The IG Report: Watch Out for Escalating Hypocrisy

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.