Democrats, News Media Play Down IG Horowitz Report on FBI, DOJ Treachery
U.S. attorney John Durham, a man with a reputation for exposing corruption wherever he finds it, has been conducting a broad investigation of the intelligence community’s misfeasance in using its deeply invasive tactics in an attempt to destroy the Trump presidency.
Whereas Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz is only authorized to investigate wrongdoing at the DOJ and the FBI, Durham has a much broader overview of how other entities within the intelligence community conspired together with the FBI with the help of operatives at the DOJ.
Based on the evidence collected to date… we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusion as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
In an unusual move for an investigator who has yet to conclude his work, Durham said in a Monday statement that he had “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.”
President Donald Trump said Monday that a new Justice Department report that found a solid legal basis for the original FBI investigation of his 2016 campaign had actually documented an “attempted overthrow” of the government that was “far worse than I ever thought possible.”
“We’re lucky we caught ’em,” he said at the White House, following the release of the long-awaited report by the Justice Department’s watchdog that rebutted his regular depiction of a politically biased plot against him.
The report by the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that the FBI and the Justice Department launched their investigation into the 2016 campaign not for political reasons, but due to evidence the Russian government was using go-betweens to reach out to the Trump campaign as part of its efforts to influence the election.
Jed Donovan, a former prosecutor criticized Horowitz’s gamesmanship in issuing a biting report while failing to recommend any action against the report’s subjects such as James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and the FBI “love birds” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
“The real report will come from John Durham, and his statement (posted below) proves he’s not going to release a piece of crap that allows the Democrats to pursue their real goal: framing Trump stealing the presidency. Like it’s been said before, if you want to know what the Democrats are doing, just listen to what they’re accusing Republicans of doing,” said Donovan.
Meanwhile, FBI Director Christopher Wray released his own letter/report addressed to Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Wray highlighted a few actions Americans can expect:
First, we are modifying our processes under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), both for initial applications and renewals, to enhance accuracy and completeness. The FBI relies on FISA every day in national security investigations to prevent terrorists and foreign intelligence services from harming the United States. We are making concrete changes to ensure that our FISA protocols, verifications, layers of review, record-keeping requirements, and audits are more stringent and less susceptible to mistake or inaccuracy. These new processes will also ensure that the FISA Court and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are apprised of all information in the FBI’s holdings relevant to a determination of probable cause.
Second, we undertook an extensive review of investigative activity based out of FBI Headquarters. The FBI is a field-based law enforcement organization, and the vast majority of our investigations should continue to be worked by our field offices. Moving forward, in the very rare instance when FBI Headquarters runs a sensitive investigation, we are requiring prior approval by the FBI Deputy Director and consultation with the Assistant Director in Charge or Special Agent in Charge of the affected field offices.
Third, we are making significant changes to how the FBI manages its Confidential Human Source (CHS) Program. Many FBI investigations rely on human sources, but the investigative value derived from CHS-provided information rests in part on the CHS’s credibility, which demands rigorous assessment of the source. The modifications we are making to how the FBI collects, documents, and shares information about CHSs will strengthen our assessment of the information these sources are providing.
Fourth, I am establishing new protocols for the FBI’s participation in Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)-led counterintelligence transition briefings (i.e., strategic intelligence briefings) provided to presidential nominees. The FBI’s role in these briefings should be for national security purposes and not for investigative purposes. Continued participation by the FBI in these transition briefings is critical to ensuring continuity in the event of a change in administrations. The new FBI protocols about transition briefings will complement procedures already implemented by the FBI earlier this year to govern the separate category of defensive briefings. The FBI gives defensive briefings, which are based on specific threat information, in a wide variety of contexts and for myriad federal, state, and other public and private individuals and entities. The procedures we recently established for defensive briefings regarding malign foreign influence efforts have brought a new rigor and discipline to whether and how such briefings should proceed.
Fifth, I am mandating a specialized, semiannual training requirement for FBI personnel at all levels who handle FISA and CHS matters. This training will be experience-based, and it will cover specific lessons learned from this Report, along with other new and revised material. Earlier in my tenure as Director, I reinstated an annual ethics training program for all FBI employees, because I learned the training had been discontinued in prior years. While that training was not introduced in response to this Report, all current FBI employees involved in the 2016-2017 events reviewed by the OIG have since completed this additional training in ethics and professional responsibility.
Finally, we will review the performance and conduct of certain FBI employees who were referenced in the Report’s recommendations — including managers, supervisors, and senior officials at the time. The FBI will take appropriate disciplinary action where warranted. Notably, many of the employees described in the report are no longer employed at the FBI.
“I want to emphasize that the FBI’s participation in this process was undertaken with my express direction to be as transparent as possible, while honoring our duty to protect sources and methods that, if disclosed, might make Americans less safe,” wrote Director Wray..
“Where protection of certain sensitive information is well-founded, I remain committed to upholding the laws and longstanding policies governing classification and public release. I am just as committed to the principle that possible embarrassment and chagrin to the FBI or its employees is not, and should never be, the basis of a decision not to divulge FBI information,” noted Wray in his statement.
However, not everyone of satisfied with the Horowitz report. A number of police officials from cities and states from throughout the country believe Horowitz’s report reveals disturbing allegations, but backs off on holding anyone involved in the conspiracy responsible for the actions.
“The only person I have faith in as far as this case is concerned is U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is expected to widen the scope of his criminal investigation,” said police chief of detectives Lloyd Sweeney, who is now a police training consultant in the Midwest U.S.