The Real Takeaway: The FBI Influenced The Election Of A US President

Authored by Peter Van Buren via The American Conservative,

The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared...

It will be easy to miss the most important point amid the partisan bleating over what the Department of Justice Office of Inspector General report on the FBI’s Clinton email investigation really means.

While each side will find the evidence they want to find proving the FBI, with James Comey as director, helped/hurt Hillary Clinton and/or maybe Donald Trump, the real takeaway is this: the FBI influenced the election of a president.

In January 2017 the Inspector General for the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz (who previously worked on the 2012 study of “Fast and Furious”), opened his probe into the FBI’s Clinton email investigation, including public statements Comey made at critical moments in the presidential campaign. Horowitz’s focus was always to be on how the FBI did its work, not to re-litigate the case against Clinton. Nor did the IG plan to look into anything regarding Russiagate.

In a damning passage, the 568 page report found it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors… for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same. By departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.” Comey’s drafting of a press release announcing no prosecution for Clinton, written before the full investigation was even completed, is given a light touch though in the report, along the lines of roughly preparing for the conclusion based on early indications.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is criticized for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane as the FBI investigation into Hillary unfolded. “Lynch’s failure to recognize the appearance problem… and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment.” Her statements later about her decision not to recuse further “created public confusion and didn’t adequately address the situation.”

The report also criticizes in depth FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who exchanged texts disparaging Trump before moving from the Clinton email to the Russiagate investigation. Those texts “brought discredit” to the FBI and sowed public doubt about the investigation, including one exchange that read, “Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” Another Strzok document stated “we know foreign actors obtained access to some Clinton emails, including at least one secret message.”

Page and Strzok also discussed cutting back the number of investigators present for Clinton’s in-person interview in light of the fact she might soon be president, and thus their new boss. Someone identified only as Agent One went on to refer to Clinton as “the President” and in a message told a friend “I’m with her.” The FBI also allowed Clinton’s lawyers to attend her interview, even though they were also witnesses to a possible crimes committed by Clinton.

Page and Strzok were among five FBI officials the report found expressed hostility toward Trump and have been referred to the FBI’s internal disciple system. The report otherwise makes only wishy-washy recommendations about things every agent should already know, like “adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements.”

But at the end of it all, the details really don’t matter, because the report broadly found no political bias, no purposeful efforts or strategy to sway the election. In aviation disaster terms, it was all pilot error. Like an accident of sorts, as opposed to the pilot boarding drunk, but the plane crashed and killed 300 people either way.

The report is already being welcomed by Democrats — who feel Comey shatteredClinton’s chances of winning the election by reopening the email probe just days before the election —and by Republicans, who feel Comey let Clinton off easy. Many are now celebrating it was only gross incompetence, unethical behavior, serial bad judgment, and insubordination that led the FBI to help determine the election. No Constitutional crisis.

A lot of details in those 568 pages to yet fully parse, but at first glance there is not much worthy of prosecution (though Attorney General Jeff Sessions says he will review the report for possible prosecutions and IG Horowitz will testify in front of Congress on Monday and may reveal more information.) Each side will point to the IG’s conclusion of “no bias” to shut down calls for this or that in a tsunami of blaming each other. In that sense, the IG just poured a can of jet fuel onto the fires of the 2016 election and walked away to watch it burn.

One concrete outcome, however, is to weaken a line of prosecution for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The chief Russiagate investigator has just seen a key witness degraded — any defense lawyer will characterize Comey’s testimony as tainted now — and a possible example of obstruction weakened. As justification for firing Comey, the White House initially pointed to an earlier Justice Department memo criticizing Comey for many of the same actions now highlighted by the IG (Trump later added concerns about the handling of Russiagate.) The report thus underscores one of the stated reasons for Comey’s dismissal. Firing someone for incompetence isn’t obstructing justice; it’s the boss’ job.

It will be too easy, however, to miss the most important conclusion of the report: there is no longer a way to claim America’s internal intelligence agency, the FBI, did not play a role in the 2016 election. There is only to argue which side they favored and whether they meddled via clumsiness, as a coordinated action, or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau. And that’s the tally before anyone brings up the FBI’s use of a human informant inside the Trump campaign, the FBI’s use of both FISA warrants and pseudo-legal warrantless surveillance against key members of the Trump team, the FBI’s use of opposition research from the Steele Dossier, and so on.

The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared. But even if one fully accepts the IG report’s conclusion that all this - and there’s a lot - was not intentional, at a minimum it makes clear to those watching ahead of 2020 what tools are available and the impact they can have. While we continue to look for the bad guy abroad, we have already met the enemy and he is us.

Comments

LaugherNYC insanelysane Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:36 Permalink

Comey made so many conflicting statements, it’s hard to keep track.

The NY office couldn’t scan the Weiner laptop because there was no metadata. But the DC office could?

He didn’t know the Weiner was married to Abedin??

But, the obvious takeaway from the IG report has not been commented on.

Loretta Lynch was clearly conflicted, and absolutely had to recuse herself. The IG - Horowitz - is the DOJ IG, not the FBI IG. Therefore, it is within his portfolio to investigate Lynch as part of the Clinton email investigation. He did not.

Why, then, did Lynch not recuse? She never said, and nobody asked. The answer is clear. In case “Save My Survivability” Comey’s FBI decided to recommend prosecution of Hillary, she could jump back in, say there were extenuating circumstances, and countermand him. Comey was NEVER supposed to make a public announcement. And, you can bet, if he had somehow broke the code of omertà, and decided to recommend prosecution, he would not have gone public. Instead, he would have told Lynch, and she would have quashed it until Clinton was elected. 

At that point, Comey would not go against the President. He would be next in line for AG when Lynch, having saved Clinton’s ass, stepped down to run the Foundation. McCabe would become Director, and Strzok takes McCabe’s spot as Deputy Director.

This is the only possible reason Lynch died not recuse — to remain as a safety valve.

How about Mr. Horowitz adds an investigation of Lynch - although now she knows her phone has a text preservation protocol that she would have to use - after all, it screwed up the effort to delete Strzok’s most damning text!

 

The swamp lives on.

In reply to by insanelysane

Son of Loki LaugherNYC Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:47 Permalink

Comey is so arrogant he actually believed that Hillary had 98% chance of winning. That's why he came forward with "new evidence" since he thought there is no way she could lose and he'd be head of the fbi until he died.

Many of these traitors thought they way.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

GoFuqYourself LaugherNYC Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:22 Permalink

The Alphabet agencies are there to control WHOEVER gets the presidency. And They are at the beck and call of the Rothschild bankster scum. When more spineless politicians realize this, maybe they will collectively grow some fuq'in balls and REBEL.

Maybe, hopefully, the ball has started rolling with Trump, and they are starting to take back the country.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

Arctic Frost GoFuqYourself Wed, 06/20/2018 - 09:51 Permalink

 

Ha! Admit it, ANYONE who would get elected, even if their platform was to halt support of Isreal, you would claim as another Rothschild implant. See, that’s the problem with you folks that turn every single article, every single subject and every single entity on the planet as a puppet of Isreal, you imply everyone is guilty therefore NO ONE can be innocent. You don’t seem to recognize that you have gone way past the original historic and present infiltrations of Isreali power explained by your own experts and turned the argument into a repetitive, meaningless joke. 

 

You should try reading some your OWN propaganda . . .

 

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

GoFuqYourself LaugherNYC Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:18 Permalink

Comey made the Hillary announcement days before the election to put into place the control mechanism for impeachment of Hillary if she didn' play ball- DOJ, FBI, CIA ...they are there to control WHOEVER is elected President.

