However, before anyone gets too furious, understand that there is a very, very important reason for this, and the secret plan is almost better than conservatives can imagine.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz reached out to prosecutors about one of the memos Comey leaked to a friend, which detailed a conversation he had with President Trump, after he was fired by President Trump in May 2017.
Although prosecutors found the watchdog’s findings compelling, they decided against prosecution under classified information protection laws because of there being too much uncertainty surrounding Comey’s intent, according to the Hill.
A month after he was fired, Comey testified to Congress he had leaked his notes to a friend to give to the media, hoping that it would spark a special counsel investigation.
Then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel the day after the New York Times first reported on details from one of Comey’s leaked memos, which claimed Trump pressed his FBI director to drop an investigation into his national security adviser Michael Flynn. That memo was classified as “confidential” — the lowest classification level — after Comey sent the information.
With other investigations focused on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation underway, one source said the DOJ did not want to “make its first case against the Russia investigators with such thin margins and look petty and vindictive.”
Comey’s lawyers did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spokespeople for the DOJ and its inspector general also did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.
The news comes hours after conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch announced it had obtained an FBI log about special agents arriving at Comey’s home in June 2017 to retrieve his memos. The notes show Comey handed over four of them to the FBI agents, and he said to the best of his recollection two might be missing.
Although the DOJ declined to prosecute in this case, Comey, who has become a vocal critic of the president since his ouster, is not yet in the clear.
Comey is also a possible target of Horowitz’s separate investigation into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act abuse. He signed three of the four FISA applications targeting former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page before being fired by Trump. Horowitz’s report is expected to be released after Labor Day.
It is also likely that Comey’s actions as FBI director will be scrutinized during the “investigation of the investigators,” a review of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation, being led by Attorney General William Barr and the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, John Durham.
Pay close attention there… Conservative Treehouse writer Sundance explained:
Notice the entire construct of the article surrounds “The Comey Memos“.
As you will see, this specific topic is important. Within the Solomon article you will find (emphasis mine):
[…] Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz’s team referred Comey for possible prosecution under the classified information protection laws, but Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors working for Attorney General William Barr reportedly have decided to decline prosecution — a decision that’s likely to upset Comey’s conservative critics.
Prosecutors found the IG’s findings compelling but decided not to bring charges because they did not believe they had enough evidence of Comey’s intent to violate the law, according to multiple sources.
[…] Patrick Fitzgerald and Daniel Richman, two of Comey’s lawyers, and Keith Urbahn, his spokesman, did not return repeated calls and emails seeking comment.
[…] While they cautioned that the IG’s final report won’t be complete until it gets feedback from Comey’s lawyers in the next few days, it is expected to conclude that the former FBI director improperly took with him memos that were FBI property when he was fired, transmitted classified information via an insecure email account, and shared some of the memos with his private lawyers. (read more)
It sounds like the OIG report on FISA abuse is in the end-stages.
What is described in the highlighted sentence above would be what is technically called “The Principal Review Phase of the OIG Final Draft”.
That’s where targets are given the opportunity to review an IG report and provide feedback prior to public release.
However…. Note: This reference is not to the IG report on FISA Abuse.
Repeat: This is NOT the Inspector General Michael Horowitz report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse.
This is a carve-out.
John Solomon is conflating two distinct issues…. and there is no effort to explain, because the sourcing is compartmentalized. Now the comment earlier in the week by Matthew Whitaker makes sense. Bear with me….
From the outset it was reported and confirmed that U.S. Attorney John Huber was assigned to assist Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Huber’s job was to stand-by in case the IG carved out a particular concern, discovered during his investigation that might involve criminal conduct.
Put the two data points together and what you realize is that during the OIG review of potential DOJ and FBI FISA abuse… IG Horowitz investigated the Comey Memo’s and then passed that specific issue along to John Huber for DOJ review.
The IG criminal referral for the James Comey memo leaking was a carve-out sent to U.S. Attorney John Huber.
Back to the Solomon article, only this time I will insert modified clarifying language to highlight what happened:
[…] Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz’s team referred Comey [to John Huber] for possible prosecution under the classified information protection laws, but [John Huber, working for AG Bill Barr] reportedly has decided to decline prosecution — a decision that’s likely to upset Comey’s conservative critics.
John Huber found the IG’s findings compelling but decided not to bring charges because he did not believe they had enough evidence of Comey’s intent to violate the law, according to multiple sources.
This is a carve-out IG report and referral; with a specific target of James Comey; based on evidence discovered during the larger OIG review of possible FISA abuse.
Now the ‘Principal Review Phase‘ makes sense, because the only principal is James Comey. Therefore the IG has written a final draft report specific to James Comey and his memos. James Comey and his lawyers are now reviewing that final draft report and will provide feedback.
Inspector General Michael Horowitz, together with the OIG referencer, may put the response from Comey in the report along with additional rebuttal from the Inspector General’s office.
That process will generate a final IG report; but the report is only specific to the Comey memo aspect and James Comey’s conduct in handling that memo content. That IG report on James Comey will be released pretty soon, likely within the next week.
This is not the inspector general report on DOJ and FBI FISA abuse. This is an IG report carved out of the larger investigation.
Bottom Line: We are soon going to see an IG report exclusively on James Comey.
And… James Comey isn’t going to skirt anything. Hopefully, he’ll bring the swamp down with him.