“As I have initiated the destruction of the republic…” DoJ OIG report: mistakes were made…



By ann summers

The FBI wasn’t biased, but they sure were influenced by forces with complex alliances, some Russian.

The DoJ Inspector General’s report seems to indicate that at the unclassified level, the FBI comes off as hamstrung by historical circumstance. At a classified level the Republic was at risk. The latter is where we now are.

Leaks to Giuliani from the NY FBI field office prompted Comey’s concerns, which also had an effect on moving the Steele dossier into an actionable position at the main office.

The reality is that FBI HQ was trying not to tip the scales or rather, appear not to be tipping them. Mistakes were indeed made.

This Oct. 5 email from Comey to Brennan and Clapper on publicly acknowledging Russian interference is infuriating.

The real problem was that the #TrumpRussia information even then, was more volatile in terms of the collusion and many interests needed to keep it quiet if for no other reason than a counterintelligence scandal too close to the 2016 election was dangerous, much like the Russian interference itself, known to the FBI for more than a year.

No comment on McConnell’s role in suppressing the PBO WH response to the Russian attempt to disrupt the 2016 election.

The reality is that Comey’s poor decision-making probably did cost HRC the election even if one doesn’t include the perfect storm of Russian shenanigans.

Feebs were doing their Constitutional jobs in the midst of unprecedented Russian meddling and other GOP shenanigans. Whether they did it well is now questionable.

Comey trusted that pluralistic democracy itself would make the popular vote trump the Electoral College, but the perfect storm happened. And now we’re Trumped.

“We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations.”

Page 372 on Comey’s decision to go to Congress: “Comey’s description of his choice as being between ‘two doors,’ one labeled ‘speak’ and one labeled ‘conceal,’ was a false dichotomy. The two doors were actually labeled ‘follow policy/practice’ and ‘depart from policy/practice.'”

— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 14, 2018

Former FBI director James Comey broke protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, but there is no evidence the investigation was motivated by FBI bias…

A long-awaited review of the FBI’s actions during the 2016 campaign concludes former FBI Director James B. Comey and others mishandled the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails and improperly shared information about that investigation with the public.

The report, released Thursday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz, said Comey acted improperly but was not motivated by political bias. It does not question his decision against pursuing a criminal case against Clinton. But it harshly criticized the FBI and Justice Department’s handling of the matter.

In Opinion, James Comey writes:

11:02:22, FBI Employee: “Trump’s supporters are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS that think he will magically grant them jobs for doing nothing. They probably didn’t watch the debates, aren’t fully educated on his policies, and are stupidly wrapped up in his unmerited enthusiasm.”

Comey, McCabe, Strozk made mistakes and even serious errors, but they enacted no plot to harm Trump. That’s the offical verdict. https://t.co/WTHJqJwZCy

Meanwhile probably because he’s taking it in the neck for being played by the North Koreans, Trump came out of the box with the now same weak conspiracy theory all in one tweet:

Trump is now more in the barrel because his firing of Comey had even less to do with the treatment of HRC, but because Trump fired Comey due to Russia and admitted it on national TV.

Trump uses the Comey report to cover-up his guilt in the Russia scandal https://t.co/OsdglqUjaU pic.twitter.com/V9ji49CijA

The GOP and WH attack is on revelations on use of Comey’s use of GMail, so you know they don’t have much to work with. Mark Sumner is correct that they’re going to spin the fragments they have, but it’ll be weak for a base that really doesn’t have the chops to read enough.

In retrospect, James Comey’s moral dithering may have actually doomed the Republic. But he is not the sole cause. This is a shared paternity for the mother of all elections.
Ultimately, even if social media and electronic information may be a factor in finally adjudicating #TrumpRussia, it still devolves to human actions, or in Comey’s case, poorly-considered ones.
Selling his book will no more absolve Comey of being morally ambivalent and politically compromised to such an extent that he resembles Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, Pacific Fleet commander at Pearl Harbor. Like Kimmel, Comey could have benefited from more information that he didn’t have, raising the question of whether it was available to him.

FBI was investigating both candidates. Hillary was cleared, but Comey attacked her anyway. Trump was not cleared, but Comey kept that investigation secret. Then, 11 days before the election, he swung the WH to Trump, “reopening” Hillary’s probe. “Mildly nauseous” my Aunt Fanny.

— Paul Begala (@PaulBegala) June 14, 2018

Comey began considering the possibility of an FBI-only public statement in late April and early May 2016. Comey told the OIG that a separate public statement was warranted by the “500-year flood” in which the FBI found itself, and that he weighed the need to preserve the credibility and integrity of the Department and the FBI, and the need to protect “a sense of justice more broadly in the country—that things are fair not fixed, and they’re done independently. (p.iv)


We concluded that Comey’s unilateral announcement was inconsistent with Department policy and violated long-standing Department practice and protocol by,among other things, criticizing Clinton’s uncharged conduct. We also found that Comey usurped the authority of the Attorney General, and inadequately and incompletely described the legal position of Department prosecutors. (p.vi)

We found no evidence that Comey’s decision to send the October 28 letter was influenced by political preferences. Instead, we found that his decision was the result of several interrelated factors that were connected to his concern that failing to send the letter would harm the FBI and his ability to lead it, and his view that candidate Clinton was going to win the presidency and that she would be perceived to be an illegitimate president if the public first learned of the information after the election. Although Comey told us that he “didn’t make this decision because [he] thought it would leak otherwise,” several FBI officials told us that the concern about leaks played a role in the decision. (p.x)


