Upcoming OIG Report Likely To Trigger Second Special Counsel; Comey, Lynch And Clinton In Crosshairs

While most of the MSM fixated last week on whether or not President Trump eats McDonald's in bed while watching Gorilla TV, a flurry of investigative bombshells involving Hillary Clinton, the Clinton Foundation, and conduct by the FBI's top brass during the 2016 election splashed across the headlines. As a quick review: 

  • The DOJ is "taking a fresh look" into the Hillary Clinton email 'matter' 
  • The FBI has launched a new investigation into the Clinton Foundation the day after the Clinton's Chappaqua property catches fire
  • Former FBI Director James Comey's full Clinton memo was released, revealing felony evidence of changes which "decriminalized" Hillary Clinton's behavior. Oh, and every one of the memos he leaked to his Cornell professor buddy was classifiedper a sworn statement by the FBI's "chief FOIA officer" in a sworn declaration obtained by Judicial Watch.
  • The House Intelligence Committee will be granted access to "all remaining investigative documents," unredacted, along with all witnesses sought per a deal reached between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Nunes 
  • Opposition research firm Fusion GPS was forced to hand over banking records detailing various clients and their intermediary law firms, including the Clinton Campaign and a Russian money launderer whose lawyer was none other than Natalia Veselnitskaya of Trump Tower meeting fame

Most of these wheels which appear to be in motion are the result of corresponding groundwork laid on Capitol Hill you may not be aware of, including what might be the most important document in the entire process, expected in a little over a week. 

On January 15, the DOJ's internal watchdog - the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), is expected to present their findings to Congressional investigators regarding a wide variety of alleged bias and malfeasance by the FBI, the Clinton campaign, and the Obama Administration - both during and after the 2016 election. Moreover, the man heading up the OIG investigation, Michael Horowitz, fought the Obama Administration to regain investigative powers which were restricted by former Attorney General Eric Holder during the Fast and Furious scandal. 

As you will read below, this highly anticipated report is likely to be the legal impetus behind a second Special Counsel - as detailed by an independent researcher from New York who goes by the Twitter handle "TrumpSoldier" (@DaveNYviii). His reporting, conveyed below, is a deep dig into the OIG's ongoing investigation, how Congress and the OIG have worked in tandem to pave the way for a Special Counsel, and how Michael Horowitz went to war with the Obama Administration to restore the OIG's powers

Who is Michael Horowitz? 

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Michael Horowitz testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Horowitz was appointed head of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) in April, 2012 - after the Obama administration hobbled the OIG's investigative powers in 2011 during the "Fast and Furious" scandal. The changes forced the various Inspectors General for all government agencies to request information while conducting investigations, as opposed to the authority to demand it. This allowed Holder (and other agency heads) to bog down OIG requests in bureaucratic red tape, and in some cases, deny them outright. 

What did Horowitz do? As one twitter commentators puts it, he went to war...

In March of 2015, Horowitz's office prepared a report for Congress  titled Open and Unimplemented IG Recommendations. It laid the Obama Admin bare before Congress - illustrating among other things how the administration was wasting tens-of-billions of dollars by ignoring the recommendations made by the OIG. 

 

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After several attempts by congress to restore the OIG's investigative powers, Rep. Jason Chaffetz successfully introduced H.R.6450 - the Inspector General Empowerment Act of 2016 - signed by a defeated lame duck President Obama into law on December 16th, 2016cementing an alliance between Horrowitz and both houses of Congress. 

See here for a complete overview of the OIG's new and restored powers. And while the public won't get to see classified details of the OIG report, Mr. Horowitz is also big on public disclosure: 

Horowitz's efforts to roll back Eric Holder's restrictions on the OIG sealed the working relationship between Congress and the Inspector General's ofice, and they most certainly appear to be on the same page. Moreover, brand new FBI Director Christopher Wray seems to be on the same page as well. Click here and keep scrolling for that and more insight into what's going on behind the scenes. 

Here's a preview: 

Which brings us back to the OIG report expected by Congress a week from Monday.

On January 12 of last year, Inspector Horowitz announced an OIG investigation based on "requests from numerous Chairmen and Ranking Members of Congressional oversight committees, various organizations (such as Judicial Watch?), and members of the public." 

The initial focus ranged from the FBI's handling of the Clinton email investigation, to whether or not Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe should have been recused from the investigation (ostensibly over $700,000 his wife's campaign took from Clinton crony Terry McAuliffe around the time of the email investigation), to potential collusion with the Clinton campaign and the timing of various FOIA releases. 

 

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Courtesy @DaveNYviii

On July 27, 2017 the House Judiciary Committee called on the DOJ to appoint a Special Counsel, detailing their concerns in 14 questions pertaining to "actions taken by previously public figures like Attorney General Loretta Lynch, FBI Director James Comey, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton." 

The questions range from Loretta Lynch directing Mr. Comey to mislead the American people on the nature of the Clinton investigation, Secretary Clinton's mishandling of classified information and the (mis)handling of her email investigation by the FBI, the DOJ's failure to empanel a grand jury to investigate Clinton, and questions about the Clinton Foundation, Uranium One, and whether the FBI relied on the "Trump-Russia" dossier created by Fusion GPS. 

On September 26, 2017, The House Judiciary Committee repeated their call to the DOJ for a special counsel, pointing out that former FBI Director James Comey lied to Congress when he said that he decided not to recommend criminal charges against Hillary Clinton until after she was interviewed, when in fact Comey had drafted her exoneration before said interview. 

And now, the OIG report can tie all of this together - as it will solidify requests by Congressional committees, while also satisfying a legal requirement for the Department of Justice to impartially appoint a Special Counsel.

As illustrated below by TrumpSoldier, the report will go from the Office of the Inspector General to both investigative committees of Congress, along with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and is expected on January 15. 

 

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DOJ Flowchart, Courtesy TrumpSoldier (@DaveNYviii)

Once congress has reviewed the OIG report, the House and Senate Judiciary Committees will use it to supplement their investigations, which will result in hearings with the end goal of requesting or demanding a Special Counsel investigation. The DOJ can appoint a Special Counsel at any point, or wait for Congress to demand one. If a request for a Special Counsel is ignored, Congress can pass legislation to force an the appointment. 

And while the DOJ could act on the OIG report and investigate / prosecute themselves without a Special Counsel, it is highly unlikely that Congress would stand for that given the subjects of the investigation. 

The OIG report could be in the hands of the DOJ as soon as January 8 for review, however it is unclear whether their response will be included in the copy of the report issued to Congressional investigators on January 15. Their comments are key. As TrumpSoldier points out in his analysis, the DOJ can take various actions regarding "Policy, personnel, procedures, and re-opening of investigations. In short, just about everything (Immunity agreements can also be rescinded).

Meanwhile, recent events appear to correspond with bullet points in both the original OIG investigation letter and the 7/27/2017 letter forwarded to the Inspector General: 

With the wheels set in motion last week seemingly align with Congressional requests and the OIG mandate, and the upcoming OIG report likely to serve as a foundational opinion, the DOJ will finally be empowered to move forward with an impartially appointed Special Counsel with a mandate to investigate whether or not we should "lock her up" (along with members of her motley crew). Maybe that's why Sessions has been sitting on his hands?