The IG Report ignores that the Clinton investigation was completely and irreparably compromised by agents whose biases went to the heart of the case.
The IG Report is a strange beast. To begin with, it’s a rather ironic companion piece to Comey’s July 5, 2016 press conference. Back then, Comey laid out facts that ought to have sent Hillary to prison for 100 years. Just as we were all expecting him to say, “So we’re going to arrest her,” though, he abruptly announced a nonexistent legal standard, assured us that Hillary didn’t mean to do something naughty under this new standard, and gave her a get out of jail free.
What jumps out is that the IG Report does the same thing. Horowitz blandly dismisses any FBI actual wrongdoing affecting the outcome of the Hillary investigation, but lays out facts that ought to send all of the FBI’s upper management for 100 years. The only exception to that bland dismissal on those ugly facts is . . . Comey. There’s irony for you.
Thus, the IG Report fails for the same reason that the Comey report did, which is that there’s a gaping chasm between facts and conclusion. Only the media and Democrat party operatives (but I repeat myself) could look at that chasm and pronounce that it’s nothing more than a tiny hole in a smooth, coherent narrative.
The indispensable Andy McCarthy appropriately slams the IG Report for its weaseling approach to facts and conclusions:
The trick here is the premise the IG establishes from the start: It’s not my job to draw firm conclusions about why things happened the way they did. In fact, it’s not even my job to determine whether investigative decisions were right or wrong. The cop-out is that we are dealing here with “discretionary” calls; therefore, the IG rationalizes, the investigators must be given very broad latitude. Consequently, the IG says his job is not to determine whether any particular decision was correct; just whether, on some otherworldly scale of reasonableness, the decision was defensible. And he makes that determination by looking at every decision in isolation.
But is that the way we evaluate decisions in the real world?
For all his assiduous attention to detail, IG Horowitz has weaved a no-common-sense report.
How does the IG pull this off? Two ways.
The first, as mentioned above, is methodology. By disavowing any intention to pass judgment on the rightness of any particular investigative decision, by announcing upfront that he is confining himself to an assessment of whether the decisions were rational, Horowitz reads motivation out of the equation. If there were two investigative options — e.g., (1) give immunity to Paul Combetta (the service technician for Clinton’s server who lied to the FBI and destroyed evidence) or (2) prosecute him for false statements — the IG says his analysis is limited to whether the option chosen was objectively defensible.
The IG’s second tack involves the facts he chooses to present. The report is truly half-baked because it omits half the story — all Clinton emails, no Trump-Russia. Of course, that’s neither how the cases evolved, nor how the investigators looked at them.
When Ted Cruz dropped out of the GOP presidential race, making Trump the de facto nominee, the very first thing Strzok said upon hearing the news from Page was, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE” — i.e., “Mid Year Exam,” the code name for the Clinton caper. The best way to “stop” Trump was to free Hillary to beat him. So, the bureau simultaneously labored to close the case on her and invent a case on him.
Everything McCarthy says is absolutely true. I’m going to add one point, which is that we don’t even need to analyze the facts as McCarthy does. [Read more…]