 

Mueller helped cover up 9/11. That horseface's ass showed his dirtbag colors decades ago.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

Arctic Frost GoFuqYourself Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:04 Permalink

 

There you go again . . . “If she didn’t play ball . . .” Uhm, they announced her innocent before the election. Little difficult to come back after the fact as evidenced by current events. If the DOJ, FBI and CIA control everything then doesn’t that pop your “the Jews did it” bubble? Oh wait, you believe every single employee of the FBI, CIA and DOJ has been vetted by and have pledged their allegiance to Isreal? I thought Trump was being controlled by Kushner, but now he’s being controlled by the FBI, CIA and DOJ? I see, he’s working with those in control to delegitimize his own Presdiency so he can get himself and his family (including Kushner) put in jail?  By your OWN propaganda, that doesn’t make any sense. 

 

If EVERYONE is in on it, then there are NO innocents to dominate. Read your own propaganda because you’ve gone so full tilt you’ve completely forgotten the original message.

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

Phil Free LaugherNYC Wed, 06/20/2018 - 01:56 Permalink

Loretta Lynch was clearly conflicted, and absolutely had to recuse herself. The IG - Horowitz - is the DOJ IG, not the FBI IG. Therefore, it is within his portfolio to investigate Lynch as part of the Clinton email investigation. He did not.

Correction -- the FBI is part of the DOJ. So Horowitz is the IG over the FBI.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

MuffDiver69 lester1 Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:07 Permalink

According to credible reports from The Guardian, corroborated by left-leaning Media Matters, the Russian inquiry began in December 2015, when CIA Director John Brennan received a tip from the British intelligence agency, GCHQ, that Putin was seeking to financially support Trump in the coming election. 

The implications were too exciting for the partisan CIA Director to ignore, quickly forming an “inter-agency” group. 

>Will documents show this frenzied action was based on a phony tip?

We do know from recently emergent texts between the FBI’s Lisa Page and lover Peter Strzok that the FBI was engaged in the “inter-agency” group at least by December 28, 2015, and was already seeking to bring in “LUREs,” Fedspeak for spies or informants. 

One target, then, for future document production should also be the supposed basis for and results of this CIA-FBI collaboration.

>which would likely show that he agencies were shamefully suckered into this fiasco. 

If so, the CIA and FBI would look foolish, and so too would their confident conclusion that Putin’s interference was aimed at helping Trump win and Clinton lose.

In reply to by lester1

Arctic Frost GoFuqYourself Wed, 06/20/2018 - 10:22 Permalink

 

This is EXACTLY what I’m talking about. No where did the guy say the FBI and the CIA were innocent. He just stated the obvious that anyone who wasn’t in on it was obviously duped into participation by an assumption. He speaks of the prejudice of Bannon and British intelligence starting this whole charade based upon a rumor which only served to open the door to covertly support the Clinton Campaign. 

 

Why is it you cannot see the flaw of your argument? If EVERY SINGLE PERSON and EVERY SINGLE ENTITY were in on this and guilty, then WHY do ANY of what you say? There is no need if they have absolute power with absolutely no opposition. You do your cause more harm than good because imagine all these people reading and agreeing with your comments go running off to explain it to others who only then roll their eyes at the ubsurdity of the flawed logic. 

 

I suggest you step back from your obsession, go back to the original point and stop trying to make every fucking person, element and happening a Jewish plot. Or not, perhaps it is YOU that is the TRUE agent and this flawed logic which embraces the absurd and is easily dismissed is exactly what you want. Come to think of it, that makes a LOT of sense if someone TRULY wanted to annhiliate the enemy. Infiltration then disinformation from the original argument . . .

In reply to by GoFuqYourself

Dancing Disraeli LaugherNYC Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

'... or as a chaotic cluster of competing pro- and anti- Clinton/Trump factions inside the Bureau.'

Can ANYONE ANYWHERE point to evidence of a pro-Trump faction inside the Bureau during the 2016 election?

This article is 100% obfuscating bullshit, attempting to posit the canard that, 'Well, there were even-Steven pro- and anti-Hillary factions, so it's all a wash.'

Bullshit.  It was ALL pro-Hillary and ALL anti-Trump.

Don't let these fucking liars get away with muddying the waters.

In reply to by LaugherNYC

I Am Jack's Ma… south40_dreams Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:36 Permalink

So... Sessions is going to order a new investigation of Hillary, right?

