…I’d hate to see inculpation! James Comey and other Democrats are absurdly claiming that Michael Horowitz’s report vindicates or exonerates them. That is ridiculous, as anyone who follows the news even casually knows. