I haven’t gone over the entire IG Report on the DOJ/FBI Hillary Clinton Email Investigation, but there are a few points I can make.
1. The Inspector General Report points out that there’s a lot of corruption in the FBI. This is the big point that you should take away from the whole thing. Remember: this is only the start of that process. There are more than 30 indictments and 150 criminal referrals under Sessions purview in the Department of Justice. There may be more that I am not aware of. Not all of them are going to be about the Email or Spygate scandals, but I’m betting that a good bunch are (and more will follow). Don’t forget that the DOJ has empowered Federal Attorney General from Utah John Huber to investigate and prosecute criminal matters within the FBI and DOJ. The IG Report will allow Trump and Sessions to clear the deck and rebuild the FBI away from the corrupt structure that Obama created.
2. The point of the IG Report was not to find “political bias” but to point out how the FBI and DOJ’s rules, regulations, and law were broken. Keep in mind that political bias is essentially a subjective determination, and it’s hard to prove if you don’t have any direct statement from someone saying “I am trying to protect Hillary Clinton” during the investigation. Also, the IG, Michael Horowitz, cannot come across as politically motivated in his report. If he did so, he would diminish the report’s veracity as a prosecutorial and administrative document. It would instantly be shredded by the media and the left as political hackery. Don’t forget that the IG does not have the power to make direct recommendations for criminal referrals and is really empowered to be a whistleblower to highlight corruption and nothing more.
3. The devil’s always in the details: Horowitz might not be able to directly accuse FBI officials of “political bias,” but his IG Report pointed out a ton of evidence to suggest that the FBI was biased as hell. It paints a picture of an out-of-control FBI that wanted to slow-walk and hide Hillary’s misdeeds because they couldn’t stand the thought of Donald Trump becoming the US President. It paints the FBI as dishonest and corrupt in their attempts to hide Strzok and Page texts and exposed their lame excuses for what they are. Does anyone really believe that Comey didn’t know that Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner were married? This makes Comey look like a total idiot- and a bad liar.
4. The problems for the FBI aren’t just about bias, but also unprofessionalness and corruption. Many FBI agents are being accused of taking bribes from the media (and probably other groups) in order to leak important information. Other officials (who were supposed to have recused themselves) tried to influence the investigation from afar. Others did not divulge their conflicts of interest. There was no OPSEC within the various FBI departments involved in the IG Report, and if Hillary wanted to listen in on the ongoing email investigation, she certainly could have done so. Also, it looks like key evidence was either slow-walked or outright ignored, and many interviews were improperly done.
5. The bias and the corruption that overflows within the IG Report points the direction forward. Many of the bad apples will be prosecuted for their illegal actions. It also means that the Trump Administration (or Congress) will eventually reopen the Clinton Investigation at some point. Think about it- the entire document is a laundry list of mistakes that the FBI made in handling the investigation, which should be considered tainted. And since those bad apples will either be behind bars or long-gone from the FBI, we might get a real prosecution of Clinton.
6. The IG Report is necessarily incomplete. The IG cannot report on ongoing criminal investigations or sealed indictments until the proper time. These details were left out of the IG Report for the time being, and maybe added in at a later date. Notice that Bill Priestap’s name did not come up much in the report? Neither did McCabe’s. There are reasons for that. Don’t be surprised if additional bombshells are revealed by Sessions and Huber (and not Horowitz) in the coming weeks.
7. This really does set the table for a complete overhaul of the FBI and the DOJ. All the people playing stupid political pet tricks in the email investigation will either be prosecuted or kicked out of the FBI. This means that Comey/Clinton loyalists will no longer be able to interfere with any other investigation- including Spygate and the other ongoing Clinton investigations (the Clinton Foundation one is still open).
8. The IG Report makes the case that Comey’s firing was totally justified. He comes across as venal and double-faced in the report. He also made serious mistakes in handling the Weiner laptop scandal and tried to lie his way out of trouble at every possible chance he got. The IG Report badly undercuts the rationale for the Mueller investigation (which came only after Comey was fired), and Trump could not have obstructed justice in light of this evidence. Indeed, it was actually Comey who was the one suppressing justice.
9. The IG Reports are a marathon, not a sprint. The IG reports is about building up a narrative over time to convince the public that there is a massive scandal they should pay attention to. Well, the public is now paying attention to the story, and they see a very simple narrative: the FBI was corrupt and sought to protect Hillary. That narrative is not going to go away, and it will bleed into the next series of IG Reports all the way through to the mid-term elections (and beyond). They will remember that Strzok and Page want to overthrow Trump, and how the email investigation as biased from the start.
Remember, this is the first real IG Report that we have (the McCabe report doesn’t count). We’ll hear more about the internal machinations of the FBI and probably have another series of IG Reports tied to this one, as well as arrests based of Huber’s determinations on the Report.
10. The Mueller investigation into the Trump campaign now looks like a politically motivated witch hunt and at worst a soft coup being done by the deep state. Again, people are now paying attention and the FBI as a qhole looks completely corrupt and out of control against Trump. Think the next IG Reports are going to be any better? Or worse? Mueller hasn’t found squat against Trump (unless he’s hiding things, which I doubt), and the FBI IG Report makes it look more likely that he’ll get fired at some point or be forced to resign. If Strzok and company come across as obviously biased in this IG Report, I suspect the upcoming Spygate IG Report will be a doozy.
11. The IG Report discusses that many members of the FBI were using private emails for government purposes and a good deal of them are unavailable for the investigation. Comey and Strzok were doing this, for starters. I think it wouldn’t be all that hard for the IG or the DOJ to get a warrant to get into these private FBI email accounts. It’s already a crime for them to act this way. But if that’s the case, Horowitz can’t discuss the details of the ongoing investigation. This tells me that the IG Report we have now is really just the first IG Report and a hell of a lot more is coming. And it’s all going to be bad for the Democrats and their FBI friends.
I’ll post more of my comments and thoughts later, and also when more information becomes available.
Update: Minor typos were fixed (6/18/18)
Update: The IG Report’s Second Take