Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Inspector General Horowitz’s FBI FISA Abuse Report

 

Read the FISA Abuse report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz yourself here rather than relying on talking heads to tell you what’s in it. And remember, none of the pundits or so-called experts on TV currently confidently telling you what’s in the report have had time to read its 476 pages yet.

Update: U.S. Attorney John Durham rebased the following statement:

I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff. However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we 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.

 

Another Update:

Here is Attorney General Bill Barr’s statement:

Nothing is more important than the credibility and integrity of the FBI and the Department of Justice. That is why we must hold our investigators and prosecutors to the highest ethical and professional standards. The Inspector General’s investigation has provided critical transparency and accountability, and his work is a credit to the Department of Justice. I would like to thank the Inspector General and his team.

The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken. It is also clear that, from its inception, the evidence produced by the investigation was consistently exculpatory. Nevertheless, the investigation and surveillance was pushed forward for the duration of the campaign and deep into President Trump’s administration. In the rush to obtain and maintain FISA surveillance of Trump campaign associates, FBI officials misled the FISA court, omitted critical exculpatory facts from their filings, and suppressed or ignored information negating the reliability of their principal source. The Inspector General found the explanations given for these actions unsatisfactory. While most of the misconduct identified by the Inspector General was committed in 2016 and 2017 by a small group of now-former FBI officials, the malfeasance and misfeasance detailed in the Inspector General’s report reflects a clear abuse of the FISA process.

FISA is an essential tool for the protection of the safety of the American people. The Department of Justice and the FBI are committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to rectify the abuses that occurred and to ensure the integrity of the FISA process going forward.

No one is more dismayed about the handling of these FISA applications than Director Wray. I have full confidence in Director Wray and his team at the FBI, as well as the thousands of dedicated line agents who work tirelessly to protect our country. I thank the Director for the comprehensive set of proposed reforms he is announcing today, and I look forward to working with him to implement these and any other appropriate measures.

With respect to DOJ personnel discussed in the report, the Department will follow all appropriate processes and procedures, including as to any potential disciplinary action.

Via Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney, you can sign up at HearTheIGReport.com to hear Adam Baldwin read the entire report verbatim.

Read: DOJ inspector general… by Fox News on Scribd:

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  1. Skyler Coolidge

    They recommend “performance reviews?”

    No criminal prosecutions? Not even firing people?

    These “poor performers” aren’t McDonalds workers. They know what they’re doing.

    Unbelievable.

    • #1
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  2. ctlaw Coolidge

    Barr:

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/statement-attorney-general-william-p-barr-inspector-generals-report-review-four-fisa

    • #2
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  3. Max Ledoux Admin

    ctlaw (View Comment):

    Barr:

    https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/statement-attorney-general-william-p-barr-inspector-generals-report-review-four-fisa

    Thanks, I added this to this post.

    • #3
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:16 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Max Ledoux Admin

    Skyler (View Comment):

    They recommend “performance reviews?”

    No criminal prosecutions? Not even firing people?

    These “poor performers” aren’t McDonalds workers. They know what they’re doing.

    Unbelievable.

    To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything big in terms of consequences. The IG’s job is to protect the Department of “Just Us.” They have different laws than the rest of us. So in Horowitz’s report on the Hillary email investigation he found that there was political bias for Hillary and against Trump but that he just couldn’t figure out whether or not that affected the outcome of the investigation or not. 

    • #4
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:18 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  5. Old Bathos Moderator

    A friend who makes the repeated mistake of watching Hannity is stunned by the IG Report. I am not really surprised. Horowitz was limited to the documents within the FBI and the testimony of people who were never going to rat each other out about true intentions, meaning and uses of those documents. A presumption of good faith and innocence was not really going to be disturbed except for the idiotic sustained surveillance of America’s most demonstrably innocent man, Carter Page. Horowitz could largely clear his own agency by saying they were entitled to rely on what the CIA provided, including the head of the CIA’s implicit endorsement of the Steele dossier which reliance shaped the misstatements in the FISA misuse. FBI gets a pass and Horowitz can still eat lunch in this town. Shocker.

