IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

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IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by JJ Slim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:25 am

Since this is a separate issue from the impeachment hearings and actions I thought I would start a new thread. Inspector General of the DOJ Michael Horowitz released his report into possible FISA abuse on Monday. He is now testifying before the Senate on the report.
This is the press release: https://oig.justice.gov/press/2019/2019-12-09.pdf
And the full report: https://www.justice.gov/storage/120919-examination.pdf

I am still reading through the report (it is 480 pages) but I find it both fascinating and horrifying.

U.S. Attorney John Durham of the US Attorney's Office in the District of Connecticut was assigned by US Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the beginnings of the Russia collusion investigation and any possible abuses or wrongdoing after the release of the Meuller report. It has since morphed into a broad, and now criminal, investigation.

The two investigations have similar tracks but the Durham investigation does not have the constraints that the IG had. I am curious what all you have heard and what your thoughts are on the two investigations.

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Indy
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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Indy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 9:09 am

In general, I think the IG summary doesn't tell us anything new:
While we concluded that the investigative activities undertaken by the Crossfire Hurricane team involving CHSs and UCEs complied with applicable Department and FBI policies, we believe that in certain circumstances Department and FBI policies do not provide sufficient oversight and accountability for investigative activities that have the potential to gather sensitive information involving protected First Amendment activity, and therefore include recommendations to address these issues.
The FBI followed the rules they have, but the IG thinks the rules should be changed to provide more oversight. There wasn't a deep state conspiracy to fabricate evidence to start illegally wiretapping the Trump campaign.

I thought the 9 recommendations were good suggestions, too.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Indy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:03 am

I should have added this:
We concluded that Priestap's exercise of discretion in opening the investigation was in compliance with Department and FBI policies, and we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced his decision. We similarly found that, while the forma l documentation opening each of the four individual investigations was approved by Strzok (as required by the DIOG), the decisions to do so were reached by a consensus among the Crossfire Hurricane agents and analysts who identified individuals associated with the Trump campaign who had recently traveled to Russia or had other alleged ties to Russia. Priestap was involved in these decisions. We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that pol itical bias or improper motivation influenced the decisions to open the four individual investigations.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by JJ Slim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:31 am

Indy agreed with those statements. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Between what little I have read of the report and what is being revealed in the hearing today this is an extremely damning report. Please, please take the time to read the report. I don't care what party affiliation you have, This is not about being for Trump or against him. This is of concern for every American.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Indy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:26 am

JJ Slim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 10:31 am
Indy agreed with those statements. But that is only the tip of the iceberg. Between what little I have read of the report and what is being revealed in the hearing today this is an extremely damning report. Please, please take the time to read the report. I don't care what party affiliation you have, This is not about being for Trump or against him. This is of concern for every American.
I read through the 20 or so page executive summary, including the actions recommended by the IG that the FBI needs to take to increase oversight/prevent mistakes. It seems pretty clear to me. When you read through it, you see that the folks looking into the Trump campaign were very worried for America, because Russia was working so hard to get him elected, and they wanted to find out why and if Trump's team knew about it.

Ask yourself why our president destroyed the translator notes after his meeting with Putin, or why the CIA had to ex-filtrate our top spy in Russia after hearing what Trump said to Lavrov. Also, ask yourself why Trump has had several closed door meetings with Lavrov at all. He isn't a chief of state. He is a diplomat, and diplomats (especially from hostile nations) don't get sit-downs with POTUS.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by jonh » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:45 am

If CNN wants to demonstrate nonpartisan political reporting, this is a misstep.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-skips ... -statement
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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Indy » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:13 pm

jonh wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:45 am
If CNN wants to demonstrate nonpartisan political reporting, this is a misstep.

https://www.foxnews.com/media/cnn-skips ... -statement
I don't think they are trying to do that. They are trying to go fox news and lean into partisan reporting, but keep claiming they are not. I can't stand watching any live political TV anymore. Well, C-SPAN is fine.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Nodack » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:25 pm

True. They should have broadcast Graham. I didn’t see any of the hearings today. What new important info did Graham give us? Graham said he wasn’t going to listen to any of the evidence or any witnesses in the House hearings a couple of weeks ago. Shouldn’t he be listening to the witnesses and the evidence if he is going to have an opinion and vote on said evidence? I read his opinion on impeachment during the Clinton trial.

Grahams view of impeachment when it’s a Democrat.

