DOJ Inspector General Report on FBI Investigation of Hillary Clinton

 

The Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton has been released. You can read the (568 page!) document yourself here. Share any revelations you find in it here in the comments.

DOJ’s Inspector General Report: A Review of Various Actions by the Federal Bureau of Investifation and Department of Justice in Advance of the 2016 Election

The Washington Post reports that:

The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday castigated former FBI Director James B. Comey for his actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation and found that other senior bureau officials showed a ‘willingness to take official action’ to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president.

The Wall Street Journal:

The inspector general also blasted FBI personnel who exchanged text messages that were critical of President Donald Trump during his campaign, saying the missives “cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigations and sowed doubt about the FBI’s” handling of the probe.

Nevertheless, the inspector general concluded in its 500-page report, that it found no evidence that the FBI or Justice Department allowed political bias to influence the investigative steps the watchdog examined as part of its wide-ranging inquiry.

A recently discovered text exchange, however, between FBI agent Peter Strzok, who led the Clinton investigation, and an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, raised concerns about how the FBI handled the discovery of Clinton-related emails on a laptop once used by one of her aides, Huma Abedin.

The IG Report states on page 13 (I’m a slow reader):

We found that Strzok used his personal email accounts for official government business on several occasions, including forwarding an email from his FBI account to his personal email account about the proposed search warrant the Midyear team was seeking on the Weiner laptop. This email included a draft of the search warrant affidavit, which contained information from the Weiner investigation that appears to have been under seal at the time in the Southern District of New York and information obtained pursuant to a grand jury subpoena issued in the Eastern District of Virginia in the Midyear investigation.

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  1. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    My guess is that the report has lots of dirt in it, but Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    For instance, the summary states that Strzok was biased but that the IG couldn’t determine his bias influenced the investigation. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    Nonsense. They will claim it was a product of the Alt-Right and can be totally ignored.

    • #2
  3. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    Nonsense. They will claim it was a product of the Alt-Right and can be totally ignored.

    One or the other.

    • #3
  4. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    P. 137:

    However, he stated that the agents that conducted the interview found her credible and were surprised at how “technically illiterate” she was.

     

    • #4
  5. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    There are some pretty serious accusations here, especially against Strzok. At a minimum Strzok should be fired from the FBI and a detailed review of his participation in the investigation into Russian electoral influence should commence immediately.

    • #5
  6. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    My guess is that the report has lots of dirt in it, but Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    For instance, the summary states that Strzok was biased but that the IG couldn’t determine his bias influenced the investigation. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

    • #6
  7. Steve C. Member
    Steve C.
    @user_531302

    The DoJ Inspector General labored mightily and brought forth a mouse.

    (With a nod to Phaedrus)

    • #7
  8. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    Nonsense. They will claim it was a product of the Alt-Right and can be totally ignored.

    Yes, let’s condemn people for comments they haven’t made about a report none of us has read.

    • #8
  9. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    Nonsense. They will claim it was a product of the Alt-Right and can be totally ignored.

    Yes, let’s condemn people for comments they haven’t made about a report none of us has read.

    A prediction is not a condemnation. It is an assessment based on past behavior. 

    • #9
  10. livingthenonScienceFictionlife Inactive
    livingthenonScienceFictionlife
    @livingthehighlife

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    My guess is that the report has lots of dirt in it, but Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    For instance, the summary states that Strzok was biased but that the IG couldn’t determine his bias influenced the investigation. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

    I thought “Never Trumper” was one of those derogatory terms deemed to be uncivil.  

    Oh well, it’s just the admin tossing it around.  Nothing to see here.

    • #10
  11. livingthenonScienceFictionlife Inactive
    livingthenonScienceFictionlife
    @livingthehighlife

    The excerpts I’m reading on Twitter should result in a firing and possible prosecution of a large number of agents and leadership.  

    Where’s Jeff Sessions?  Perhaps it’s time for Trump to find a new AG who will commit to cleaning house.