    The MSM will crow but the impact is really limited: Breaking: The IG has nothing new to say about something the public is really sick of hearing about… 

    If Barr/Durham have a witness or a document that puts this crapfest in its true light and if someone actually gets indicted, Horowitz fades. If Brennan et al successfully covered the slime trail such that Barr and Durham come up empty, then it’s all over anyway.

    • #5
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. ctlaw Coolidge

    One reason we know there was bad faith by the FBI, etc. is that they have not gone after Steele or his sources.

    If honest FBI agents acting in good faith were burned by Steele or his sources, the agents would have sought prosecution of Steele or the sources.

    • #6
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:44 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  7. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    I am actually reading the Executive Summary and here is what I have gleaned so far.

    Here is a great money maker about the FISA warrant.

     

    “The decision to seek to use this highly intrusive investigative technique was known and approved at multiple levels of the Department, including by then DAG Yates for the initial FISA application and first renewal, and by then Acting Attorney General Boente and then DAG Rosenstein for the second and third renewals, respectively. However, as we explain later, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform Department officials of significant information that was available to the team at the time that the FISA applications were drafted and filed. Much of that information was inconsistent with, or undercut, the assertions contained in the FISA applications that were used to support probable cause and, in some instances, resulted in inaccurate information being included in the applications. While we do not speculate whether Department officials would have authorized the FBI to seek to use FISA authority had they been made aware of all relevant information, it was clearly the responsibility of Crossfire Hurricane team members to advise them of such critical information so that they could make a fully informed decision.”

    The Steele Dossier:

    “However, as we describe later, as the FBI obtained additional information raising significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting, the FBI failed to reassess the Steele reporting relied upon in the FISA applications, and did not fully advise NSD or 01 officials. We also found that the FBI did not aggressively seek to obtain certain potentially important information from Steele. For example, the FBI did not press Steele for information about the actual funding source for his election reporting work. Agents also did not question Steele about his role in a September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article entitled, “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump advisor and Kremlin,” that described efforts by U.S. intelligence to determine whether Carter Page had opened communication channels with Kremlin officials. As we discuss in Chapters Five and Eight, the FBI assessed in the Carter Page FISA applications, without any support, that Steele had not “directly provided” the information to Yahoo News. “

    The reason they cant recommend criminal charges.

    “We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI’s decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page.”

    A more thorough investigation from a organization with say Subpoena powers like the US Attorney could find more pressing evidence in ways unavailable to a IG.

    I also find it shocking to learn that much of the FISA warrant information used against Page, was taken from when he was working for another ‘Government Agency’ providing them with useful intelligence on the Russian he was meeting with. A fact not disclosed to the Administration who approved the warrant. That is bloody disgusting. 

    “However, when the OGC Attorney subsequently sent the liaison’s email to SSA 2 the OGC Attorney altered the liaison’s email by inserting the words ” not a source” into it, thus making it appear that the liaison had said that Page was ” not a source” for the other agency. Relying upon this altered email, SSA 2 signed the third renewal application that again failed to disclose Page’s past relationship with the other agency. Consistent with the Inspector General Act of 1978, following the OIG’s discovery that the OGC Attorney had altered and sent the email to SSA 2, who thereafter relied on it to swear out the third FISA application, the OIG promptly informed the Attorney General and the FBI Director and provided them with the relevant information about the OGC Attorney’s actions.”

    Stay tuned!

    • #7
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:54 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    So apparently under the current rules it doesn’t take much to launch an investigation it seems.

    Although the Crossfire Hurricane team’s use of CHSs and UCEs complied with applicable policies, we are concerned that, under these policies, it was sufficient for a first-level FBI supervisor to authorize the domestic CHS operations that were undertaken in Crossfire Hurricane, and that there was no applicable Department or FBI policy requiring the FBI to notify Department officials of the investigative team’s decision to task CHSs to consensually monitor conversations with members of a presidential campaign. We found no evidence that the FBI consulted with any Department officials before conducting these CHS operations. We believe that current Department and FBI policies are not sufficient to ensure appropriate oversight and accountability when such operations potentially implicate sensitive, constitutionally protected activity, and that they should require, at minimum, Department consultation. As noted above, we include a recommendation in this report to address this issue.

    Filed under HOLY CRAP!

