Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Democrats' purely partisan impeachment push is designed to deflect impact of the Horowitz Report

The Horowitz Report? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is a Horowitz Report?

Given the lightspeed pace of the news cycle these days, the fact that you may not have heard about an investigation conducted by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz (or forgot about it) is totally understandable. I forgot about it.

Last month, IG Horowitz notified DOJ and Congress that he has concluded his probe into FBI spying in the 2016 election and is finalizing his report:
Horowitz's team examined the FISA application and three renewals beginning in October 2016 to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The applications relied on the unverified dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, who was hired by opposition research firm Fusion GPS and funded by Democrats.

Republicans have alleged the FBI and the Justice Department misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court about the dossier's Democratic benefactors, which included Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee, and its author's anti-Trump bias were left out of the FISA applications, and they have demanded accountability. Democrats countered that the FBI acted appropriately, saying the Justice Department and the FBI met the rigor, transparency, and evidentiary basis for probable cause.

Meanwhile, Barr's "investigation into the investigators" is underway, and the attorney general has said he is working very closely with Horowitz. The inspector general can recommend prosecutions, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr tasked to lead the review of the origins of the Russia investigation, has the ability to convene a grand jury and subpoena people outside the government.

This is a big deal, and it shows why Democrats are in such a hurry to wrap up their partisan witch hunt and impeach Donald Trump. DOJ already knows what the report will say, and the Attorney General is already working on collecting evidence to present before Mr. Durham's grand jury:
Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barr’s personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from Democrats pursuing impeachment that he is helping the Trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president’s adversaries.

But the high-level Justice Department focus on intelligence operatives’ conduct is likely to cheer Trump and other conservatives for whom “investigate the investigators” has become a rallying cry. Barr has voiced his own concerns, telling lawmakers in April that he believed “spying did occur” when it came to the U.S. investigation of the Trump campaign.

The direct involvement of the nation’s top law enforcement official shows the priority Barr places on the investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been assigned the sensitive task of reviewing U.S. intelligence work surrounding the 2016 election and its aftermath.
Democrats and the media are trying to paint the release of the upcoming Horowitz report (yes, another report), Barr's overseas meetings and the inevitable grand jury probes as a panicked defense against impeachment by the Trump Administration.

It is nothing of the kind, and it is absolutely not manufactured in response to the current impeachment inquiry. IG Horowitz launched his probe more than a year ago in 2018. Overshadowed in the media by the Mueller collusion dud, the Horowitz report was supposed to have been released months ago:
The president and other critics of the Russia investigation have long maintained that the bureau inappropriately “spied” on the Trump campaign using unverified information provided by Steele. The FBI’s decision to seek a surveillance warrant against Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page—a warrant they applied for and obtained after Page had already left the campaign—is the chief focus of the probe by Horowitz, a Harvard-educated former federal prosecutor who has held his post since 2012.

Attorney General Bill Barr poured gasoline on those complaints last week, telling lawmakers that he believes “spying did occur” on the campaign in 2016. He also said that Horowitz’s report “will be complete in probably May or June, I am told,” and confirmed that he is conducting his own review, parallel to the inspector general, of the FBI’s conduct in 2016.
Democrats and the media would have you believe that Barr's work in the last few weeks is in response to the Ukraine affair. The reverse is true: The Ukraine affair is a preemptive strike against what Democrats rightly believe will be a very ugly account of their spying on the 2016 Trump campaign.

But wait, there's more. We'll examine what pulling up the Ukrainian floorboards revealed a bit later...


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