On January 16, 1999, a Southern politician with a mop of faintly graying hair stood on the floor of the United States Senate and made a striking proclamation about what it meant to impeach a president.

“You don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role,” the politician said. “Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.”


Today?

Lindsey Graham says he won't read transcripts of testimony in 'sham' impeachment process
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/pol ... 175643002/

He won’t even read the transcripts? I won’t even look at the evidence? I will just bury my head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen. Pfft.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Superbone » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:39 pm

Nodack wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:25 pm
He won’t even read the transcripts? I won’t even look at the evidence? I will just bury my head in the sand and pretend it didn’t happen. Pfft.
It was frankly embarrassing watching some of the proceedings from the last couple days where Republicans were just spouting nonsense to try to be "recognized" just to gum up the proceedings. It was like 5 year old kids saying "I can't hear you!" really loud when somebody was talking.
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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Nodack » Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:45 pm

You would think I would be numb to it by now but, I am still shocked at the audacity of these people. No wonder Congress always has an approval rating in the single digits. Everybody knows they are all scumbags and yet they get on their soap boxes and preach total BS to us with a straight face over and over.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Cap » Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:24 pm

Nodack wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:45 pm
You would think I would be numb to it by now but, I am still shocked at the audacity of these people. No wonder Congress always has an approval rating in the single digits. Everybody knows they are all scumbags and yet they get on their soap boxes and preach total BS to us with a straight face over and over.
You would think I would be numb by now to you constantly describing our political dysfunction as if it’s symmetric.
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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by JJ Slim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 5:51 pm

Well no partisan fireworks like the House hearings. I was actually very civil. There were no interruptions, shouting matches or discussions about procedures and Lindsey Graham who chaired the hearing even gave extra time and sessions to a couple of the Democrats. Of course he also quite often took time after a few Democrats' turn before he let the next Republican start their questions to reiterate some points he had been making since his opening statement.

The big takeaways I remember:

Don't just read the summary. You miss all the good juicy stuff. I already knew this but the hearing made this abundantly clear.

The standard for opening a counter intelligence investigation is very low and that standard was met and was called Crossfire Hurricane (CFH).

All four of the FISA applications had issues when applied for. The first one had 7 issues increasing up to 17 for the last one. When preparing for the first one there was push back within the FBI on the information that was being submitted both whether it was sufficient to be approved and with it's accuracy. Including the Steele dossier in the application was integral to getting it approved.

Regarding the "issues", these were not typos or missed steps. They were omissions of exculpatory and other evidence, lies and fabricated evidence. These were not things that could be done accidentally or because of lack of training. It basically comes down to total incompetence or intentional malfeasance. Your choice. Mind you this was being done by the highest level of employees at the FBI who would also oversee, train and validate other lower level employees.

For the first FISA application the Steele dossier "may" have been believed to be valid intelligence. Not taking the other issues into account this would make this application legitimate. For the rest of the reapplications it was already known that the information in the dossier was not only unverifiable but outright false. Literally some of it was bar rumors and the second hand source that supplied it told them that none of it was reliable. Because of this the rest of the applications were illegitimate and the investigation should have been shut down. If they had stopped then all might have been forgiven but at this point the investigation became criminal. I don't remember the exact date but the investigation continued well past the inauguration into a sitting President's term.

Once the investigation had been opened there was no defensive briefing given to Trump, his campaign or any trusted advisor to let them know that they might have a compromised agent in the campaign as would normally be done. The ranking member of today's hearing, Diane Feinstein, was given such a briefing when it was found she had an aid that was a Chinese spy and that allowed her to fire him. I believe I heard them say they also gave Hillary such a briefing but I may have misheard that.

After Trump and Clinton became the nominated candidates they were given intelligence briefings. And while it was determined that both of them received the same briefing, the FBI included an agent from the CFH investigation that was to monitor Trump and specifically Micheal Flynn to gather any incriminating information related to the investigation. Notes were taken and taken back to the CFH team. Effectively the briefings became an unknown interrogation of a Presidential campaign.

Probably the most important thing is that both sides agreed that this was a serious and unprecedented abuse of the FISA process and courts, some of them vehemently. There are members of both parties that are going to revisit the FISA legislation and it is very possible that it could be shut down and at the very least have much stricter rules and oversight.