    “Following his participation in the briefing of candidate Trump, Flynn, and another Trump advisor, SSA 1 drafted an EC documenting his participation in the briefing, and added the EC to the Crossfire Hurricane investigative file. We were told that the decision to select SSA 1 to participate in the ODNI briefing was reached by consensus among a group of senior FBI officials, including McCabe and Baker. We noted that no one at the Department or ODNI was informed that the FBI was using the ODNI briefing of a presidential candidate for investigative purposes, and found no applicable FBI or Department policies addressing this issue. We concluded that the FBI’s use of this briefing for investigative reasons could potentially interfere with the expectation of trust and good faith among participants in strategic intelligence briefings, thereby frustrating their purpose. We therefore include a recommendation to address this issue.”

    In conclusion

    It seems that the current rules of the FBI let all sorts of craziness be pursued without any potential oversite and that you can deliberately omit material to your bosses. They cant press charges cause they didn’t break any of the rules, but the rules are so awful it allowed them to do awful things. Though the ‘performance reviews recommended’ is very bureaucratic language for ‘you need to fire all these people.’

    And as Barr put out in his statement a lot of them have already been.

    Frightening indeed.

     

    • #8
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:14 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. Skyler Coolidge

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    The reason they cant recommend criminal charges.

    They could have done a lot more than recommend performance reviews. How about recommending dismissal?

    • #9
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:30 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  10. Valiuth Member
    Valiuth Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So the independent investigator finds no cause for prosecution, or firing, and the political appointees of the president disagree. Big surprise. I’m sure the presidents men will lie however they need to to support him as they have done through out the last three years. And the Trumpist Ricocheti will go along with their lies. 

    • #10
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:35 PM PST
    • 1 like
  11. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Skyler (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):
    The reason they cant recommend criminal charges.

    They could have done a lot more than recommend performance reviews. How about recommending dismissal?

    Probably because they didnt find enough evidence to support that conclusion.

    Reading the summary I could hear the IG visibly eye rolling through out much of it.

    Basically the entire time I kept thinking he probably would say this in private. “look what do you want from me. I can only look at the work emails. They were not dumb enough to leave anything incriminating on those.”

    An example of what I mean is below.

    There were no meetings about the Manafort
    case involving Ohr, Swartz, Ahmad, and Weissmann
    from December 16, 2016 to January 30, 2017. On
    January 31, 2017, one day after Yates was removed as
    DAG, Ahmad, by then an Acting CRM Deputy Assistant
    Attorney General, after consulting with Swartz and
    Weissmann, sent an email to Lisa Page, copying
    Weissmann, Swartz, and Ohr, requesting a meeting the
    next day to discuss “a few Criminal Division related
    developments.” The next day, February 1, Swartz, Ohr,
    Ahmad, and Weissmann met with Strzok, Lisa Page,
    and an FBI Acting Section Chief. None of the attendees
    at the meeting cou ld explain to us what the “Criminal
    Division related developments” were, and we did not
    find any. Meeting notes reflect, among other things,
    that the group discussed the Manafort criminal
    investigation and efforts that the Department could
    undertake to investigate attempts by Russia to
    influence the 2016 elections. MLARS was not
    represented at, or told about, the meeting.
    We are not aware of information indicating that
    any of the discussions involving Ohr, Swartz,
    xvi
    Weissmann, Ahmad, Strzok, and Lisa Page resulted in
    any actions taken or not taken in the MLARS
    investigation, and ultimately the investigation remained
    with MLARS until it was transferred to the Office of the
    Special Counsel in May 2017. We also did not identify
    any Department policies prohibiting internal discussions
    about a pending investigation among officials not
    assigned to the matter, or between those officials and
    senior officials from the FBI. However, as described in
    Chapter Nine, we were told that there was a decision
    not to inform the leadership of CRM, both before and
    after the change in presidential administrations, of
    these discussions in order to insulate the MLARS
    investigation from becoming “politicized.” We
    concluded that this decision, made in the absence of
    concerns of potential wrongdoing or misconduct, and for
    the purpose of avoiding the appearance that an
    investigation is “politicized,” fundamentally
    misconstrued who is ultimately responsible and
    accountable for the Department’s work. We agree with
    the concerns expressed to us by then DAG Yates and
    then CRM Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell.
    Department leaders cannot fulfill their management
    responsibilities, and be held accountable for the
    Department’s actions, if subordinates intentionally
    withhold information from them in such circumstances.

