals with. The report is actually pretty damning in regards to the Page warrant- Horowitz all but accuses the Crossfire Hurricane team of omitting all exculpatory evidence in all 4 applications- indeed, my impression from Chapter 11 is that Horowitz thinks the Crossfire Hurricane investigators lied to him about the reasons for those omissions, but he couldn't find anyone to flip within the team. I am going to repost in subsequent comments the comments I have made at Althouse this morning about Chapter 11 (still reading right now).

    1. The details can't help but be damning. We've known, and I've reported for many months, that those exculpatory facts re Page were omitted from all the FISA apps--even though we only had redacted releases. It was always clear that these were criminal acts by omossion--no possible way were they "mistakes."

    2. True, but this is where Durham and Barr come into the picture. Sure, Horowitz can make referrals, but IGs rarely do this, and I think you know this. An IG has to have basically the smoking gun in his hand, and that is rarely possible if you have to flip witnesses to get it.

    3. My view from experience is that where there's smoke you'll usually find fire of some sort. There's one helluva lot of smoke here, so the proper course of action is to refer the smoke to the fire department.

    4. This is just a repeat of the Hillary e-mail investigation. We got the truth from republican congressman during their takedown of Horowitz.

      Rob S

  3. I am reading the analysis section of the Horowitz Report (Chapter 11). It is actually pretty damning for the Crossfire Hurricane team. Horowitz basically accuses them of hiding exculpatory evidence from the team responsible for preparing and approving the FISA warrant against Page. He also accuses them, in not so many words, of lying about the reasons for hiding this exculpatory material. Of course, Horowitz is more tactful about it:

    "Because FISA proceedings are ex parte, the FISC relies on the [U.S. government's] full and accurate presentation of the facts to make its probable cause determinations." It further states that it is the case agent's responsibility to ensure that statements contained in applications submitted to the FISC are "scrupulously accurate." As we discuss below, we found that the FBI failed to fulfill this obligation to the court. This failure falls most immediately on the shoulders of the case agents and supervisors who were
    responsible for assisting 01 in the preparation of the FISA applications and
    performing the factual accuracy review during the Woods process. However, as we
    discuss below, we identified (1) numerous serious factual errors and omissions in
    the applications, (2) a failure across three investigative teams to advise NSD
    attorneys of significant information that undercut certain allegations in the FISA
    applications, (3) a lack of satisfactory explanations for these failures, and ( 4) a
    continuous failure to reassess the factual assertions supporting probable cause in
    the FISA applications as the investigation proceeded and information was obtained
    raising significant questions about the Steele reporting. We concluded that these
    facts demonstrated a failure on the part of the managers and supervisors in the
    Crossfire Hurricane chain of command, including FBI senior officials."

  4. I always suspected Horowitz was a Deep State tool and, well. Here we are. He may say re the FISA requests that some seedy action took place, but not to worry. Their FBI hearts were pure.

    Isn't this the second time he's found no bias?

    If I were less judicious, I'd call him an idiot.

  5. In short, the Crossfire Hurricane investigative team hid all the evidence that undercut the predicate charge that Carter Page was probably a Russian agent, putting in only that information that argued that he was a Russian agent. And what was that evidence that Page was a Russian agent? It consisted on exactly two things- (1) that Page traveled to Russia frequently and knew a lot a Russians, and (2) that Steele through two layers of hearsay accused Page of being a Russian agent. That is it.

    1. Which is actually and precisely NO EVIDENCE AT ALL. Only accusation from a Clinton paid "researcher." The predication was FICTION. IOW, a lie. Is it any surprise that Barr and Durham are hacked off? You see why I've been constantly yammering about "predication." And Horowitz won't "second guess?" There's no second gussing needed here.

    2. All Horowitz had to say is that the investigation was not equipped to answer the question of bias and so takes no position either way.

      Taking the route he did was a clear disservice to the American people, IMHO.

  6. In the first FISA application, the Crossfire Hurricane team used the Michael Isakoff story about Page that appeared in Yahoo as corroboration for Steele's reporting by claiming that they had determined that Steele wasn't the source of the Isakoff story because Steele had said he only shared this information with Glenn Simpson, who had directly hired Steele. We have known for a long time now that this assertion that Steele wasn't Isakoff's source was false- Isakoff himself has confirmed that Steele was the source. Additionally, though, we now know that the FBI teamed lied on the application because the Woods material, which was not shared with the FISC, stated that Steele had also shared the information with people in the State Department. In short the case agents (Strzok and others) deliberately hid and lied about Steele dissemination of his report- and did so precisely because they wanted use Isakoff as corroboration:

    "Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide
    to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article,
    based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared
    his election-related research with the FBI and Simpson; this premise
    was factually incorrect (Steele had provided direct information to
    Yahoo News) and also contradicted by documentation in the Woods
    File-Steele had told the FBI that he also gave his information to the
    State Department;"

    1. Deliberately hiding and lying about essential and required information is in my view a criminal act.

    2. And this is where I think the conspirators are in trouble with Barr and Durham. I think, eventually, someone will flip. I think they believe they have dodged the bullet with the Horowitz Report, but they haven't- Horowitz is playing paintball, Durham/Barr are playing war.

    3. I think they know they haven't dodged any bullets. This is only a reprieve. They almost certainly have a pretty clear idea of what's going on with Barr/Durham.

  7. Horowitz also found that the investigative team failed to include all exculpatory statements made by Papadopoulos to Stefan Halper, and selectively used statements made by Page to Halper, but studiously omitting the most important statements that Page made- i.e. that he no contact with Manafort or with either of the Russians named in the Steele Dossier:

    "Omitted Papadopoulos's statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016
    denying that anyone associated with the Trump campaign was
    collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like WikiLeaks in the
    release of emails;
    6. Omitted Page's statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page
    had "literally never met" or "said one word to" Paul Manafort and that
    Manafort had not responded to any of Page's emails; if true, those
    statements were in tension with claims in Steele's Report 95 that Page
    was participating in a "conspiracy" with Russia by acting as an
    intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and
    7. Selectively included Page's statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016
    that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of
    Russia but omitted other statements Page made, including denying
    having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin
    was; if true, those statements contradicted the claims in Steele's
    Report 94 that Page had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about
    future cooperation with Russia and shared derogatory information
    about candidate Clinton."

  8. The part about Page's omitted statements to Halper regarding his lack of contact with Manafort is particularly damning. Here is why- Page made those statements without being aware of the allegations in the Steele Dossier that he was Manafort's go-between agent. Yet, the case agent, Strzok, decided to conceal those statements from the NSD attorneys preparing the FISA warrant. Such a statement is clearly expulpatory- Page is denying a key allegation of the Steele Dossier without knowing that it is a key allegation. In short, Page's statement is probably the most important piece of evidence about the veracity of that Steele Dossier allegation. In interviews with Horowitz, the attorneys who prepared the warrant do state that they would have included such information to the court since it is clearly exculpatory.

    1. I refuse to believe that Strzok did this on his own and without the knowledge of his superiors.

  9. I still have a lot to read, but I think I see where the reporting about the Horowitz Report is being mistated. Horowitz isn't absolving the the FBI and the DoJ- he is absolving the people who took information from the Crossfire Hurricane at face value and used it to apply to the FISC for the Carter Page warrant. Horowitz says that he didn't receive satisfactory explanations for these mistakes- in short, Horowitz probably thinks he has been lied to by members of the Crossfire Hurricane team, but can't prove it with documentary evidence. Not a surprise.

    1. But my point all along has been that in the most non-routine case in US history all those people who "took information from the Crossfire Hurricane at face value" had a positive duty to demand full information from the investigators, to conduct a searching inquiry into all the background--not to rush it through at the last moment.

      In particular, Rod Rosenstein in May of 2017 had that affirmative obligation to grill the FBI all over again about the predication for their CH investigation as well as for each of the four individuals. There is NO EXCUSE for his failure and the same failure for all the others. Steele's lack of credibility was well known by then.

  10. Mark,

    Horowitz doesn't have the weapons that Durham has. I do think Horowitz is trying to shape a narrative because he is likely a Democrat, but he has laid out the evidence pretty honestly that I have seen- in other words, he wasn't willing to lie in his own report, or pull investigative punches. He has done what he could legally do to protect the conspirators.

    1. Not being willing to lie in his own report is damning with faint praise.

    2. Consider: Durham says he told Horowitz, look, there's much more going on here, you can't responsibly do what you say you're gonna do. But Horowitz went ahead and did it? He should get a medal for that? This makes him no better than a Deep State co-conspirator.

  11. There is this about when certain officials knew who Steele and Simpson's paymasters were:

    "Rosenstein told us he believes he learned that information from news media accounts, but did not recall whether he knew at the time he approved the third renewal."

    Can you believe Rosenstein? I don't know. Here is what I do know- the media reports about Clinton and the DNC's involvement didn't appear until a month after the last renewal expired. Boente admits he knew before he signed the 2nd renewal, and the investigative team knew all along. Indeed, in the report, Horowitz makes it clear that they not only knew, but the team fought tooth and nail to not include the one very oblique and obtuse allusion to possible political bias, and only because a single person insisted on it.

    1. Of course they knew. We all knew by that time.


    2. "fought tooth and nail to not include the one very oblique and obtuse allusion to possible political bias, and only because a single person insisted on it."
      Does "because a single person insisted on it" refer to one person SUCCESSfully pressing, for inclusion of this allusion?

  12. Yancey, paste your text into a Notepad, then turn Word Wrap off and remove all the returns.

    Then copy from Notepad into your blog comment.

    1. Thanks, Mike. I had been, early on, just backspacing to fix the wrapping errors, but it was too tedious after the first paragraph.

    2. Ok, that isn't going to help me. I only have Notepad on this computer, and would still have to manually delete the hard returns since Notepad doesn't have a show/hide for formatting code.

    3. You should be able to see where the returns are easily enough--just open Notepad to a wider width. I do this all the time when I paste in text that was originally in a PDF. I followed a basically similar process with every quote in this post. And, yes, I sometimes find it tedious.

    4. You don't have to see the returns.

      Paste into Notepad, turn off Word Wrap, delete the invisible return at each line.

      I do this all the time. It works.

    5. As you delete the invisible returns in Notepad, you get one longer and longer line.

    6. Paste the text into Notepad.

      Suppose the text is three lines.

      Turn off Word Wrap in Notepad.

      Click at the beginning of the first line.

      Press the END button. The cursor goes to the end of the first line.

      Delete the blanks at the end until the second line joins the first line.

      Now the original third line is the second line.

      Click at the beginning of the first line, press the END button, and delete the blanks until the second (originally third) line joins the first line.

      You have one long line.

      Copy and past that one, long line into the comment box.

    7. Like I wrote, that is worse than doing the same within the Google text box. If I had MSWord, I could just change formatting with a global one off fix.

    8. Since I do that Notepad trick all the time, I can do it very fast.

    9. Horowitz, whatever else he may know, certainly understands an immutable truth: Trump, and therefore Barr, have 62 months remaining at best, then it's over. Many people have car notes of longer duration. He knows that the best way to survive a train wreck is to get as far from the tracks as possible. I personally have never heard of an IG being awarded a medal for valor (and Epstein still didn't kill himself). He's human; not a good answer but probably the most fair.
      Tom S.

  13. We must hope and pray that Barr/Durham will provide the actual remedy to the criminality of the coup conspirators and not get distracted by the failings of the Horowitz report. This is just the beginning of the revelation chain that will only grow in pace and intensity over the coming months.

    Rather, I would suggest that the most salient impact of the OIG report will be macro rather than micro. In essence, Horowitz is attempting to codify the "intent" excuse as a legitimate justification for "do not prosecute" when applied to governmental employees under his jurisdiction. As such, if this tort principle is applied fairly and equally to all citizens, then this would effectively undermine potentially all future DOJ prosecutions of anyone (civilian or governmental) in circumstances in which intent can be obscured or rationalized. IOW, how does DOJ prosecute any civilian by a different standard than what has just been applied to Brennan, Comey, McCabe, Strok, Page etc? No doubt within the DC bubble this kind of hypocrisy can be ignored and dismissed, but average citizens will not be so kind or forgiving. If nothing else, many, if not most, Americans will view the justice system as terminally broken and the rule of law extinct as a practical matter. I doubt that Barr wants that to be his legacy.

    1. The problem is that motive is almost always an inferred thing, unless you flip conspirators against one another. The entire apparatus of the FISA process appears to be stacked in such a way as to always give an out to corrupt behavior. Horowitz outlines an example of this problem in this section:

      "The failure to update 01 on all significant case developments relevant to the FISA applications led us to conclude that the agents did not give equal attention or treatment to the relevant facts that did not support probable cause, or reassess the evidence supporting probable cause as the investigation progressed. The FISA Request Form does not specifically ask the case agent to share with 01 information that, if accurate, would tend to undermine or would be inconsistent with the information being relied upon to support the government's theory, in whole or in part, that the target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. We believe sworn law enforcement officers should already understand this basic obligation based on their training and experience."

      See, the agents can get away with lying to the FISC by pointing out the FISA request form says nothing about exculpatory information. I imagine there is a lot of this hidden code in the regulations to cover asses.

    2. "The problem is that motive is almost always an inferred thing ..."

