The Justice Department Inspector General’s report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s unsecured personal email server laid bare a widespread pattern of conduct that “cast a cloud” over the FBI. The report incites the inference that the Bureau is a severely corrupted organization, tainted and warped by unconstitutional ambitions to meddle in electoral matters.
Although Inspector General Michael Horowitz asserted he lacked “documentary and testamentary evidence” to prove political bias ruled in making decisions of great political consequence, clearly he did not mean bias was not present. On what the report presented, it is almost certain that the FBI, at the deliberate direction of its leaders and senior Justice Department officials, intervened completely improperly in political matters. The inspector general led the country to the edge of the decision, and will presumably make a number of criminal referrals for possible indictments, as he did after his initial report.
Horowitz is not a prosecutor. But he recorded extreme anti-Trump bias in many people and on many occasions. The presence of Peter Strzok as head of the FBI Clinton whitewash operation, jumping at once to take over the effort to tie Trump to Russia so as to rig the presidential election (though he acknowledged “there is no there there”), and then on to lead Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation of Trump, is scandalous. At mid-point in the circuit, Strzok assures his Justice Department paramour Lisa Page, “We will stop him” (Trump). This makes Horowitz’s pious attachment to inconclusiveness very tenuous.
Former FBI Director James Comey emerges as a psychopath incapable of telling fact from fiction, himself guilty of possible criminal misuse of emails, as well as likely obstruction of justice, untruthful answers to Congress under oath, theft of government property, illegal leaks, and in Horowitz’s words, “usurping” the authority of the attorney general and deputy attorney general, “serious improprieties and errors of judgment,” and severe breach of Bureau practices and policies for “unpersuasive” reasons. He is completely disgraced and is on the low road to indictment.
Comey and his counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, when he was a prosecutor, never accorded any mercy to those whom they gleefully prosecuted, (such as Martha Stewart, Scooter Libby, and me), and it will be a fine divertissement to see how they do when their turn comes to face the lawless rogue monster of American criminal justice. Retaining proportionality, there will be some resemblance to the fate of Robespierre’s chief prosecutor under the Committee of Public Safety, Fouquier-Tinville, and Stalin’s police ministers, Yagoda, Yezhov, and Beria: all were executed when the political currents shifted.
Revelations About Obama
We also learn for the first time that that President Obama was not, as he has claimed, unaware of Secretary Clinton’s illegal email activity, which, Horowitz also confirms, gave “foreign actors” access to unknowable quantities of classified material—a major security breach. There is little doubt that President Obama and his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, and her deputy Sally Yates, were complicit in the harassment of the Trump campaign, including the implantation of informers within the campaign, the surveillance of the campaign through telephone intercepts and other means under a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant requested from a court under a false pretext of treating the Steele dossier, a farrago of lies and defamations commissioned by the Clinton campaign, as an objective product of respectable impartial, professional intelligence gathering with no hint of its origins or methods or purpose.
Comey inherited the FBI from Robert Mueller, who must have inculcated the initial ethos of omnipotence and infallibility. Horowitz reveals many instances of the tangible corruption of FBI agents by interested parties in investigations, and of contact between agents and the media so frequent that it is impossible to identify the principal suspects in the Niagara of illegal leaks the FBI’s agents have committed. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who has already been referred for possible criminal indictment, got around to recusing himself on the Clinton “matter” a week before the 2016 election, after a Clinton ally had given McCabe’s wife’s Virginia state senate campaign almost $800,000 while McCabe was leading the soft-pointed investigation of Mrs. Clinton.
Somebody serious, meaning no one now in sight in the Justice Department, is going to have to come to grips with the role of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in all this. Obviously, Clinton lied to federal officers. It is inconceivable that Obama did not know a legally damaging amount about this appalling skullduggery. The country needs the truth.
Though Horowitz wasn’t looking at the intelligence agencies, the coordinated law-breaking and perjury of senior officials, almost certainly including the former directors of the FBI, CIA (John Brennan), and the Office of National Intelligence (James Clapper), has to be addressed, starting with their frequent lies to Congress, and apparent participation in a plan with Comey to mislead the president-elect about the Steele dossier. All of this is so far from passing a smell test, no person of normal olfactory sensibilities could inhale through their nostrils while being exposed to it.