    • #11
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  12. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So the independent investigator finds no cause for prosecution, or firing, and the political appointees of the president disagree. Big surprise. I’m sure the presidents men will lie however they need to to support him as they have done through out the last three years. And the Trumpist Ricocheti will go along with their lies.

    As someone who has actually read the executive summary, I suggest maybe you take sometime before rushing to judgement.

    I apologize for my earlier reaction and ad hominem attack. Its not befitting Ricochet.

    • #12
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  13. Guruforhire Member

    Copy and Paste from another thread

    I never believed the horowitz report was going to be anything other than a whitewash.

    Remember the FBI said that hodgkinson had no political motive either. If they can’t find that guy’s political motive with 2 hands, and a couple handwritten hit lists, why would anybody think they could engage in that kind of introspection?

     

    • #13
    • December 9, 2019, at 12:53 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. Gary Robbins Reagan

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So the independent investigator finds no cause for prosecution, or firing, and the political appointees of the president disagree. Big surprise. I’m sure the presidents men will lie however they need to to support him as they have done through out the last three years. And the Trumpist Ricocheti will go along with their lies.

    As someone who has actually read the executive summary, I suggest maybe you take sometime before rushing to judgement.

    Your knee jerk reaction only shows your ignorant bigotry.

    Please be nicer.

    • #14
    • December 9, 2019, at 1:21 PM PST
    • 1 like
  15. Guruforhire Member

    I think it all stems from a couple of self-image problems

    The left doesn’t not believe they are ideological. This was a constant annoyance for people like Jonah Goldberg during the Obama administration.

    AND

    Politicization is what “noticing left wing ideological politicalization” gets called, which is a consequence of the first point.

    All of these problems with liberal self-image go back at least as far as the Bush administration. I think the extent to which we were willing to make excuses and lie to ourselves about Bush, dislocated the left from the political axis and its been a slow moving avalanche ever since.

    We are social animals after all and we can’t understand ourselves except in relation to others.

    I am under no illusions that Trump is anything other than a moderate center left democrat, running as the socially liberal fiscal moderate Democrats have been telling Republicans to run for decades.

    • #15
    • December 9, 2019, at 1:27 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So the independent investigator finds no cause for prosecution, or firing, and the political appointees of the president disagree. Big surprise. I’m sure the presidents men will lie however they need to to support him as they have done through out the last three years. And the Trumpist Ricocheti will go along with their lies.

    As someone who has actually read the executive summary, I suggest maybe you take sometime before rushing to judgement.

    Your knee jerk reaction only shows your ignorant bigotry.

    Please be nicer.

    I have edited it after my cool off. Thanks for calling me out on it.

    • #16
    • December 9, 2019, at 1:37 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Gary Robbins Reagan

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    ToryWarWriter (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    So the independent investigator finds no cause for prosecution, or firing, and the political appointees of the president disagree. Big surprise. I’m sure the presidents men will lie however they need to to support him as they have done through out the last three years. And the Trumpist Ricocheti will go along with their lies.

    As someone who has actually read the executive summary, I suggest maybe you take sometime before rushing to judgement.

    Your knee jerk reaction only shows your ignorant bigotry.

    Please be nicer.

    I have edited it after my cool off. Thanks for calling me out on it.

    Thank you so much. If you could only see some of the things I have said at Ricochet!

    • #17
    • December 9, 2019, at 1:56 PM PST
    • 1 like
  18. Gary Robbins Reagan

    The Executive Summary is 15 pages long! Can we please have an Executive Summary of the Executive Summary?

    • #18
    • December 9, 2019, at 2:05 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Skyler Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The Executive Summary is 15 pages long! Can we please have an Executive Summary of the Executive Summary?

    Yes. It says that some people in the justice department behaved badly and should have this reflected in their performance reviews.

    • #19
    • December 9, 2019, at 2:07 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    The Executive Summary is 15 pages long! Can we please have an Executive Summary of the Executive Summary?

    Yes. It says that some people in the justice department behaved badly and should have this reflected in their performance reviews.

