A Feeble Pushback Against the Inspector General’s Whitewash

For even the most cynical among us, there is a Baghdad Bob aura of unreality about the Justice Department Inspector General’s report absolving the FBI of partisan wrongdoing in the Clinton email investigation. The IG report follows in Comey’s footsteps: enumerating appalling and illegal behavior, and then concluding there is nothing to prosecute.

There’s no such thing as being too cynical when it comes to our government. Yet once again, Americans have had to suffer through the cycle: assurances that while the FBI investigation of Clinton was crooked, the honest Inspector General Michael Horowitz would bring us justice. This from the same press that assured us Robert Mueller is an honorable man.

The contrast with the treatment meted out to President Trump, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and camp Carter Page, is turning people’s stomachs.

Alan Dershowitz, who has emerged as the only Democrat on the national stage with any principles, explained what should be plain to see, in an interview with Maria Bartiromo:

“We’ll stop him.” That is not an expression of bias . . . It’s a message to the American people that the FBI is going to interfere in an election . . . . How can Strzok remain an FBI agent? The red line was crossed . . . you’re not allowed to try to use your office to try and stop somebody from being elected president of the United States.

Horowitz’s report supports Dershowitz’s view that a red line was crossed:

The inspector general concluded that Strzok’s text, along with others disparaging Trump, “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.

But the report exonerates Strzok anyway.

Dershowitz finds the IG report so inadequate that he asks:

How has the report been changed from Horowitz’s findings as he originally presented them? The report made public is apparently a revised version of an earlier draft written by Horowitz. It is imperative that Congress and the public get to see the first draft as well as the final product, in order to determine whether there have been significant changes—and if so, whether they were motivated by political considerations or basic fairness.

That’s how bad this report is—we are in a hall of mirrors. Is this a scrubbed investigation report of the scrubbed FBI report on Clinton? Or were both reports corrupt from the beginning? What a choice.

I never found funhouses fun.

Judge Jeanine Pirro calls the report the whitewash that it is. She declared herself “dumbfounded, disheartened and disappointed.” She went on:

This report mimics Comey’s conclusions in the email case itself. Both the Inspector General and Comey make out a provable case, then conclude there is no case. Nothing changes. The deep state hard at work. I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of lessons learned.

They say Comey deviated from the rules, deviated from the rules? Comey and his FBI cabal fixed a case. Hillary not indicted for her crimes . . . 

Example, Jim Comey said he had to step into Loretta Lynch’s role because she wouldn’t recuse herself after secretly meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac. That’s baloney. He didn’t just step into her role to prevent an injustice, he stepped in to her role to declare Hillary not guilty . . . This report is nothing more than a white wash of the deep state by the deep state itself.

Outside of Alan Dershowitz, Judge Pirro, and Kurt Schlichter, I’m finding feeble attempts to highlight the criticisms in the report and ignore the report’s whitewashed conclusion.

Kimberly Strassel tries to spin it as an indictment of blatant FBI bias:

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s 500-page report covers plenty, but it can be distilled to two words . . . insubordination and bias . . . .

Be ready to hear the report absolves the FBI and DOJ of “bias.” Not true. It very carefully states that “our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions we reviewed.” Put another way, he never caught anyone writing down: Let’s start this Trump investigation so we can help Hillary win.

Strassel is literally correct, but what she says is not true. The report does describe pervasive bias, but ultimately absolves the FBI and the Justice Department of wrongdoing. We are told there is no usable evidence that bias influenced investigative decisions. We are told the actual decisions are all within the norm of professional judgment.

Which is hogwash.

Reread the pretzel-like twists and turns in the conclusion Strassel quotes. The inspector general failed to find criminal intent written down or testified to? If that was the rule for prosecuting crimes, we would have to shut down the entire court system for lack of evidence.

Byron York also tries to put a good face on it, pulling out quotes where Horowitz expresses dismay over the blatant bias.

The awkward weirdness of the exculpatory sentence does not make it good news. It is an egregious example of the deep state protecting its own. The report really does conclude that the FBI acted appropriately in letting Clinton go. Everything the FBI did was “not unreasonable.” That is an exoneration.

Read it for yourself:

[O]ur review did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed; rather, consistent with the analytic approach described above, we found that these specific decisions were the result of discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation by the Midyear agents and prosecutors and that these judgment calls were not unreasonable.

The report’s executive summary goes through the FBI’s egregious failures of professional standards one by one, and finds each of them reasonable.

The decision not to “seek to obtain every device, including those of Clinton’s senior aides, or the contents of every email account through which a classified email may have traversed,” was reasonable because of “the desire to complete the investigation well before the election, and the belief that the foregone evidence was likely of limited value.”

These aren’t even good excuses.

Foxnews.com quotes from the body of the report, which makes the inspector general’s summary seem even more bizarre. Translation into plain English: the FBI decision to give immunity to Clinton’s staff was reasonable because they had concluded in advance that the laptops would contain no important evidence, and no evidence was important, because they had already concluded there was no crime.

A corrupt investigation defended by feeble excuses and exonerated by the inspector general. Where are the honorable men in the Department of Justice? Americans are tired of lessons in cynicism.

Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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About Karin McQuillan

Karin McQuillan served in the Peace Corps in West Africa, was a clinical social worker and psychotherapist, and is now a writer and regular contributor to American Thinker and American Greatness.

Photo: WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray (R) and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz (L) are sworn in prior to testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. According to a report by Justice Department Inspector General Horowitz, former FBI Director James Comey and other top officials did not follow standard procedures in their handling of the 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server, but did not find any evidence of political bias. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)