Monday, December 09, 2019

Inspector General: Russia Investigation Wasn’t an FBI Witch Hunt

Like Hitler and the Nazi regime, Donald Trump works to use two propaganda efforts to subvert the truth and to play to his knuckle dragging base.  One is to attack the independent media. that endeavors to report the truth regardless of whether or not it is popular with Trump and what Hillary Clinton aptly referred to as the "deplorables" in his base.  As a recent piece in the New York Times noted: Hitler and the Nazis had found the simple slogan they repeated again and again to discredit reporters: “Lügenpresse.” . . . .  which in English is “fake news.”  The other method is to promote conspiracy theories and outright lies.  One of the latter is Trump's refrain that the entire Russiagate investigation was a "witch hunt" and therefore should not be believed by his cult- like true believers. With the release of the Inspector General report, the Trump "witch hunt" mantra against the FBI suffered a major blow - much to the chagrin of Attorney General William Barr, perhaps, in my opinion, one of the most corrupt individuals to ever serve as Attorney General. A piece in New York Magazine looks at the inspector general report. Here are article excerpts:
Throughout both the Mueller and the subsequent House Intelligence Committee investigations of Trump campaign and administration dealings with foreign governments, [Trump's] the president’s allies have relentlessly promoted a counter-narrative full of lurid conspiracy theories. They all date back to an alleged “deep state” plot in 2016 to keep Trump from becoming president by using allegations allegedly planted by Hillary Clinton’s campaign to accuse his campaign of colluding with Russia.
A long-awaited Department of Justice report in response to these claims from Inspector General Michael Horowitz has largely exonerated the FBI of charges of political bias, while criticizing the reliance on the so-called Steele Dossier in the agency’s application for a wiretap on one key Trump operative, foreign-policy adviser Carter Page. Horowitz’s boss Attorney General William Barr is not happy about it, according to the Washington Examiner . . . . Barr made clear his displeasure with Monday’s report almost as soon as it came out.
While Horowitz suggested that the wiretap on Page was not properly secured, he views that sideshow as irrelevant to the bigger investigation and does not think it represents some sort of coordinated effort to invent a scandal designed to damage Trump’s campaign, as Politico explains in its takeaways from the IG report: . . . Horowitz found that the Crossfire Hurricane team — the codename agents gave to the Russia inquiry — did not receive Steele’s election reporting materials until after the investigation had already been opened using information about Papadopoulos the team received from a foreign ally.
Horowitz also found that the decision to pursue an investigation was above the pay grades of the “FBI Lovebirds” Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the key figures in the right-wing counter-narrative whose emails to each other displayed hostility to Trump.
Horowitz will appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee later this week to discuss his findings, and you can be sure Republicans will make every effort to link his criticisms of the pre-Trump Justice Department and FBI to the “witch hunt” they are alleging during impeachment proceedings currently in the hands of the House Judiciary Committee. But it looks like slim pickings for those claiming that candidate or President Trump is an innocent victim of partisan shenanigans.

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