By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) For weeks after Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report last fall which documented serial abuses of the FISA court by the FBI, supporters of President Trump were aghast that the IG claimed not to have found any political bias in the actions of key bureau and DoJ players in launching “Spygate.”
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As it turns out, it could have been because Horowitz may have downplayed that aspect of his findings.
As reported by Sara Carter, a pair of Republican senators — Finance Committee chair Chuck Grassley (Iowa) and Homeland Security chair Ron Johnson (Wis.) — now want Attorney General William Barr to declassify four footnotes in Horowitz’s report they are are ‘misleading’ to the public.
In a classified letter to Barr, the two senators say the footnotes, which are also classified, appear to be contradictory to what was made public by the IG’s team regarding the “Crossfire Hurricane” probe into then-2016 GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign, alleging “Russian collusion.”
Carter notes that the senators have not disclosed what section of the December FISA report is contradictory to the footnotes.
“Specifically, we are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes,” says the letter, according to Carter.
The letter continues:
We have reviewed the findings of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) with regard to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and we are deeply concerned about certain information that remains classified. Specifically, we are concerned that certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes.
This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation. The American people have a right to know what is contained within these four footnotes and, without that knowledge, they will not have a full picture as to what happened during the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
Johnson and Grassley’s office noted that “for maximum public transparency, the senators wrote a separate unclassified cover letter to describe their request.”
That version is here.
You may recall that the ‘no political bias’ narrative was begun days before the Horowitz report was released. One of the deep state’s favorite newspapers, The New York Times, reported:
A highly anticipated report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft. …
Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said. …
In particular, while Mr. Horowitz criticizes F.B.I. leadership for its handling of the highly fraught Russia investigation in some ways, he made no finding of politically biased actions by top officials Mr. Trump has vilified like[s] the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey; Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy who temporarily ran the bureau after the president fired Mr. Comey in 2017; and Peter Strzok, a former top counterintelligence agent.
It’s not clear what contradictions Grassley and Johnson are referring to, but a legitimate finding of political bias would be devastating for the most powerful law enforcement and counterintelligence entity in the world. It would take decades for the FBI to regain the people’s trust, if ever.
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