Previous IG Horowitz reports and what they tell us about the 2016, pre-Mueller, Russian investigation.

kmiller1610

Former Staff
Mar 2007
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https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download

Discovery of bias among 5 FBI employees including the lead investigator of the Clinton email investigation.

In undertaking our analysis, our task was made significantly more difficult because of text and instant messages exchanged on FBI devices and systems by
five FBI employees involved in the Midyear investigation. These messages reflected political opinions in support of former Secretary Clinton and
against her then political opponent, Donald Trump. Some of these text messages and instant messages mixed political commentary with discussions about the
Midyear investigation, and raised concerns that political bias may have impacted investigative decisions. In particular, we were concerned about text messages
exchanged by FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Special Counsel to the Deputy Director, that potentially indicated or created the
appearance that investigative decisions were impacted by bias or improper considerations. As we describe in Chapter Twelve of our report, most of the text
messages raising such questions pertained to the Russia investigation, which was not a part of this review. Nonetheless, the suggestion in certain Russia related
text messages in August 2016 that Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact presidential candidate Trump’s electoral prospects caused us to
question the earlier Midyear investigative decisions in which Strzok was involved, and whether he took specific actions in the Midyear investigation based on his
political views.these messages cast a cloud over the FBI’s handling of the Midyear investigation and the investigation’s credibility. But our review did not find
evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed
From Chapter 12 of the same report

we identified text messages exchanged between DAD Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, Special Counsel to former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, on their FBI issued
cell phones. These text messages included political opinions about candidates and issues involved in the 2016 presidential election, including statements of hostility toward then candidate Trump and statements of support for candidate Clinton. Several of their text messages also appeared to mix political opinions with discussions about the Midyear and Russia investigations, raising a question as to whether Strzok’s and Page’s political opinions may have affected investigative decisions. In addition to being involved in the Midyear and Russia investigations, both Page and Strzok were also briefly assigned to the investigation conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.
 

kmiller1610

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Mar 2007
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https://oig.justice.gov/reports/2019/o1902.pdf

Discovery of unethical and improper actions by then FBI director James Comey. These violations center on notes Comey took during meetings with President Trump

In this analysis section, we address whether Comey's actions violated Department and FBI policies, or the terms of Comey's FBI Employment Agreement. We determined that several of his actions did. We conclude that the Memos were official FBI records, rather than Comey's personal documents. Accordingly, after his removal as FBI Director, Comey violated applicable policies and his Employment Agreement by failing to either surrender his copies of Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 to the FBI or seek authorization to retain them; by releasing official FBI information and records to third parties without authorization; and by failing to immediately alert the FBI about his disclosures to his personal attorneys once he became aware in June 2017 that Memo 2 contained six words (four of which were names of foreign countries mentioned by the President) that the FBI had determined were classified at the “CONFIDENTIAL” level.
Comey told the OIG that he considered Memos 2 through 7 to be his personal documents, rather than official FBI records. He said he viewed these Memos as “a personal aide-mémoire,” “like [his] diary” or “like [his] notes,” which contained his “recollection” of his conversations with President Trump. Comey further stated that he kept Memos 2, 4, 6, and 7 in a personal safe at home because he believed the documents were personal records rather than FBI records. Comey's characterization of the Memos as personal records finds no support in the law and is wholly incompatible with the plain language of the statutes, regulations, and policies defining Federal records, and the terms of Comey's FBI Employment Agreement.
Upon completing our investigation, pursuant to Section 4(d) of the Inspector General Act of 1978, the OIG provided a copy of its factual findings to the Department for a prosecutorial decision regarding Comey's conduct. See 5 U.S.C.A. App. 3 § 4(d) (2016). After reviewing the matter, the Department declined prosecution.
 

kmiller1610

Former Staff
Mar 2007
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So my main question based on these two reports is how many others within the FBI, the DOJ and the intelligence agencies may have displayed the kinds of biased attitudes and / or improper actions displayed by Comey, McCabe, Strozk and Page? The next report is due out on Monday.
 