Our report makes nine recommendations to the Department and the FBI to assist them in addressing the issues that we identified in this review:

  1. • We recommend that the Department and the FBI consider developing guidance that identifies the risks associated with and alternatives to permitting a witness to attend a voluntary interview of another witness (including in the witness’s capacity as counsel).
  2. • We recommend that the Department consider making explicit that, except in situations where the law requires or permits disclosure, an investigating agency cannot publicly announce its recommended charging decision prior to consulting with the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney General, U.S. Attorney, or his or her designee, and cannot proceed without the approval of one of these officials.
  3. • We recommend that the Department and the FBI consider adopting a policy addressing the appropriateness of Department employees discussing the conduct of uncharged individuals in public statements.
  4. • We recommend that the Department consider providing guidance to agents and prosecutors concerning the taking of overt investigative steps, indictments, public announcements, or other actions that could impact an election.
  5. • We recommend that the Office of the Deputy Attorney General take steps to improve the retention and monitoring of text messages Department-wide.
  6. • We recommend that the FBI add a warning banner to all of the FBI’s mobile phones and devices in order to further notify users that they have no reasonable expectation of privacy.
  7. • We recommend that the FBI consider (a)assessing whether it has provided adequate training to employees about the proper use of text messages and instant messages, including any related discovery obligations, and (b)providing additional guidance about the allowable uses of FBI devices for any nongovernmental purpose, including guidance about the use of FBI devices for political conversations.
  8. • We recommend that the FBI consider whether (a) it is appropriately educating employees about both its media contact policy and the Department’s ethics rules pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, and (b) its disciplinary provisions and penalties are sufficient to deter such improper conduct.
  9. • We recommend that Department ethics officials include the review of campaign donations for possible conflict issues when Department employees or their spouses run for public office.


Ben Wittes says it better, even as the retrospective reading can be a tough slog, but like some Congressional testimony (GPS Fusion, Steele dossier, etc),

Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) June 14, 2018

  • The OIG report is coming out today. It will yield a media frenzy, frantic digging out of small pieces of new information, certain presidential gaslighting and use of the matter to attack the unrelated Russia probe, and equally certain howls of vindication from Team Hillary. /1/

Here are the key questions to keep your eyes on: /2/

  • Does the IG provide any reason to believe that the Clinton email investigation was not conducted in good faith? /3/
  • Does the IG offer any reason to believe that the investigation’s judgements were influenced in any direction by politics? /4/
  • Does the IG offer any reason to believe the fundamental judgment not to prosecute Hillary Clinton (or anyone else) was in error? /5/
  • Does the IG offer any reason to believe that any senior official in the FBI engaged in any misconduct or abuse? /6/
  • Assuming that the IG will criticize @Comey’s judgments in July and October 2016 regarding his two fateful public steps in the case, what does the report add to our understanding of his actions?
  • And how does he evaluate the behavior of both Loretta Lynch and Sally Yates? /7/
  • Does he find any misconduct by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page? Or have the names of these two career officials been dragged through the fever swamp mud for months for nothing more than bad judgment in expressing private views to one another? /8/
  • These are the big questions. Don’t get distracted from them.

The rest is spin, because it provides no relief for Trump’s criminal conduct, including the obstruction of justice.

The underlying question remains: knowing what classified information was available, did Comey try to do the best he could, or was his republicanism clouded by some naive belief that GOP corruption aided by Russian meddling couldn’t possibly bring down US pluralist democracy.

The Roberts Commission appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to investigate the attack determined that Kimmel and his counterpart, Army Lieutenant General Walter Short, were guilty of errors of judgment and dereliction of duty in the events leading up to the attack. Kimmel defended his decisions at several hearings, testifying that important information had not been made available to him.


and then there’s the folks who are having trouble without reading the OIG report…

Authorities were called to the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge over the Colorado River just after noon on Friday when Wright allegedly parked across the southbound lanes. Both sides of US 93 were shut down for about 90 minutes.

Matthew Phillip Wright, 30, of Henderson, Nevada, is accused of terrorist acts, unlawful flight from law enforcement, carrying a weapon in the commission of a felony and misconduct involving weapons. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of blocking a highway.
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3 Responses to “As I have initiated the destruction of the republic…” DoJ OIG report: mistakes were made…

  1. Terry Welshans says:

    What burns me is this:
    If the NY FBI office was communicating to Rudy G, and it was unknown at the time, then someone was not doing their job. On the other hand, if it was known, why was nothing done about it? The NY FBI office needs to get a good scrubbing and those from management on down need a thorough investigation, and if found complacent, charged and put on trial. The FBI has no business influencing politics or leaking confidential information to anyone without the need to know.
    Also, it is my opinion that Comey should have been fired when he made the public statement when he did about Clinton as it influenced the election. Trump was under FBI investigation and that was held in confidence as should any investigation of Clinton that close to the election per their own policy.

    • ann summers says:

      As David Corn suggests, the so-called “anti-Clinton cabal” needs their emails and text messages investigated

      • Terry Welshans says:

        Correct. Their personal opinions and party affiliations should never interfere with their job. If they are unable to do so, they need to go. To jail perhaps.

Comments are closed.