In her usual succinct and clarifying manner, The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel took to Twitter overnight to summarize the farcical findings within the Horowitz Report (and Barr and Durham’s responses).
In sixteen short tweets, Strassel destroyed the spin while elucidating the key findings of the Horowitz report (emphasis ours):
Yup, IG said FBI hit threshold for opening an investigation. But also goes out of its way to note what a “low threshold” this is.
Durham’s statement made clear he will provide more info for Americans to make a judgment on reasonableness.
The report is triumph for former House Intel Chair Devin Nunes, who first blew the whistle on FISA abuse. The report confirms all the elements of the February 2018 Nunes memo, which said dossier was as an “essential” part of applications, and FBI withheld info from FISA court
Conversely, the report is an excoriation of Adam Schiff and his “memo” of Feb 2018.
That doc stated that “FBI and DOJ officials did NOT abuse the [FISA] process” or “omit material information.”
Also claimed FBI didn’t much rely on dossier.
In fact, IG report says dossier played “central and essential role” in getting FISA warrants.
Schiff had access to same documents as Nunes, yet chose to misinform the public. This is the guy who just ran impeachment proceedings.
The Report is a devastating indictment of Steele, Fusion GPS and the “dossier.”
Report finds that about the only thing FBI ever corroborated in that doc were publicly available times, places, title names. Ouch.
IG finds 17 separate problems with FISA court submissions, including FBI’s overstatement of Steele’s credentials. Also the failure to provide court with exculpatory evidence and issues with Steele’s sources and additional info it got about Steele’s credibility.
Every one of these “issues” is a story all on its own.
Example: The FBI had tapes of Page and Papadopoulos making statements that were inconsistent with FBI’s own collusion theories. They did not provide these to the FISA court.
Another example: FBI later got info from professional contacts with Steele who said he suffered from “lack of self awareness, poor judgement” and “pursued people” with “no intelligence value.” FBI also did not tell the court about these credibility concerns.
And this: FBI failed to tell Court that Page was approved as an “operational contact” for another U.S. agency, and “candidly” reported his interactions with a Russian intel officer. FBI instead used that Russian interaction against Page, with no exculpatory detail.
Overall, IG was so concerned by these “extensive compliance failures” that is has now initiated additional “oversight” to assess how FBI in general complies with “policies that seek to protect the civil liberties of U.S. persons.”
The Report also expressed concerns about FBI’s failure to present any of these issues to DOJ higher ups; its ongoing contacts with Steele after he was fired for talking to media; and its use of spies against the campaign without any DOJ input.
Remember Comey telling us it was no big deal who paid for dossier?
Turns out it was a big deal in FBI/DOJ, where one lawyer (Stuart Evans) expressed “concerns” it had been funded by Clinton/DNC. Because of his “consistent inquiries” we go that convoluted footnote.
IG also slaps FBI for using what was supposed to be a baseline briefing for the Trump campaign of foreign intelligence threats as a surreptitious opportunity to investigate Flynn.
Strassel’s last point is perhaps the most important for those on the left claiming “vindication”…
When IG says he found no “documentary” evidence of bias, he means just that: He didn’t find smoking gun email that says “let’s take out Trump.”
And it isn’t his job to guess at the motivations of FBI employees.
Instead… He straightforwardly lays out facts.
Those facts produce a pattern of FBI playing the FISA Court–overstating some info, omitting other info, cherrypicking details.
Americans can look at totality and make their own judgment as to “why” FBI behaved in such a manner.
Finally, intriguing just how many people at the FBI don’t remember anything about anything. Highly convenient.