We cannot wait for the Horowitz molasses to run for another 18 months—as it did to produce this report—to get to the bottom of the partisan Russian probe, the infamous Steele dossier and the apparent manipulation of the FISA court, a serious crime. The Democrats are trying to run out the clock, and the macabre farce noire of Mueller’s investigation, which returns every few months to launch another feeble assault on Paul Manafort for reasons having nothing to do with its ostensible purpose (Trump-Russian collusion), must not continue ad nauseam et infinitum.
The well-tried Democratic dirty tricks operation is doing its best, one last time, with a contemporaneous spurious civil lawsuit against the Trump Foundation, from the Spitzer-Cuomo-Schneiderman-Underwood legal sewer of the attorney general of New York. The wax-works official Democratic leadership—Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and their claque—are trying to spin the report as inconclusive and maintain that Comey was more helpful to Trump than to Clinton. The reaction of the new FBI director, Christopher Wray, promising to implement Horowitz’s recommendations and acknowledging errors “in hindsight,” was completely unacceptable. He should have been wearing short pants and a Yogi Bear hat as he promised to “teach” his 35,000 agents to avoid political bias.
The Washington Sleaze Factory Needs to be Upended
The old Washington sleaze factory is talking to itself. We are between the lightning and the thunder and the country cannot tolerate this level of sanctimonious, institutionalized corruption any longer.
It’s now or never for the pitiful, self-emasculated Attorney General Jeff Sessions. He must name a special counsel to get to the bottom of the origins and development of the Russian investigation, while Mueller is ordered to make an interim report, show cause why he should be allowed to continue at all, and if so, his staff must be purged of known political partisans. Its origins and functioning have been arrogantly unprofessional and they are not close to anything relevant to the non-existent Trump-Russia relationship. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is compromised by approving the renewal of an illegal FISA warrant, stonewalling Congress, and buckling to Comey in appointing Mueller right after Comey was fired (on Rosenstein’s recommendation).
Nothing in any of these investigations raises the slightest questions about the probity of the conduct of Donald Trump, who has been the victim of Clintonian chicanery, Sessions’ impotence, and a historic media smear campaign. The president must require the public revelation of all relevant documentation, redacting only what an independent unquestionable source identifies as necessary to keep secret for reasons of the safety of an agent or human asset or national security. Then let the people judge in November.
If Sessions or Rosenstein won’t appoint a new special counsel with a proper mandate and impose reasonable guidelines on Mueller, they should be sacked and the solicitor general, Noel Francisco, should be ordered to do what his superiors have failed to do, pending senatorial approval of replacements.
If Clinton had won, as the leaders of the Justice Department assumed and passionately hoped and tried to assure, none of this would have come to light. If they had just allowed Donald Trump a decent honeymoon, as every other incoming president receives, he would not have overturned the rocks and it all would have slipped into the past. But in confecting and promoting the monstrous fraud of Trump-Russian collusion, they tried, first to subvert a presidential election and then to overturn the result of one. What occurred was a massive criminal assault on the Constitution. The tumor has been ripped open and now it must be excised.
Despite Horowitz’s partial disclaimer, he has almost certainly proved that political bias perverted the administration of justice. Those responsible and complicit must be indicted, convicted, and punished, with the same severity they have shown to their often guiltless victims.
Conrad Black has been one of Canada’s most prominent financiers for 40 years, and was one of the leading newspaper publishers in the world as owner of the British telegraph newspapers, the Fairfax newspapers in Australia, the Jerusalem Post, Chicago Sun-Times and scores of smaller newspapers in the U.S., and most of the daily newspapers in Canada. He is the author of authoritative biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Richard Nixon, one-volume histories of the United States and Canada, and most recently of Donald J. Trump: A President Like No Other. He is a member of the British House of Lords as Lord Black of Crossharbour.