    Oh, that’s better than what I thought. I thought it said some pigs are more equal than others.

    • #20
    • December 9, 2019, at 3:53 PM PST
    • 7 likes
  21. Metalheaddoc Member
    Metalheaddoc Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    So no real wrongdoing? Just a bunch of incompetents at the highest level?

    Then Trump should announce that he will open a counterintel investigation of Biden and associates. Just to watch the poopfit that the media and Dems will throw. He can follow the same playbook since the IG has declared that all the plays were legal.

    • #21
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:26 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Gary Robbins Reagan

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    So no real wrongdoing? Just a bunch of incompetents at the highest level?

    Then Trump should announce that he will open a counterintel investigation of Biden and associates. Just to watch the poopfit that the media and Dems will throw. He can follow the same playbook since the IG has declared that all the plays were legal.

    This is why Trump will be defeated, because he sees the country’s Attorney General as “his” lawyer.

    • #22
    • December 9, 2019, at 4:35 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Skyler Coolidge

    Western Chauvinist (View Comment):
    Oh, that’s better than what I thought. I thought it said some pigs are more equal than others.

    Brilliant!

    • #23
    • December 9, 2019, at 5:40 PM PST
    • 1 like
  24. Skyler Coolidge

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):
    This is why Trump will be defeated, because he sees the country’s Attorney General as “his” lawyer.

    You’re grasping at ever shorter straws.

    • #24
    • December 9, 2019, at 5:41 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Old Bathos Moderator

    I haven’t waded thought the IG report yet. Were the bogus FISA applications and other malfeasance done by a few rogue agents in the Cincinnati office or was it all in response to an offensive YouTube video? In any event, the important thing is that the Obama Administration remains scandal-free and Orange Man bad.

    • #25
    • December 9, 2019, at 5:46 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  26. Old Bathos Moderator

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    So no real wrongdoing? Just a bunch of incompetents at the highest level?

    Then Trump should announce that he will open a counterintel investigation of Biden and associates. Just to watch the poopfit that the media and Dems will throw. He can follow the same playbook since the IG has declared that all the plays were legal.

    This is why Trump will be defeated, because he sees the country’s Attorney General as “his” lawyer.

    I would love to see polling numbers on how many voters will base their vote on whether they think the AG ought not to be the president’s wing-man.
    The RINOs and commies who strain at the gnat of the Ukraine phone call while swallowing the camel of the abuses done to foment an utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative are ridiculous people.

    • #26
    • December 9, 2019, at 5:58 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  27. Max Ledoux Admin

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    A friend who makes the repeated mistake of watching Hannity is stunned by the IG Report.

    Not sure what you mean by this or why your friend would be surprised. I regularly watch Hannity. I’m not at all surprised by today’s events. 

    • #27
    • December 9, 2019, at 7:26 PM PST
    • Like
  28. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Gary Robbins (View Comment):

    Metalheaddoc (View Comment):

    So no real wrongdoing? Just a bunch of incompetents at the highest level?

    Then Trump should announce that he will open a counterintel investigation of Biden and associates. Just to watch the poopfit that the media and Dems will throw. He can follow the same playbook since the IG has declared that all the plays were legal.

    This is why Trump will be defeated, because he sees the country’s Attorney General as “his” lawyer.

    False. And you know it.

    • #28
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:17 PM PST
    • 1 like
  29. Clifford A. Brown Contributor

    Max Ledoux (View Comment):
    To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything big in terms of consequences. The IG’s job is to protect the Department of “Just Us.”

    More generally, this is what all IGs do everywhere. They exist to protect their institution by providing nominal review of employees’ actions against published rules. Actually concluding that the organization was deeply corrupted would threaten serious external “interference” in the institution, so no such conclusion will ever be reached by an IG. “Mistakes were made” and “processes should be reviewed/revised” are nice safe conclusions that allow the organization to respond to external authorities (Congress, the president, the courts) with “oh, yes, we are working diligently to do better, we have X working groups working X recommendations.”

    • #29
    • December 9, 2019, at 11:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. ToryWarWriter Thatcher

    You know what. I give up.

    • #30
    • December 10, 2019, at 6:38 AM PST
    • Like