DOJ Inspector General’s Report: Hillary email case was properly decided based on the law
By: Susan Conte, Xiro Xone News June 14, 2018 Updated: 1:19 PM PT
Thursday, the Department of Justice released it’s long awaited Inspector General (IG) report by Michael Horowitz into how the FBI under James Comey and the Department of Justice under Loretta Lynch handled the Hillary Clinton email server debacle was released.
The report showed there was no bias or any other improper considerations that hurt the Trump campaign and there was no evidence that Comey’s actions were influenced by, political views.
The report spoke of the two FBI agents who were in a personal relationship, sending political text messages to each other by saying, the messages did not interfere with, or hurt, Trumps campaign.
If the FBI agents, or any agent, wanted to hurt Trump’s campaign, they would have leaked the fact that he was under investigation into colluding with Russia, a foreign adversary, to meddle in the presidential election in the United States.
President Trump, responded to the IG report by tweeting, “FBI Agent Peter Strzok, who headed the Clinton & Russia investigations, texted to his lover Lisa Page, in the IG Report, that “we’ll stop” candidate Trump from becoming President. Doesn’t get any lower than that!”
The IG report did say, former FBI Director James Comey “made serious errors in judgment and was insubordinate,” for not getting the approval of his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, before holding the July 5, 2016, press conference where he announced there would be no charges against Clinton.
The IG report seem to indicate Comey, did not listen to attorney general Lynch and did not seek her approval, before making the October 28th announcement that he was reopening the investigation into Clinton’s email. The report also indicated Comey’s reasoning for the October press conference, was not justified.
It read "we found none of [Comey's] reasons to be a persuasive basis for deviating from well-established Department policies in a way intentionally designed to avoid supervision by Department leadership over his actions.”
In response to the IG report, former FBI Director Comey replied, “I respect the DOJ IG office, which is why I urged them to do this review. The conclusions are reasonable, even though I disagree with some. People of good faith can see an unprecedented situation differently. I pray no Director faces it again. Thanks to IG’s people for hard work.”
In what can only be called a strange twist, the report also said, "We identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business," though not classified, it was still FBI business.
What the Report Missed
The IG report did not address the suspected leaking by someone at the FBI to Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani. Giuliani knew, and spoke publicly that something big was going to be announced long before James Comey held the press conference to announce he was reopening the investigation of Hillary Clinton after finding additional emails.
By holding the press conference 11 days before the election, Comey was seen as hurting Clinton’s campaign and tipping the election in favor of Trump. The additional emails, turned out to be duplicates of emails already reviewed, but Comey did not clear Clinton until November 6, 2016, two days before voting. The damage had been done, and Clinton’s campaign never recovered.
The barely publicized portion of the IG findings, were the fact that, it found the FBI and DOJ were right not to prosecute Hillary Clinton.
The Trump administration and republican members of congress seized on the personal text messages between two FBI agent, attorney Lisa Page and counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok who, voiced anti-Trump sentiment.
The same two agents exchanged text messages that were critical of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, democrats Martin O’Malley, Nancy Pelosi, and congress as a body.
The fact that the agents used their government issued cell phones to text political views was objectionable under department protocol.
Page has already resigned and Strzok will likely be demoted or fired. Strzok was part of the team that investigated Clinton’s emails before, working on Mueller’s team in the Russia election interference and obstruction of justice probe.
In August 2017, Strzok was transferred out of counterintelligence and sent to human resources to keep him away from all aspects of the Mueller investigation.
The IG report made clear that there was no evidence that the political views of the two agents were acted upon in any way. The Trump administration is trying to make a case for terminating the Russia investigation based on the fact that, Strzok was part of Robert Mueller’s team, but the moment special counsel Mueller found out about the text messages, he removed Strzok.
The report concluded that agents Strzok and Page were allowed political opinions, did not impact the presidential election or have a negative impact on the investigation into the Trump campaign.
The Mueller investigation has lead to the indictment or guilty pleas of 19 people, including Trump’s former National Security Adviser, General Mike Flynn.
The report did not investigate or make a determination of guilt or innocence into the Mueller investigation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.