      And there's a legal principle to cover that. Everyone is considered to intend the reasonably foreseeable consequences of their actions. If you omit information that is relevant, you can be assumed to intend that you don't want the person receiving your "info" to know about it.

      Intent is a part of virtually all criminal statutes. And prosecutors have a very high percentage of convictions, as Sidney Powell likes to point out in her briefs. Not only convictions, but guilty pleas.

      As I've repeatedly pointed out in the past, back in 1978 Robert Bork made the point that this is exactly the result to be expected from the FISA regime--he wrote that before FISA was actually passed. No one would be held responsible for the inevitable abuses, because FISA and the attendant regulations would give them cover. AS INTENDED.

      Or as Sir Humphrey Applebee says in a similar context:

      "The Official Secrets Act doesn't protect secrets, it protects officials." Or words very much to that effect.

  14. Why would George Papadopoulos know anything about Russian Intelligence doing something with Hillary Clinton's e-mails?

    Papadopoulos was an expert in petroleum issues in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Was the FBI's idea that Russian Intelligence was going to use Papadopoulos as an intermediary to Trump's staff, to coordinate the misuse of Clinton's e-mails?

    The FBI's concern about Papadopoulos' alleged remarks to Downer was simply preposterous.

    And then, immediately, because of Papadolous's alleged remarks to Downer, the FBI initiated investigations of Page, Manafort and Flynn.

    This FBI story is ABSURD.

    1. Yes, ABSURD. Caps really are required to convery how ABSURD it all is. And in this context absurdity requires, demands, a criminal referral. I'm still plowing through the Executive Summary and I have multiple issues with Horowitz's way of dealing with "predication." Yes, he does offer critical comments, but nowhere near what's required in context. The idea that the FBI can legally use any allegation--even if it isn't the setup that we all know it was--to open this sort of investigation is, as you say, ABSURD. The fact that they did so and obtained multiple levels of approval is a dense cloud of smoke that demands referral to the Fire Departments criminal response team. We have that going on now, whether Horowitz or anyone else likes it, but an ethical IG should get on that bandwagon himself.

    2. Exactly, Mike. The predicate claimed, and how it was used to open up on Page (the report claims Flynn and Manafort were already targets) is really so absurd as to almost certainly be a lie. They were looking for any excuse, however lame, "to go and interview some people".

  15. And there is this:

    "We also found the quantity of omissions and inaccuracies in the applications and the obvious errors in the Woods Procedures deeply concerning. Although we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence of intentional misconduct on the part of the case agents who assisted 01 in preparing the applications, or the agents and supervisors who performed the Woods Procedures, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or missing information. In most instances, witnesses told us that they either did not know or recall why the information was not shared with 01, that the failure to do so may have been an oversight, that they did not recognize at the time the relevance of the information to the FISA application, or that they did not believe the missing information to be significant. On this last point, we believe that case agents may have improperly substituted their own judgments in place of the judgment of 01 to consider the potential materiality of the information, or in place of the court to weigh the probative value of the information."

    In short, I think Horowitz knows the Crossfire Hurricane investigators were lying to him- all the errors go in the same direction- the omission of exculpatory information. It is just a repeat of the Mid Year Exam investigation where all the errors went in the same direction, but to the benefit of the target of the investigation. What is striking to me is that the various Horowitz reports about the Clinton e-mail investigation and the Trump investigations is that the errors all going in one direction, but in opposition directions for each investigation is the proof that the people involved were, in fact, acting on their biases. I think I will write Graham an e-mail pointing this fact out, and see if he asks Horowitz about it.

    1. "I think Horowitz knows the Crossfire Hurricane investigators were lying to him"

      Were they also lying to their superiors who had to sign off on their actions? I refuse to believe that it was all Strzok and nobody above him knew what he was up to. No bureaucrat does that on their own. And Durham knows that, too.

    2. I think they were lying to certain of their superiors, but not all of them. For example, I think McCabe and Comey both knew all the details since both were updated by the team itself. Horowitz most clearly defends the DoJ people who were involved in the actual writing of the FISA warrant, and certain of the people who approved it. What he found was that the FBI leadership was regularly updated by the Crossfire Hurricane team, but that the DoJ leadership was not, nor were the people who were assigned the task of writing the warrant. I think all the testimonial evidence from the NSD lawyers was that the Crossfire Hurricane team did not tell them about the exculpatory evidence during any of the 4 applications.