A personal observation is that while the Democrats all seemed to agree that there was abuse of the FISA court most of them took time during their questioning to attack both AG Barr and US Atty Durham and insinuate that they are either corrupt or just puppets of the President. They also tried over and over again to try to play them against Horowitz using their public comments about them disagreeing with his findings. Horowitz just kept stating that he stands by his report.

One bit of interesting and seemingly unrelated information came out during one of the Democrats questioning sessions. Horowitz was asked about Rudy Guilliani's statements before James Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation in Oct 2016 that something big was coming. Supposedly he had some information that was leaked from the FBI about the Weiner laptop being found. Horowitz stated that this was being investigated and that they had contact/call information that they were able to use to find out who was the leaker(s) and that either discipline or charges would be coming. This was not part of his report but rather an incidental revelation during the hearing.

This is all from memory and I have not had the chance to listen to any talking heads interpretations of this yet. If I think of anything else I may post it. In the mean time my head hurts lol.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Nodack » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:19 pm

Cap wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 3:24 pm
Nodack wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 12:45 pm
You would think I would be numb to it by now but, I am still shocked at the audacity of these people. No wonder Congress always has an approval rating in the single digits. Everybody knows they are all scumbags and yet they get on their soap boxes and preach total BS to us with a straight face over and over.
You would think I would be numb by now to you constantly describing our political dysfunction as if it’s symmetric.
Ok, Democrats are all saints and Republicans are all evil. Is that better? Can I be in the club again?

I have been posting here for many years and have seen countless people come and go in the politics area. People get real sensitive about politics. Most of the posters here are Democrats and the few Republicans that venture here usually get driven away in a short time. I think a politics folder where only Democrats discuss politics is boring. I try not to chase Republicans away by being a complete homer and attacking them. I am pretty sure most of the Democrats in Congress are on the take just as much as the Republicans. None of them are saints to me. Get numb or not to me calling out both sides. I will call them like I see them.

Yes, I think Trump and many if not all the Republicans in Congress are pretty much evil by their actions since Trump came to the scene. There is no honor, integrity, honesty of any sort or empathy for anyone. Dems do sort of look like saints compared to todays Republican leaders.

Our political dysfunction is symmetric. One side has been especially bad/evil. The other side is not innocent though.

Take the vote on the trade agreement. Dems are telling Pelosi not to agree with the deal because it would give Trump a victory. They think she should appose it, wait a year and see if a Democrat gets elected so “they” can get the victory. A trade agreement isn’t about Trump or politicians. It’s about helping America. Waiting a year sounds very similar to Mitch McConnell not voting on Obama’s Supreme Court pick and waiting a year to see if a Republican gets elected. It’s 100% politics. If it’s a good deal then she should vote yes because it’s good for America. I personally don’t know if the deal is good or not. My point is if they don’t sign it for political reasons it makes them just as bad as the Republicans.
Last edited by Nodack on Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Nodack » Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:38 pm

https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/474 ... aign-probe

Horowitz, testifying for more than five hours before the Senate Judiciary Committee, outlined the findings of his 20-month investigation into the bureau’s probe, saying he found “basic, fundamental and serious errors” as part of the FBI’s process.

Horowitz’s report found that there was no evidence of political bias in the decision to open the investigation and that the bureau had an “authorized purpose” for the probe.

“We found no evidence that the initiation of the investigation was motivated by political bias. It gets murkier — the question gets more challenging, senator — when you get to the FISA. When you get to the attorney's actions, for example, in connection with that FISA,” Horowitz added.

Horowitz appeared to be referring to Kevin Clinesmith, a front-line lawyer. Clinesmith, according to the inspector general report, altered an email related to the warrant renewal application.

Pressed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) if the FBI was lying to the FISA court during the warrant application process, Horowitz said “it was misleading to the court.”

Pressed later by Graham if the handling of the subsequent FISA warrant applications was “off-the-charts bad,” Horowitz replied: “It’s pretty bad.”

When Kennedy argued that someone needed to be “fired,” Horowitz didn’t counter him.

“Agree completely,” Horowitz said. “There's got to be a change in the culture also.”

Under questioning by both Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Horowitz said his findings did not take issue with any aspect of Mueller’s findings on Russia’s systemic interference during the 2016 election.

“We don’t take issue with any part of the special counsel’s report,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz also told lawmakers that he is investigating potential leaks between the FBI’s New York field office and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal attorney.

“We are investigating those contacts. We've issued a couple of public summaries so far about people we've found violated FBI policy. We have other investigations ongoing,” Horowitz said.

