The IG Report: Watch Out for Escalating Hypocrisy

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Trump Maladministration

I mentioned the upcoming Inspector General report on the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton awhile back. It seems it is about to be released. Mike Levine at ABC News got some leaks about what’s in it.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog has concluded that James Comey defied authority at times during his tenure as FBI director, according to sources familiar with a draft report on the matter.

One source told ABC News that the draft report explicitly used the word “insubordinate” to describe Comey’s behavior. Another source agreed with that characterization but could not confirm the use of the term.

In the draft report, Inspector General Michael Horowitz also rebuked former Attorney General Loretta Lynch for her handling of the federal investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s personal email server, the sources said.

That much, the Right will be happy with. But mostly what they’re blasting Comey about is the infamous Comey letter.

The draft of Horowitz’s wide-ranging report specifically called out Comey for ignoring objections from the Justice Department when he disclosed in a letter to Congress just days before the 2016 presidential election that FBI agents had reopened the Clinton probe, according to sources. Clinton has said that letter doomed her campaign.

Before Comey sent the letter to Congress, at least one senior Justice Department official told the FBI that publicizing the bombshell move so close to an election would violate longstanding department policy, and it would ignore federal guidelines prohibiting the disclosure of information related to an ongoing investigation, ABC News was told.

Of all the things that Clinton has claimed doomed her campaign, the Comey letter is one she’s got a legitimate complaint about. Her poll numbers dipped as soon as the letter was made public, and that was just a week before the election.

Nevertheless, ABC News has confirmed that Horowitz’s draft report went on to criticize senior FBI officials, including Comey and fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, for their response to the late discovery of a laptop containing evidence that may have related to the Clinton investigation. …

… It took weeks for the FBI to start analyzing the laptop’s contents, and Horowitz’s draft report criticized senior FBI officials for how long the laptop languished inside the bureau, sources told ABC News.

In other words, Anthony Weiner’s laptop had been sitting around in the bureau unexamined for months, and then a week before the election somebody looked at it and saw that it had a bunch of Clinton emails on it that had been forwarded by Huma Abedin. And before they had even looked at the emails Comey rushed to Congress and said they were reopening the investigation into Clinton. A week before the election.

Loretta Lynch is getting called out for the meeting with Bill Clinton on the tarmac while HRC was still under investigation. The meeting was stupid on both of their parts, yeah, but I think if they were really plotting something they would have met somewhere less public.

The best comment on this is from Kevin Drum:

This is going to be such a clusterfuck when it’s released. Comey obviously deserves censure for influencing the election in the face of nearly unanimous advice to the contrary. At the same time, I’m really not sure I can stand to watch as Trump and his fellow Republicans pretend to be outraged over the fact that Comey was responsible for making Trump president. Maybe the IG can give me a heads up about the release date so that I can plan to be at the North Pole that day photographing penguins. Or polar bears. Or vast expanses of ice. Or whatever they have there. Anything would be better than paying attention to the news that day.

Trump and his minions have been impatiently waiting for a report that will reveal the FBI went easy on “crooked Hillary” and that the FBI was acting out of animus for Trump. A report that says the FBI was unfair to Clinton and helped elect Trump is not what they are waiting for, but they’ll manage to blow it up as a victory for their side anyway. Just watch.

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10 Comments

  1. doug  •  Jun 6, 2018 @10:48 pm

    I read a report a few years ago the team Masters and Johnson enjoyed their work – a lot. They have the authoritative work on sexual behavior.  It's highly respected, clinical and the studies and conclusions unbiased.

    Does the fact they got a kick out of what they were doing invalidate the work?

    Comey made a bad call on releasing the info about the laptop, especially so close to the election, and he never uttered a work about the ongoing concerns about Trump and Russia. 

    Also true, Lynch should have NEVER had a meeting with Bill Clinton while Hillary had her you-know-whats in a wringer. Anybody who doesn't think Bill was trying to tilt the outcome of the investigation is an idiot. He was – and he knew better. Lynch should have turned down the invitation and as a result, the decision that should have been on LLs desk was farmed out to Comey. That resulted in Comey screwing up because he didn't want to be accused of bias. Screams of bias weren't Comey's fault. That was Bill's fault.