    3. What do you think Bruce Ohr's obligations were to those innocent lamb lawyers at NSD? Should he, as a very high DoJ official, highest non political appointee, have told them: Hey, about that FISA, and about the source they keep quoting--that might be a Clinton campaign op?

      Does Horowitz get into that?

    4. Not that I have read yet. I have only read Chapter 11, and not all of it yet. Probably won't get back to it until tomorrow morning. I had hoped the report would land early this morning, but it didn't show up until 1 p.m.

    5. YW's observation that all the "mistakes" go in one direction, benefiting the target in MYE, but to the detriment of the target in CH, is an excellent explanation for why the SAME PEOPLE were assigned to BOTH investigations.

      Their inate political bias meant it was never necessary for any upper management to have to tell subordinates which way to queer the investigations! Everybody in FBI HQ knew that DOJ wanted Hillary to not be charged, and that Trump had to be stopped, even it it required an "insurance policy."

  16. Long before the FBI received Downer's report in July 2016, the FBI was investigating Manafort and Flynn, trying smear those two into a story about Russia-Trump collusion.

    Those prior investigations of Manafort and Flynn are not mentioned in the IG report.

    Instead, the story is that the FBI receives in July 2016 Downer's report about his alleged conversation with Papadopoulos and then -- PRESTO! -- the FBI begins to investigate Manafort and Flynn, who were not mentioned in that alleged conversation.

    Then, the IG report sweeps Manafort and Flynn under the rug. Just as suddenly and expectedly as Manafort and Flynn appeared in the IG report, they disappear as irrelevant.

    However, the FBI's prior investigations of Manafort and Flynn are very relevant, because they were the FBI's initial efforts to concoct a Russia-Trump collusion story. Downer's report about his alleged conversation with Papadopoulos was a later gambit in that long-term effort.

    For some reason, the FBI decided that Page (not Papadopoulos, Manafort or Page) was the best route to get a FISA warrant.

    The FBI gets Downer's report about his conversation with Papadopoulos -- a conversation that does not mention Manafort, Flynn or Page. Then the FBI immediately begins to investigate Manafort, Flynn and Page.

    Then Manfort and Flynn disappear from this yarn.

    Then the FBI applies for a FISA warrant against Page.

    None of this FBI reasoning is explained plausibly, but that's the IG's story.

    1. It's not a remotely believable narrative.

      That's one new thing. I simply didn't believe that the FBI really relied on the PapaD setup to open CH--it was so threadbare. Now, of course, we see what was going on. By using PapaD they could rely on the supposed FFG "info" and avoid using Steele at that point. But then we see a real anomaly--they open based on PapaD but then seek the FISA based on Page. That should strike anyone as strange. There's more of a story there.

    2. Here's the smoking gun: the thing that sells the notion that Page is a Russian asset (one of the two requirements for a FISA warrant on a US person) is the Steele Dossier memo about Page's trip to Moscow in early July 2016, that falsely claims he met with high level Russians to discuss a deal for him and Trump to get a huge interest in Rosneft.

      The problem is that Steele's memo that reports the meeting with Page in Moscow (that didn't happen) is date 19 July 2016, more than 10 days before the FBI opened the CH investigation!

      Miraculously, the 19 July Steele memo seems to anticipate the need for an allegation that Page is a Russian asset, to help get a FISA warrant on him beginning in August!

      And then the Steele Dossier (first six memos) arrive in the CH team's hands in September 2016, shortly after they realize they need more evidence to show probable cause that Page is a Russian agent, to get the FISA warrant on him agent!

      What an amazing coincidence!

      It almost as if somebody foresaw the need for a bullshit story to justify PC for the FISA warrant on Page BEFORE the FBI opened the CH investigation!

      Halper, of course met with Page shortly after Page's Moscow trip, adn BEFORE CH was opened.

      Ergo, there was a plan already in motion to dirty up Page in early July so that there would be enough evidence for PC for a FISA warrant later that Summer/Fall, well before the CH was opened based on the laughable PapaD allegations. It is very possible that FBI knew nothing about the Halper operation against Page before it happened.

      And that raises the question of who was pulling Halper's puppet strings in early July........ oh, Mr. Brennan, please pick up the white courtesy phone!

    3. I think they were unquestionably pointing toward a FISA because of Adm. Rogers clampdown at NSA. I pointed out Strzok's complaints in that regard.

    4. I don't think we can fully make sense of what the FBI was up to (even given disclosures in IG report) until we learn more about what exactly Brennan was up to. He was working with FBI, but he was also playing FBI. Fingers crossed for Durham and Barr.

