The U.S. attorney who is conducting a wide-ranging investigation of the origins of the Trump-Russia probe released a rare statement Monday saying he disagrees with conclusions of the so-called FISA report — after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz found in that review that the probe’s launch largely complied with DOJ and FBI policies.
“Based on the evidence collected to date, and while our investigation is ongoing, last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened,” U.S. Attorney John Durham said in a statement. . . .
“I have the utmost respect for the mission of the Office of Inspector General and the comprehensive work that went into the report prepared by Mr. Horowitz and his staff,” Durham said. “However, our investigation is not limited to developing information from within component parts of the Justice Department. Our investigation has included developing information from other persons and entities, both in the U.S. and outside of the U.S.”
As Horowitz has conducted his review of DOJ actions during the Russia probe, Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has also been conducting a wider inquiry into alleged misconduct and alleged improper government surveillance on the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
Fox News reported in October that Durham’s ongoing probe has transitioned into a full-fledged criminal investigation.
Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr ripped the FBI’s “intrusive” investigation after the release of Horowitz’s review, saying it was launched based on the “thinnest of suspicions.”
“The Inspector General’s report now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken,” Barr said in a statement.
Barr expressed frustration that the FBI continued investigating the Trump campaign, even as “exculpatory” information came to the light.
The IG report is nice, but Durham is the one who can file criminal charges, so his opinion kinda matters here.
Or you can put it this way: The IG report is the whitewash, and it’s still pretty damning, but the prosecutor with power to bring criminal charges has now said he thinks it’s not damning enough. And the Attorney General seems to agree.
Meanwhile Ann Althouse notes a flipflop in the way the IG report is being spun: “Exonerated? I remember when ‘exonerated’ had a strong meaning — back when the Mueller report was said not to have exonerated Trump because it did not prove Trump’s innocence but only failed to prove guilt. Now, to fail to prove guilt is to exonerate?”
It’s whatever the narrative needs it to be at the moment.
UPDATE: “SLIPPERY JIM” COMEY. Fusion Co-Founders Glenn Simpson and Jonathan Winer Refused to Talk to IG; James Comey and Former FBI Attorney James Baker Also Avoided Fully Testifying. “Specifically, Comey and Baker refused to get recertified for a classification clearance, thus blocking the IG’s efforts to ‘refresh their recollection’ with classified documents.” Making it easier to say “I don’t recall” in response to every hard question. “And so Comey — the Straight Arrow Truth Teller — choose to avoid such efforts to get at the truth and keep himself without a security clearance.”
Comey’s not a straight arrow. He’s crooked slime.