I said my piece about the Inspector General report yesterday, but I wanted to highlight a handful of exchanges from Michael Horowitz's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Overall, it was a disastrous day for Adam Schiff and much of the media, which may explain why CNN could barely bring itself to cover it, opting instead for more biased spin. Those who watched Horowitz relay his findings and answer questions witnessed a memorable, sweeping rebuke of the FBI from the DOJ's internal watchdog. Some must-see clips:
(1) The press loudly and eagerly touted Horowitz's finding that he could not definitively prove that political bias drove the decisions that he upbraided as errors, omissions and misleading -- all of which cut against the Trump campaign and presidency. They also uniformly slanted in favor of the investigation, which ultimately totally failed to prove the salacious and outrageous allegations advanced in the Steele dossier. Recall that the FBI used the now-debunked dossier as a "central and essential" component of their probe, continuing to do so even after their own work undercut Steele's fantastical document. But under questioning, the IG made clear that he could not rule out bias as a motivating factor, and heavily hinted that he believes that it was. Why? Because the actions were otherwise "inexplicable" and the non-bias explanations he was offered were "not satisfactory:"
THIS is the only 25 seconds you need to see.— thebradfordfile™ (@thebradfordfile) December 11, 2019
It's "INEXPLICABLE." pic.twitter.com/YE2wUaiCKU
(2) On this same, critical point, Horowitz says the public is justified in refusing to believe all of the 'mistakes' were the result of mere incompetence. "It’s fair for people to look at all of these 17 events and wonder how it could be pure incompetence,” he told the panel, adding that he agrees that somebody needs to be fired (speaking of inexplicable, the agent who is accused of altering a FISA document illegally has kept his or her job):
IG Horowitz: Andy McCabe “handpicked” the agents involved w/ FISA misconduct.— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) December 11, 2019
Says he “agrees completely” that “somebody has to be fired” over what he’s uncovered. pic.twitter.com/B07X285Cjz
(3) In which a Democratic Senator does not get the answers he was expecting or hoping for regarding the legitimacy and usefulness of the FISA surveillance of Carter Page:
Oof.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) December 11, 2019
Blumenthal: "[FISAs] are renewed because they are producing useful information, correct?"
IG: "Or they should be producing useful information."
Blumenthal: "...they were producing useful information, correct?"
IG: "I'm not sure that's entirely correct." pic.twitter.com/70ydMovyFf
(4) A direct reality check that may complicate James Comey's ridiculous and self-serving victory lap:
Graham: “The former FBI director James @Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?”— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) December 11, 2019
Horowitz: “The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”
(5) The Steele dossier was, in fact, at the heart of this whole enterprise. And it was bunk garbage. A disaster:
BOMBSHELL:— Trump War Room (Text TRUMP to 88022) (@TrumpWarRoom) December 11, 2019
Inspector Horowitz admits that the warrant to spy on the Trump campaign was based "entirely" on information from the debunked Steele Dossier.
The media continues to deny this fact! pic.twitter.com/Crpn28dW1P
I'll leave you with a reminder that Horowitz's other major finding that the press and Democrats are clinging to (the Trump/Russia investigation was entirely properly predicated) has been disputed by US Attorney John Durham, whose jurisdiction and powers are far wider than Horowitz's -- as well as this analysis from Byron York that punctures the latest partisan panic over Bill Barr and so-called "conspiracy theories" (which is being advanced by many of the same Russia obsessives who now have egg all over their faces:
New: Of course the FBI spied on the Trump campaign. https://t.co/YPGj0iUUCw— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 12, 2019