Babba

Former Staff
Jul 2007
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So. Md.
But our review did not find evidence to connect the political views expressed in these messages to the specific investigative decisions that we reviewed.
Every human being has biases. The only way that could be a problem is if it affected these professionals' work. In this case that did not happen.

As far as your concerns about Comey, have people who have done similar things been prosecuted? Is it unusual that he wasn't prosecuted? I need some context to determine if this is something to be alarmed about, as you seem to be.

Speaking of alarmed, can you show me where Horowitz is alarmed about the bias of any of the people involved?
 

kmiller1610

Former Staff
Mar 2007
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DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz Testifies on Clinton Email Probe Report

I have quoted this at least 50 times......Font size increased to try and improve retention of the point.

pull quote....

HOROWITZ: My view of this was that this was extremely serious, completely antithetical to the core values. In my personal view having been a prosecutor and worked with FBI agents, I can’t imagine FBI agents suggesting, even, that they might use their powers to investigate, frankly, any candidate for any office.

GOWDY: Now, is it the same Peter Strzok who was put on the Mueller special counsel team?

HOROWITZ: Yes.

GOWDY: Same Peter Strzok. And this is not the only time he managed to find the text feature on his phone, either. This is the same Peter Strzok who said, “Trump is an idiot. Hillary should win 100 million to zero.” Now, Mr. Inspector General, that one is interesting to me, because he’s supposed to be investigating her for violations of the Espionage Act, and he can’t think of a single, solitary American that wouldn’t vote for her for president. Can you see our skepticism?

snip

GOWDY: What do you think the “it” is in that phrase “we’ll stop it”?

HOROWITZ: Oh, I think it’s clear in the context it’s we’re gonna stop him from becoming president.

GOWDY: That’s what I thought too. Now, I wonder who the “we” is in the “we’ll stop it.” Who do you think the “we” is?

HOROWITZ: Well, I think that’s probably subject to multiple interpretations — them or a broader group beyond that.

GOWDY: How about “finish it”? When he said, “I unleashed it. Now I need to fix it and finish it,” what do you think he meant by “finish it”?

HOROWITZ: I think in the context of the emails that occurred in August, the prior August that you outlined, I think a reasonable explanation that or a reasonable inference of that is that he believed he would use or potentially use his official authority to take action.

GOWDY: But this is 24 hours into him being put on the Mueller probe. There’s no way he could have possibly prejudged the outcome of the investigation. Maybe he did. Maybe that’s the outcome-determinative bias that my Democrat friends have such a hard time finding.

snip

GOWDY: Did you ever have an agent when you were a prosecutor with this level of bias?

HOROWITZ: My view of this was that this was extremely serious, completely antithetical to the core values. In my personal view having been a prosecutor and worked with FBI agents, I can’t imagine FBI agents suggesting, even, that they might use their powers to investigate, frankly, any candidate for any office.

GOWDY: Well, I can’t either. I am struggling to find a better example of outcome-determinative bias than that. So what am I missing?

HOROWITZ: Well, I think, uh, that certainly with regard to the, uh, Russia investigation you mentioned, as you know, we are looking at that in an ongoing way.
 

kmiller1610

Former Staff
Mar 2007
33,435
6,716
Now to try and be clear, every time the IG describes a situation in his reports, where others have pointed to the event and shouted bias he is mostly restrained unless there is a violation of law, as in the Comey situation. So when he says "my personal view" he is aware that those who DO indict have the right to not indict. He is an auditor, not an executive manager who is running things. So you need to read between the lines on some of this stuff.

Bias in an investigative agency is never a good thing. And obviously texting on government property about your bias and expecting that nobody cares is bias mixed with hubris.
 

kmiller1610

Former Staff
Mar 2007
33,435
6,716
Thanks to Babba for at least responding to this thread. Most of the cut and paste crowd will just accept whatever the the NYT or Wapo tells them is important and ignore the rest.