By Jon Dougherty
(NationalSentinel) Some ‘eleventh-hour’ witnesses have agreed, albeit reluctantly, to come forward and provide information regarding alleged Obama-era abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, which has caused a delay in the conclusion of Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s investigation.
As reported by Fox News, sources told the network that at least one of the witnesses is outside of the Justice Department and has begun cooperating in the probe, which is being hailed as a breakthrough after Attorney General William Barr ordered U.S. Attorney John Durham to begin a separate probe into how the FBI’s 2016 case into alleged Trump-Russia collusion began, which laid the foundation for the Robert Mueller investigation that turned up nothing.
The network noted:
While the investigative phase of the inspector general’s long-running probe is said to be complete, the sources said recent developments required some witnesses to be reinterviewed. And while Barr testified that he expected the report into alleged Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) abuse to be ready in May or last month, multiple sources said the timeline has slipped.
“The wheels of inspector general investigations move very, very slowly,” former senior DOJ official Tom Dupree told Fox News.
Dupree isn’t familiar with the current case, but he understands the process.
“Like any investigation, you talk to one person, something that person tells you sends you back … to the first person, so it can be a very extensive, exhaustive process, because you are constantly picking up leads, interviewing former sources and navigating complex questions of classified information,” he said.
We reported earlier this week that Rep. John Ratcliffe said he met recently with Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz who said his office’s probe into alleged abuses of the FISA court by the Obama-era DoJ and FBI is complete.
“I did have the opportunity to meet with Inspector General Horowitz last week,” Ratcliffe, a former federal prosecutor, said during an appearance with former GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.).
“We talked about his report, the timing of his report, not the content, and he related that his team’s investigative work is complete,” Ratcliffe continued. “They are now in the process of drafting that report.”
He added that he expects the report to “be completed in short order.”
These new witnesses now, however, likely mean a final report will be delayed further, lending some credence to conspiracies that someone within the Deep State is attempting to push the probes back until after the 2020 election.
Of note, reports Fox News:
Horowitz’s office similarly encountered new evidence late in the process of the IG review into law enforcement decisions during the 2016 Hillary Clinton email investigation. In this case, additional FISA information came to light late in the process – including October 2016 contact (first reported by The Hill and confirmed by Fox News) between a senior State Department official and a former British spy Christopher Steele, who authored the infamous and salacious anti-Trump dossier.
Later, as we noted, we would learn that Steele brought the dossier to the State Department and attempted to get officials there to push it out to other agencies and the media, an effort aided by then-House Minority Leader (now Majority Leader) Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
In an interview with Fox News Friday, former Bush-era Deputy Attorney General John Yoo said that he believes Horowitz “is taking his time” with the investigation “because I think he sees what we see: That the Obama administration, the FBI, and the Justice Department misused FISA to try to surveil a major presidential campaign.
“The very purpose that [the 1978 FISA law] was passed was to prevent such a thing,” Yoo continued. “The harder question, which is what Mr. Horowitz is probably working on, is whether this was an honest mistake, that people were duped by the Steele dossier and the terrible evidence…just fraudulent evidence that was brought to the Justice Department, or whether it’s something worse, whether the intent behind the misuse of FISA was partisan, was to try to affect the election.
“I really hope that’s not the case because that would be a disaster for the Justice Department,” Yoo noted further.
The evidence we’ve seen in open-source reporting would certainly suggest an intentional effort by the former administration to not only clear a very guilty Hillary Clinton of blatant, serial violations of the Espionage Act for mishandling classified data, but also install her as Obama’s successor or, barring that, undermine POTUS Trump and drive him from office.
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