After various leaks, first to Bloomberg then to Fox News and other outlets, finally the DOJ released to the public the 500-page DOJ Inspector General report of the Clinton email probe, which while hammering James Comey for being “insubordinate” and showing poor judgment during the 2016 election, it found no evidence to show his key decisions in the Clinton email investigation were improperly influenced by political bias; paradoxically, the same report also raised swirling questions about the role of FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok, whose texts with FBI lawyer Lisa Page the IG found suggested he “might be willing” to take official action to impact Trump’s electoral prospects, or as one might put it, “clear bias” against Trump.
It wasn’t just Strzok: the OIG found that other senior bureau officials showed a “willingness to take official action” to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. One could almost call it, gasp, a “conspiracy.”
The Justice Department inspector general on Thursday castigated former FBI Director James B. Comey for his actions during the Hillary Clinton email investigation and found that other senior bureau officials showed a “willingness to take official action” to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president. –WaPo
In yet another example of the OIG report’s damning findings vs its milquetoast conclusion, we find that: “[W]e did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”
And while the IG does not fault the FBI for not charging Clinton, it did find that, not surprisingly, Comey used personal email for official business which was “inconsistent with the DOJ Policy Statement.”
What was Hillary being investigated for? Oh yes, using a personal email to conduct business. Well, gee whiz, because according to the report, the OIG identified numerous instances in which Comey used a personal email account (a Gmail account) to conduct FBI business. Almost as if he found nothing wrong in what Clinton was doing because he was doing it all, himself.
The report also found that five FBI officials expressed hostility toward Donald Trump before his election and says in report to Congress that their actions have been referred to bureau for possible disciplinary action.
Furthermore, and this is where Andrew McCabe may want to get concerned, the DOJ inspector general also has opened additional probes into leaks.
Biased state of mind
But as we reported earlier, in perhaps the most explosive new revelation from the report, Strzok told Page “We’ll stop it” when asked, “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
That text, the report said, was “indicative of a biased state of mind”—and suggested that Strzok may have intentionally slow-rolled the review of emails connected to the Clinton investigation discovered after the probe was closed, on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner. Strzok, as the number-two official in the Clinton investigation, was one of several individual figures who was made aware of the existence of the emails when they were initially uncovered.
In another instance of bias, a lawyer on Special Counsel Mueller’s team said “I never really liked the Republic anyway,” adding “As I have initiated the destruction of the Republic would you be so kind as to have coffee with me.”
In other words, the second email probe into Clinton was only opened days before the election because, as some had suggested, one or more FBI agents had threatened to leak that the FBI was sitting on a potential trove of documents which incriminated Hillary, while both Strzok and McCabe tried to keep it all under wraps.
According to the IG, the so-called “Midyear” team—the investigative unit that had handled the Clinton investigation—did not move to review the emails them until just days before the end of the election, almost a month after FBI officials in New York found them.
Strzok told investigators that at the time, he was prioritizing the investigation into then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign’s ties to Russia.
Ah yes, Russia, Russia, Russia.
“Under these circumstances, we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias,” the inspector general said.
Horowitz’s report did not find any evidence that political bias or improper influence impacted any decisions made in the Clinton case prior to Comey’s announcement that he was closing the case—including the decision not to recommend charges against Clinton.
The full report is below (pdf link):
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