    Nothing in Comey's decisions suggest bias against Trump. Nothing invalidates his written notes and observations about Trump's attempts to obstruct. Coemy is no saint, but his criticism of Trump is based on law and fact.

  2. Swami  •  Jun 7, 2018 @12:27 am

    It doesn't change anything about my understanding of what happened. My original understanding was that Comey was put in a pinch play by GOP Congressional investigators. A situation where the discovery of the emails and reporting that find makes it so that he's damned if he does, or damned if he doesn't inform the investigative committee. He notified congress as was his legal obligation to remain true to his sworn testimony and his pledge to inform them of any new development concerning Hillary's emails.

    I'm not happy with the result of what transpired, but I firmly believe Comey made the correct judgment in handling that situation. The accusation that Comey was insubordinate is laughable when you stop to consider that he was placed between conflicting authorities and obligations. A slave cannot serve two masters.

  3. maha  •  Jun 7, 2018 @9:59 am

    “He notified congress as was his legal obligation to remain true to his sworn testimony and his pledge to inform them of any new development concerning Hillary’s emails.” However, he had been advised before he did it that his report to Congress was against Justice Department policy and not to do it. And the only reason the Weiner laptop was “new” evidence is because of the Bureau’s own bungling; they’d been in possession of the laptop all along. Comey went running to Congress before bothering to check out if the emails really were new evidence or just copies of old evidence. So, while I understand his rationale for the report to Congress, it was still a screw up on Comey’s part.

  4. c u n d gulag  •  Jun 7, 2018 @2:31 pm

    1970's:  "Deep Throat."

    2010's:  'Deep-State Throat?'

     

     

  5. Badda Book Badda Boom  •  Jun 7, 2018 @4:28 pm

    I can see all the points made in Maha's original post and comments.  This is a complex situation.  Wiener is a scoundrel and without his criminal stupidity, there is no Comey story, PERIOD.  While this is not his wive's fault, it is significant that Huma Mahmood Abedin was Hillary Clinton's right-hand woman. 

    The entire affair is just too twisted and crazy to make is all about Comey alone.

    That said, people need to remember:  Until Donald Trump threw his hat in the ring, Hillary was the most unpopular candidate to ever be the frontrunner of a major party.  Even when tRump came in, his unfavorables were essentially within the margin-of-error of Clinton. 

    Never had so many had to hold their noses while entering the voting book in a U.S. election.

    Clinton entirely blew-off Wisconsin, which was a state she needed to win. She made only token appearances in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio — all states she needed to win.  She spent twice as much money on the election.  She took a critical week-off during the final campaign stretch. 

    The "deplorables" comment, while celebrated in certain circles, may have been the dumbest thing ever uttered by a major party's candidate.  You don't win votes by insulting voters and doing so increased tRump's turnout — remember, Hillary did nothing to get people out to vote in Wisconsin and did little-to-nothing in the rest of the midwest.

    No one should look any further than Hillary Clinton when trying to understand why we have tRump in the White House now.  She was not a victim.  She was the most incompetent candidate to ever run for the White House on a major ticket. 

    Add this to the false-narrative that she was the "most qualified" candidate ever, and it is easy to see why she lost.  People expect politicians to less-than 100% honest, but they do not get behind piles of manure either. 

    Telling people that they need to "visit my website" to see your agenda is the ultimate cop-out.  She could not articulate anything that she actually stood for. 

    Also remember — tRump had no record in public service and he said things on the campaign trail that made it sound like he was going to be reasonable.  Now we know he is a terrible right-wing nut that sees himself as a king. 

    Hindsight is 20/20.  tRump fooled many, because he was in a unique postions, running as an "outsider", to lie with impunity.

    Hillary was the Worst. Candidate. Ever. and this parlor game about Comey's role does not move us towards a more progressive future.