Horowitz poked holes in several conservative conspiracy theories, including saying that he found no evidence that former President Obama ordered the investigation into Trump campaign associates and that there was no evidence that anyone besides Page had been wiretapped by the FBI.

And in a break with the White House over whistleblowers, he said individuals have the right to remain anonymous. Trump and his allies have called for a whistleblower at the center of the House impeachment inquiry to be unmasked.

“Whistleblowers have a right to expect complete, full confidentiality in all circumstances,” Horowitz said, adding that it was a “very important provision.”

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by JJ Slim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:55 pm

Nodack wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:19 pm
I am pretty sure most of the Democrats in Congress are on the take just as much as the Republicans. None of them are saints to me. Get numb or not to me calling out both sides. I will call them like I see them.
I agree with you 100% my friend.

I will add that Trump ran on "Drain the Swamp". Like him or hate him he has tried to follow up on his campaign promises. Assuming there is an ingrained swamp, do you think they are going to go down quietly. No, they are going to fight with everything at their disposal. Its like a cornered animal willing to fight to the death. I have never trusted government and Congress is the worst part of it. We should have had term limits on Congress decades, if not centuries ago. The idea of effectively lifetime appointments is ridiculous and dangerous. I also believe that the Republicans feel like they can take the high road right now and side with the President because they can paint the Democrats as the bad guys. But I can guarantee there are as many corrupt Republicans as Democrats. I would love it if all of Congress were required to release their taxes each year along with a record of their net worth each year from several years before they were elected until several years after they left.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by JJ Slim » Wed Dec 11, 2019 8:07 pm

Nodack wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 6:19 pm
Our political dysfunction is symmetric. One side has been especially bad/evil. The other side is not innocent though.
Who one side or the other is depends on which side you associate with. The thing is both sides are right. The division is by design. We keep fighting among ourselves and the ones responsible for the evils keep getting away with it. We are all Americans and I believe we basically want all the same things. Russia is laughing at all of us. They accomplished exactly what they wanted to. They didn't care who got elected. They just wanted to divide us from within.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Nodack » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:08 pm

I agree. The division is by design. The system kind of makes it that way though. It makes it a competition. You win by vanquishing the other side and that is SO wrong because the other side is the other half of America. We need a system that allows us to govern without the partisanship. The media taking sides is kind of wrong. We live in a new internet connected age that has changed a lot of the rules over the years.

I agree we should have strict term limits on politicians. All of them.

I agree with the taxes thing too. You want to lead us? Prove to us we can trust you first.

Russia of course meddles in our elections. It’s almost their job. I’m sure we do too. That doesn’t mean we don’t try to stop them.

We won’t agree on Trump though. I think he is evil. He checks off all the boxes for me of the worst qualities of a human being. He is a rich New York billionaire who has somehow captured the hearts and minds of rural America, who normally hate rich billionaires from New York.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Superbone » Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:39 pm

JJ Slim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:55 pm
I will add that Trump ran on "Drain the Swamp". Like him or hate him he has tried to follow up on his campaign promises.
He has? How so?
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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by Indy » Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:39 am

Superbone wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:39 pm
JJ Slim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:55 pm
I will add that Trump ran on "Drain the Swamp". Like him or hate him he has tried to follow up on his campaign promises.
He has? How so?
Yeah, sorry JJ, but if you are saying he is living up to "draining the swamp," that is bullshit. He has poured more mud into the swamp than anyone in recent history.

If by "living up to his campaign promises" you mean trying to keep brown people out of America, and increasing discrimination, then yes, he has done that.

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Re: IG Horowitz reports/US Atty John Durham investigation

Post by virtual9mm » Thu Dec 12, 2019 8:10 am

Indy wrote:
Thu Dec 12, 2019 6:39 am
Superbone wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 11:39 pm
JJ Slim wrote:
Wed Dec 11, 2019 7:55 pm
I will add that Trump ran on "Drain the Swamp". Like him or hate him he has tried to follow up on his campaign promises.
He has? How so?
Yeah, sorry JJ, but if you are saying he is living up to "draining the swamp," that is bullshit. He has poured more mud into the swamp than anyone in recent history.

If by "living up to his campaign promises" you mean trying to keep brown people out of America, and increasing discrimination, then yes, he has done that.
How has Trump been trying to drain the swamp? This would be a laughable statement. If it weren't for a reasonable person being willing to say it.

What have we come to? How much longer before we're pointing guns at each other's heads?

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