    5. If you read Barr's two interviews that I've transcribed, he doesn't leave much doubt that he and Durham are on a mission.

  17. A number of people said the FBI had no business investigating rumors that the Trump campaign was "colluding" with Russia. And that number is ZERO. Nor is that straw man the issue or remotely what was afoot. Once the FBI ascertained that there was in fact no so-called "Trump-Russia" conspiracy but rather a Clinton-DNC op, that should have been the end of any investigation into the unsubstantiated rumors --- followed immediately by an investigation of the Clinton-DNC op that ginned it all up.

    1. Ya mean, like, false statements to the FBI? What a concept!

  18. I'm going to briefly weigh in on an optimistic note.

    I don't think Horowitz' conclusions will matter in a criminal proceeding brought by Durham based on additional facts and application of criminal laws. We already know that there was a fancy CIA/FBI two-step here to obfuscate predication. Did Horowitz take this into account? Was he even able to interview CIA?

    Durham has already (just) told us he disagrees with Horowitz re predication. He said that 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."

    Could there be a more binary statement short of filing indictments that criminal charges are coming? What, he disagrees harm no foul? You can bet John Brennan heard what he said.

    And, lastly, while publishing the report with various bad guys' version of events recounted for all the world to see can be problematic, the bigger picture is that Horowitz found numerous (numerous) instances of shortcomings which, if recast as criminal violations by a prosecutor with access to more facts, and the powers of a United States Attorney, could (will) result in a cascade of prosecutions.

    Lastly, Horowitz had no leverage on Clinesmith. Durham has, "How does twenty years sound, young man?"

    In any event, we have been and we are unquestionably in for the long game.

    1. That's mostly all true--but he actually did have leverage on Clinesmith that he apparently chose not to use to learn more on his own.

      But I agree that there is reason for optimism. Doesn't make it less galling to see the Deep State still stonewalling.

  19. Masters class in "baffle 'em with bullshit"and hope the rubes do not catch on..

  20. I still am trying to grasp the FBI's theory of Papadopoulos.

    Papadopoulos allegedly told Downer that Russian Intelligence intended to do something, through the Trump campaign, with Clinton's e-mails.

    How would Papadopoulos know this? Who would tell Papadopoulos? Mifsud? Why would Mifsud tell this to Papadopoulos?

    Papadopoulos was an expert on petroleum issues in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Did the FBI really think that Mifsud was guided by Russian Intelligence to tell this secret information to Papadopoulos?

    If I were the FBI Director in this situation, I would initiate an investigation of Mifsud -- rather than of Manafort, Flynn and Page.


    Horowitz should have examined and explained the ABSURDITY of this story.

    1. As I see it, their theory of Papadopoulos was really a theory of Friendly Foreign Government (FFG) predication. The point of the setup was to be able to say that an FFG said that Trump was in bed with "the Russians" so we hafta investigate. And since it was sourced to an FFG no details would need to be revealed.

    2. PapaD out foxed them by not bringing the cash into the USA with him.

      Rob S

      I must say I am less than impressed about the capabilities of Lawfare lawyers.

    3. Papadopoulos was nothing more than an unlocked door wide open and squeaking in the night. The perps were probably stifling grins as they tip-toed over the threshold.

  21. A quick observation: if you look at the section regarding Clinesmith's alteration of an email, you'll notice there's no explicit statement to the effect that Clinesmith was referred for potential prosecution. Similarly, there's no explicit statement about anybody else being referred for prosecution.

    But... there is a very anodyne remark at the end of the Clinesmith section that simply observes the IG immediately notified the AG of what had been found, for DOJ to follow up as it saw appropriate, (or words to that effect.)

    IOW, it looks to me as though the IG report is avoiding explicit statements about criminal referrals, so the lack of them should NOT be interpreted as meaning that no referrals took place.

  22. -->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"?<--

    I can state with certainty that neither the IRS nor the SEC allow "form over substance" arguments as a defense or explanation for failure to compliance with governing rules and regulations. Government compliance require substantive compliance, not merely going through the motions...

    1. But that's different. The rules are interpreted differently for non-government people than for gov folks. Just ask Lois Lerner.