    • #11
  12. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    My guess is that the report has lots of dirt in it, but Never Trumpers and Leftists will dismiss it for lacking a “smoking gun” anyway.

    For instance, the summary states that Strzok was biased but that the IG couldn’t determine his bias influenced the investigation. Yeah, ok. Whatever.

    So Ricochet is comfortable with its employees poisoning the well of discussion with the first comment on an important issue. Curious way to promote civil discussion.

    • #12
  13. Dave Sussman Contributor
    Dave Sussman
    @DaveSussman

    Um… that’s it? 

    • #13
  14. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    The line that the IG found “no political bias” and this exchange revealed for the first time is astounding:

    Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

    Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

    How do you reconcile that? The nation’s highest law enforcement officials were openly talking about stopping the election of a major party candidate. 

    What’s equally appalling is that that exchange wasn’t redacted from previous documents provided to Congress, it was completely withheld.

    • #14
  15. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The line that the IG found “no political bias” and this exchange revealed for the first time is astounding:

    Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

    Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

    How do you reconcile that? The nation’s highest law enforcement officials were openly talking about stopping the election of a major party candidate.

    What’s equally appalling is that that exchange wasn’t redacted from previous documents provided to Congress, it was completely withheld.

    Look, they stated there was no political bias. This from a senior official in the Federal government. What are you going to believe? A respected senior Federal government official who says there was no political bias or your own eyes? 

    • #15
  16. James Gawron Inactive
    James Gawron
    @JamesGawron

    EDs,

    The question we considered was not whether a
    particular investigative decision was the ideal choice or
    one that could have been handled more effectively, but

    whether the circumstances surrounding the decision
    indicated that it was based on considerations other than
    the merits of the investigation. If a choice made by the
    investigative team was among two or more reasonable
    alternatives, we did not find that it was improper even if
    we believed that an alternative decision would have
    been more effective.

    Thus, a determination by the OIG that a decision was
    not unreasonable does not mean that the OIG has
    endorsed the decision or concluded that the decision
    was the most effective among the options considered.

    This is from the summary. This is the hole large enough to drag a blue whale out the door. What they are saying is that a decision that is patently incompetent on the FBI’s part will not be held against them. Instead, they can hide behind legitimate but less ‘effective’. No one in their right mind would consider that what Comey did with Hillary was anything but to distort the investigation to give her a pass. Right now Mueller has a baseball bat in his hand and is about to crack Michael Cohen over the head with it for nothing but politics.

    Now for my summary. THIS SUCKS!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #16
  17. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The line that the IG found “no political bias” and this exchange revealed for the first time is astounding:

    Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

    Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

    How do you reconcile that? The nation’s highest law enforcement officials were openly talking about stopping the election of a major party candidate.

    What’s equally appalling is that that exchange wasn’t redacted from previous documents provided to Congress, it was completely withheld.

    It’s extremely troubling and we should immediately investigate whether improper actions were taken during the Russia investigation. Having read Chapter 12 over lunch it is imperative to determine if these comments are just the typical sort ones sees between friends discussing politics or if they were put into effect in an ongoing investigation.

    Strzok should be terminated or placed on leave until the results of that investigation are determined.

    • #17
  18. Tom Meyer, Common Citizen Contributor
    Tom Meyer, Common Citizen
    @tommeyer

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The line that the IG found “no political bias” and this exchange revealed for the first time is astounding:

    Page: [Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!

    Strzok: No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.

    How do you reconcile that?

    I don’t. Assuming it’s accurate, it’s utterly damning of Strzok and undermines everything he touched.

    As Jamie said, firing him ans stripping him of all clearances and privileges seems like a good first step.

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    I’m going to wait until I read Rush’s take on the report.

    • #19
  20. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    livingthenonScienceFictionlife (View Comment):

     

    I thought “Never Trumper” was one of those derogatory terms deemed to be uncivil.