How about Rosenswamp threatening The House Intel committee that he’d subpoena them for daring to ask why DOJ isn’t producing records?  The FBI acts like sn intel agency, used British spies... seems subject to Intel Committee oversight...

I’d like to see Rosenswamp issue that subpoena.  Then I’d like to see Jordan rip it up on live television and for Congress to begin impeachment proceedings against him since Trump won’t or can’t fire him.

 

First principles:  Brennan and Clinton need to go to jail for sedition and perjury and other crimes.

There also needs to be an investigation by all intel agencies of the clump of horseshit Clapper produced claiming Russia hacked a server they never examined. That’s in addition to reviewing de novo the case against Clinton.

 

The IG report seems to me to be a kind of limited hangout of sorts. A whitewash of a soft coup attempt and obstruction of justice by FBI rodents.

That absurd, contrived Clapper report got the ball rolling, buttresses the anti-Russia hysteria when cooperation would be best for us, and by demonstrating it was horseshit... sweeps the leg of Mueller’s fishing expedition and exposes fully the FBI/CIA attempt to frame a duly elected President.

 

Oh, and a pardon for Flynn seems in order.

In reply to by south40_dreams

LetThemEatRand Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:27 Permalink

"The good news is the Deep State seems less competent than we originally feared..."

How in the hell do we reach that conclusion?  Based upon all of the indictments of the Deep State people responsible?  What I'm seeing is the exact opposite.  Deep state reveals itself as the "savior," wins.  Do any of the authors (or posters) here read anything but ZH and other alternative news sites?

Charles Nelson… LetThemEatRand Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:34 Permalink

I think its more the case that the deep state is totally in the dark when it comes to understanding the average American family/person these days.  Give them a bit of time and they will figure it out.  For now though, people from Ohio, Wisconsin, Texas, et al. are more like total foreigners to the elite because the ones in power have only surrounded themselves with like minded coastal elites.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LaugherNYC LetThemEatRand Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:51 Permalink

I have this debate with a Latino friend who was a US Attorney. He told me I was nuts, an idiot and delusional when I told him last year McCabe would be fired and prosecuted, Strzok would be fired and prosecuted, and Page would be fired. So far, I am two for three - page quit, and he STILL says I’m nuts.

 

Even otherwise brilliant and sceptical people are blinded by Trump hatred. They need to believe in the system they spent their lives serving. They don’t realize that to save it, we need to thoroughly fumigate it.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand LaugherNYC Tue, 06/19/2018 - 23:53 Permalink

You're not two for three.  McCabe has not been prosecuted.  Strzok has not been prosecuted.  The fact that Strzok was not even fired until this week is insane, but true.

You're buying your own bullshit.  And I voted for Trump, so it's not Trump hatred talking.  It's Trump disappointment talking.

When do you predict Strzok and McCabe will be prosecuted?

In reply to by LaugherNYC

LaugherNYC LetThemEatRand Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:10 Permalink

McCabe will plead out in the next 60 days. His lawsuit was a desperate attempt to turn this into an HR dispute. Huber will charge him, he will plead.

Strzok was not fired because they only got that Armageddon text a few weeks ago. The IG doesn’t fire people. Rosenstein was waiting to see what happened. Since it all came out, he had to fire him now.

Strozk and Page will be charged for leaking to Barrett and lying about it before they learned the IG had their texts. Then they came clean. I also think it likely that Strzok tried to erase his phone, which is a crime.

It may be they are let off because when caught they fessed up. They should not be, but I dont care as long as McCabe fries, Comey is discredited and hopefully charged and forced to disgorge his book profits.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

LetThemEatRand LaugherNYC Wed, 06/20/2018 - 00:18 Permalink

Is that going to be the "win" now?  Some guys you never heard of before Trump was elected get some wrist slapping?  I doubt even that will happen, but the win would be:  Comey, Hillary, Obama, real consequences.  Is that off that table?  Is it a win if we get Strzok?  Isn't that how it always plays out?  Some guy you never heard of takes the fall?

In reply to by LaugherNYC