  23. The beat goes on. The attempted coup is ongoing. Comey is publicly claiming vindication. The media is full throttle minimizing DOJ/FBI/CIA corruption and promoting impeachment. Trump is somehow continuing to perform the duties of the President while fighting off the distractions and outright treachery of the Democrats, RINOs, and media. A few courageous Congressional Republicans are fighting back. And average citizens are trying to show their support via campaign contributions and maximum attendance at Trump rallies. But the only entity that can really push back with fearsome force is Barr and Durham. I recognize their need to tread carefully in the big picture prosecutions and get their ducks in a row, but a lot of this chaos and destructive behavior could have been avoided if they had indicted someone sooner just to send a message. The obvious candidates would have been the persons who leaked the classified FISA application or Flynn telephone transcript with the Russian Ambassador. Comey would not now be jerking off in public if one of his co-conspirators was experiencing the Manafort treatment.

  24. So it has now been confirmed. The IG found that FBI made scores, if not hundreds, of mistakes in connection with the 'counter intelligence' investigation of the candidate of the opposition party for president of the United States. Who was elected President of the United States.

    Let's step back for a moment. Regardless of the presence or absence of charges, this kind of extensive malfeasance only happens, in human organizations, when there are major 'problems'. In other words, when things are really, really F-ed up. This literally begs the question: Why were things at the FBI so F-ed up?

    This is what Barr and Durham are inevitably going to find out and demonstrate to the American people. And bring charges where warranted. And if, somehow (because the Swamp is impossibly deep and powerful) Barr and Durham fail, this will not go away.

    The genie is out of the bottle. The truth will...sooner...or later...come out and heads will roll.

  25. Agreed. Short of a positive endorsement--and this, for all its shortcomings re conclusions, was waaaaaay short of that--this will only get much worse. Because this isn't the end.

  26. Mark -- In case you haven't been watching TV this evening I thought you would like to hear that all of Lindsey Graham, Sean Hannity, John Solomon, and Greg Jarrett are characterizing the criminal case resulting from today's disclosures as...a criminal conspiracy. Exactly where I think (not to put words in your mouth) you ended up quite a few months ago.

    Its the logical conclusion.

    1. I'm certainly not surprised that Jarrett would say that--he's been on board for a long time. I'm pleased to hear that Lindsey Graham is saying that.

  27. A few odds and ends:

    1) FBI claims the predication was FFG telling them that PapaD bragged in bar about Russians offering to help campaign by releasing negative info on Hillary. There was no independent evidence that such an offer had been made; just a report by the Aussie ambassador to GB claiming PapaD said this to him "in a bar."

    Given that there is no independent corroboration for the claim that the Russians made any such offer, you'd think the very first thing the FBI would do is INTERVIEW THE BOZO WHO MADE THE ORIGINAL CLAIM!

    It makes no sense that they waited until January 2017 to interview PapaD about information he claimed to have been told in March or April of 2016.... unless the purpose of the ensuing investigation predicated on this unverified "bar boast" was to find an excuse to spy on members of the Trump campaign using the FISA warrant on Page.

    2) Interesting to note that only one worker-bee from MYE worked on CH, but the entire supervisory chain of FBI was the same on BOTH investigations. These are, of course, the very people who can "steer" the investigation to make sure the unspoken objective was achieved.... in BOTH investigations.

    1. C'mon, now--no second guessing!

      Well stated. Any test you can name--smell test, laugh test, whatever--this fails to pass it.

    2. Oh, and the icing on the cake: they used the generic "defensive briefing" to the Trump campaign as cover for collecting more evidence, including on Gen. Flynn, who was present for the briefing!

    3. Another thought: people are acting surprised that Steele lied and bs'ed virtually everyone.

      What did you expect? Did you not read/see the miniseries "A Perfect Spy"?

      Steele is like so many in that profession -- they are professional liars who have an ability to manipulate people to get what they want, and to pretend they are not what they are. It's how they stay alive in the field!

      Just because the zebra retires doesn't mean he trades in his stripes.

      The guy in "A Perfect Spy" was a raging sciopath who betrayed and lied to everyone in his life, often for no particular reason other than it's what he was good at.

      To expect something different than that from Steele is to expect cats to bark.

    4. It's all pathetic, laughable, unprofessional, ABSURD.

  28. From what I've heard about Durham, the fact that he thought it necessary to issue a statement clearly indicating that different conclusions will be forthcoming from his office is not only remarkable but should have the perpetrators shaping in their boots.

    But, what do you think, is it possible they will continue denying until verdicts are read, with the assumption that any jury in DC or NY would never convict them?

    I remember reading that Durham only prosecutes when he's confident his case will survive appeal...

    1. I'm sure he feels very strongly, to have made that statement. As I said first thing, count on it that he cleared it through Barr. Horowitz knows that, too. All DC knows that.