    Oh well, it’s just the admin tossing it around. Nothing to see here.

    NeverTrump is a useful term that everyone understands. I don’t think there’s anything derogatory about it.

    • #20
  21. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    livingthenonScienceFictionlife (View Comment):

    The excerpts I’m reading on Twitter should result in a firing and possible prosecution of a large number of agents and leadership.

    Where’s Jeff Sessions? Perhaps it’s time for Trump to find a new AG who will commit to cleaning house.

     

    Page 4 of the report (33 of the PDF):

    Several of the State Department emails between Secretary Clinton and her staff from the underlying Midyear investigation included information relevant to a tightly-held Special Access Program (SAP), and we did not seek or obtain the required read-ins for that program. Based on our review of emails containing redacted SAP and the FBI’s explanation of the program, we determined that this information was not needed for us to make the findings in this report.

     

    • #21
  22. ctlaw Coolidge
    ctlaw
    @ctlaw

    While we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed in Chapter Five, the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation and sowed doubt about the FBI’s work on, and its handling of, the Midyear investigation.

    Note weasel words:

    documentary or testimonial [plenty of circumstantial evidence, plus they are probably narrowly interpreting those words to mean an admission that bias etc. was present]

    directly [so there was indirect causation!]

    specific investigative actions we reviewed [but other actions that led into or resulted from “the specific investigative actions” were due to bias as were other specific actions that were not investigative in nature]

    • #22
  23. Roberto the Weary Member
    Roberto the Weary
    @Roberto

    You don’t say.

     

    • #23
  24. Roberto the Weary Member
    Roberto the Weary
    @Roberto

    Ricochet Editors' Desk:

     

    Nevertheless, the inspector general concluded in its 500-page report, that it found no evidence that the FBI or Justice Department allowed political bias to influence the investigative steps the watchdog examined as part of its wide-ranging inquiry.

    Of course not.

    https://twitter.com/SohrabAhmari/status/1007338780137873409

     

    • #24
  25. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):

    livingthenonScienceFictionlife (View Comment):

     

    I thought “Never Trumper” was one of those derogatory terms deemed to be uncivil.

    Oh well, it’s just the admin tossing it around. Nothing to see here.

    NeverTrump is a useful term that everyone understands. I don’t think there’s anything derogatory about it.

    How about poisoning the well of discussion by a staff member of a site that charges its members for civil discussion? How do you feel about that @max

    • #25
  26. Roberto the Weary Member
    Roberto the Weary
    @Roberto

    Uh isn’t this called bribery?

     

    • #26
  27. Roberto the Weary Member
    Roberto the Weary
    @Roberto

    Apparently Comey has decided to claim that he is Mr.Magoo, that’s some defense there.

     

    • #27
  28. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Roberto the Weary (View Comment):

    Ricochet Editors’ Desk:

     

    Nevertheless, the inspector general concluded in its 500-page report, that it found no evidence that the FBI or Justice Department allowed political bias to influence the investigative steps the watchdog examined as part of its wide-ranging inquiry.

    Of course not.

     

    Doesn’t that indicate that Strzok thought there was no real substance to the Russian investigation that could implicate Trump? I’m missing some context from that quote. 

    • #28
  29. Jamie Lockett Inactive
    Jamie Lockett
    @JamieLockett

    Roberto the Weary (View Comment):

    Uh isn’t this called bribery?

     

    Ah, corruption, the basic feature all government share. 

    • #29
  30. Max Ledoux Coolidge
    Max Ledoux
    @Max

    Roberto the Weary (View Comment):

    Apparently Comey has decided to claim that he is Mr.Magoo, that’s some defense there.

     

    Wow… “I don’t know whether I knew.” He obviously knew. Everyone knew. They were a very public couple. And he’s not actually even denying that he knew. He’s saying he doesn’t now know if he knew then. That is some 5th level equivocation.

    • #30
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