  6. maha  •  Jun 7, 2018 @5:25 pm

    Badda Book Badda Boom — You must be new here. Of course, Hillary Clinton is the reason Hillary Clinton lost in 2016, but we’re not really talking about 2016 except as it relates to the current political climate. We’re talking about 2018, and June 2018 specifically, and the political climate surrounding the White House and the Republican Congress and their war on the Mueller investigation. If you are confused about why the Mueller investigation is not about the 2016 election, please review Why the Trump-Russian Connection Is a Big Deal (and It’s Not the Election). Thanks much.

  7. csm  •  Jun 7, 2018 @6:01 pm

    Even though the IG report will be twisted by Trump and the GOP, it is spot on about Comey.  Based on my recall of published reports back then, Comey was insubordinate as he had been asked to not do what he did in releasing the letter, did it anyway to satisfy members of his party who were pressuring him, and ended up looking like he was acting as a partisan Republican rather than FBI Director.  And did it again when he reopened the email investigation with a week to go in the election.  The first time he gets the benefit of the doubt, the second time, it's no question he's not being a neutral player.

    Trump may be at odds with Comey today, but clearly, his actions served to help Trump and I'll go so far as to say it's one of the reasons he eked out a win, although not THE reason.  His explanations for what he did then makes even less sense today  now that we know what he knew about Trump's campaign.  His backhanded supposed assist to Clinton, to "get this all out there" since he thought she'd win requires a level of gullibility on the part of anyone to believe that to border on lunacy.

    In hindsight, Trump firing Comey may have been the dumbest move of all, as he has serious credibility issues that, left to their own devices if you will, might have undermined the Russia investigation were he allowed to continue to lead it.

    Unfortunately this report may breath new life into efforts by Clinton and her sycophants in avoid accepting responsibility for losing and blaming everyone but themselves for the loss.

  8. Badda Book Badda Boom  •  Jun 7, 2018 @9:27 pm

    Maha — we'll have to agree to disagree.  2018 will be entirely-based on how people respond to 2016.  The question is who is it going to help?

    Yes, still looks like a blue wave.  Perhaps not as massive as before.  The post brought up Comey and I only wanted to comment on Comey.  It is a pet-peeve of mine that some other blogs have made this all about Comey since 2016. 

    When I posted, I wasn't sure if this would be "approved" as i did not know where you and your readers stand on the Clinton loss.  Thank youfor directly stating " Hillary Clinton is the reason Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 " as I am an infrequent lurker — one that is disturbed that an orange site and another popular democratic web community has never acknowledged this and actively flames & bans anyone that brings up the truth.

    On those website, Hillery is a victim and a goddess and I fear she will be shoved-down our throats again in 2020 and she clearly feels entitled to the Presidency.

    I'll read your recommended post, but it isn't accurate to state that the 2016 is entirely unrelated to 2016 — but I will try to understand what you say right.  Perhaps it is less-based on it than I and many assume.

  9. maha  •  Jun 8, 2018 @9:29 am

    Badda Book Badda Boom — In the great ultimate reality everything is related to everything. I could argue that every political event today is related to Reconstruction. My comment that this is not related to 2016 is part of my ongoing crusade to get people to stop viewing everything through the 2016 lens. At this point, Hillary Clinton is irrelevant. The outcome of the 2016 election is only a small part of what the Mueller investigation and other ongoing scandals are about. I have stated on many occasions that there is no way to know if the alleged Russian interference or other outside influences cost Clinton the election. I was commenting on Comey not so much because of what he did in 2016 but because of how the IG report is likely to play out in the ongoing Left-Right propaganda wars. If you want to know what I think of Clinton’s loss, See my 2016 election post-mortem, “How Democrats Gambled Everythihng, and Lost.”

  10. csm  •  Jun 8, 2018 @10:13 am

    It was once summed up to me by one of my Clinton-whispering, democratic establishment-worshipping friends that the deck was stacked against Clinton in 2016, and the election became "impossible" for her to win even though she was (seriously) the most qualified candidate ever, had a great message, ran a great campaign (because she was a woman), but that ultimately events out of her control conspired against her, and that she was not so much a loser ("she won 3 million more votes!") as a victim of 2016 and remains so.

    Unfortunately this foundationally careerist strain in the democratic party remains very influential if not dominant.

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