    Sundance's explanation just posted for the difference of opinion btw Horowitz and Durham on predication. I'm going with Sundance and Durham. Horowitz totally whiffed since the Downer report was both implausible and obviously concocted.

    If you carve out the unfortunate disagreement btw Horowitz and Durham/Barr on predication, it seems like IG and AG are largely on the same page. I say unfortunate because it has allowed Comey, Schumer, MSM, etc. to crow unjustifiably (for the time being) about exoneration. By the way, Comey is a complete idiot...

    I suspect they'll all be eating crow pretty soon, however, because the rest of the report is utterly damning and Horowitz has made no finding inconsistent with eventual criminal charges. In fact he seems to have gone out of his way to leave the criminal considerations to Durham.

    Wise choice. This could well explain Barr's equanimity today in the face of the apparent predication disagreement.

    1. Durham and Barr were obviously very unhappy, as Hannity said last week. However, as you say, they can and will deal with it all.

    2. The remarks of Barr & Durham notwithstanding, Horowitz has done real damage here, as can be seen in the way MSM, Comey et. al. are crowing about vindication. Yes, he listed episodes of wrongdoing, but he explained them away.

      In effect, nothing to see here.

      How different it all would have been had he said, the FISA wrongdoing I found may well lead to indictments. But he didn't.

      So he's given the criminals something to run with, which probably was his aim. Now, we all may say small potatoes, and, Mark, I'm with you on your confidence in Durham & Barr.

      But against that, I think we have to admit that, so far, the Deep State seems to be batting 1000 (or have I missed something?).

      I'll tell you what I'm worried about. The Grand Jury. If Barr makes no effort to move the jury out of Washington D.C., or it is impossible for him to do so, truth seekers have a hill to climb.

      Everyone in DC works for the government or knows someone who does. Their loyalty is to the Deep State, friends & families, not America.

      America is the knuckleheads in flyover country.

      I suspect Barr & Durham will face great difficulty even getting indictments. I feel the same way about their ability to get convictions, should they manage to get to the prosecution stage.

      Put another way, counting on juries comprised of Deep State members and aficionados to bang nails into the coffin of said Deep State is a tall order.

      Or am I totally off base?

    3. No, you're not totally off base. However, ...

      Durham's GJ should actually be in CT. As for DC GJs, there was the campaign finance case that broadly names Hillary that DoJ just brought. That was a DC GJ.

  30. The "exoneration parade" by Comey and others is nonsense. All the IG report is saying is they didn't find anyone holding the murder weapon. It didn't say they were INNOCENT.

    Not to beat a dead horse, but the IG is limited to conclusions it can draw based on testimonial and documentary (i.e., direct) evidence, almost exclusively from within DOJ in this instance. It has no subpoena power, and can't compel testimony from anyone outside of DOJ.

    All that the IG can do is say whether or not someone colored inside or outside the lines, based on testimony and documents; essentially ignoring circumstantial evidence.

    Since nobody in their right mind is going to document their political biases in the performance of their job at DOJ, or confess to the IG when interviewed, it should not be a surprise that the IG is unable to nail Comey and others with direct evidence, i.e., catch them with the murder weapon in their hand whilst standing over a corpse with a bullet hole in it.

    What he does document is an overwhelming litany of mendacious behavior in relation to the Page FISA warrant applications, behavior that is very hard to explain away as anything other than being motivated by a political bias, but he leaves that conclusion for the reader to draw on their own.

    Meanwhile Barr and Durham have access to far more evidence than the IG had to work with, both from within the US government outside of DOJ, and from foreign countries and their intelligence or law enforcement services. What they are saying is, in effect, "if you knew what we know, you'd realize the predication wasn't there," and so, too, would the people who opened the investigation, if THEY knew those things (and we can infer they likely did, based on Barr and Durham's statements.)

    Horowitz did what he could given the limitations of his office, and under the restriction of relying only on direct evidence.

    I would also observe from a casual perusal of the IG report, that the IG went out of his way to not openly indicate where criminal referrals were made, and what laws were broken. This appears to be by design, likely with Durham's (and Barr's) approval. The only reason I can think of for this is to avoid tipping off the criminal suspects as to what Durham is working on.

    In closing, I would note Laura Ingraham's characterization about the report last night: "beyond devastating." She is not only an attorney, but also clerked for a SCOTUS judge.

    The Deep State took a torpedo to the hull yesterday; they may not be sinking yet, but they are definitely wounded and taking on water, and the USS Barr and USS Durham are steaming at flank speed right at the Deep State, with guns loaded. This is just the beginning of the end.