Yesterday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz (who was appointed by Barack Obama), testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee and delivered statements that make his ‘conclusions’ that the spy-gate scandal wasn’t politically motivated seem absurd. Many people argue that only the certifiably insane could believe that all of these violations just happened to occur for no reason.
In fact, among the explanations delivered yesterday, Horowitz very clearly stated that the Clinton campaign was “treated differently” than the Trump one (given the fact that Clinton was actually briefed, while Trump was the target of a spying operation).
He added that the employee who misled the Justice Department’s Office of Intelligence about the relationship Carter Page had with the Central Intelligence Agency STILL works at the FBI, and that the DNC funded dossier was used to justify sending “Confidential Human Sources” into the Trump Campaign.
But somehow, we’re all supposed to believe that this wasn’t a historic violation of mammoth proportions designed by liberals to illegally interfere with a presidential election?
“What about the case agent who directly misled the DOJ, an Office of Intelligence attorney, about Carter Page’s relationship with other intelligence agencies in our government, who directly misled the OI about that, is that person to your knowledge still at the FBI?” Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) asked Horowitz.
“To my knowledge, that person is still there,” he replied.
“Why are they still there?” Hawley asked. “I think you would have to ask Director Wray,” he responded. “I think we should,” Hawley said.
During the hearing, Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) pointed out that “a lawyer supervising the FISA process at the FBI, according to Mr. Horowitz, doctored an email from the CIA to the FBI and he’s going to be referred for criminal prosecution.”
Here’s where Horowitz admitted that the DNC dossier was used as the basis for sending “human sources” into the Trump campaign (aka spies):
Later, Senator Lindsey Graham pointed out the differences between the treatment meted out to the Clinton campaign and how the FBI used the “briefings” with President Trump’s team as a means for spying:
Different rules for GOP and Dems. Feinstein gets briefing, Trump gets spied on.
Were the briefings to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Donald Trump campaign the same?
Horowitz: “They were treated differently”
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) December 11, 2019
Should people be concerned about being spied on? Horowitz: I’m concerned about that. Yikes.
GRAHAM: The FBI used a defensive counterintelligence briefing to spy on Trump. The FBI even wrote up 302s on the meeting. The Senate is being defensively briefed tomorrow. Is the FBI going to be spying on us and writing up our conversation?
HOROWITZ: I’m concerned about that.
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) December 11, 2019
Moreover, the New York Post reported on the fact that James Comey—anyone involved, in fact—was not “vindicated” by the report:
“The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this,” Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz testified Wednesday — as direct a slap at former FBI chief Jim Comey as you could ask for.
Horowitz was walking the Senate Judiciary Committee through his report on FBI and Justice Department malfeasance in Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation into the 2016 Trump campaign. Bottom line, as Sen. John Kennedy put it: Misfire Hurricane would’ve been more accurate.
The outrages went far beyond the “17 significant errors or omissions” in applications to spy on onetime Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. Horowitz found FBI violations “from top to bottom.”
Comey claims the report vindicates him and his FBI leadership because it cites no evidence that bias or improper motives influenced decision-making in the investigation.
But it’s hard to see how accidental bungling can explain the lies, misrepresentations and overreach of the FBI. “It’s either sheer incompetence, intentionality or something in between,” Horowitz testified.
The rules (and the law) clearly forbade deceiving the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court in order to get the OK to wiretap Page — which is what the FBI did, with Justice Department higher-ups either clueless or indifferent to repeated deceptions.
Those deceptions include concealing the fact that Page had freely worked to expose past Russian espionage, and that investigators rapidly realized the Steele dossier — a key basis for the FISA warrants — was a pack of manure.
Nor did the rules allow for investigators’ massive — and also deceptive — leaking to the press, leading the public to think that lawmen had serious grounds to suspect Team Trump colluded with Moscow.
That lie consumed three years of the Trump presidency — even as three years of investigation never found the least shred of evidence of collusion.
Yes, Paul Manafort and his partner went to prison for unrelated crimes, and some others pleaded guilty to process violations for misleading investigators. But none of it had anything to do with the Trump campaign.
Horowitz shows that America’s top law enforcers, with help from the media, ginned up a phony scandal that all but kneecapped a presidency. We look forward to the criminal charges when US Attorney John Durham finishes his larger-scale investigation.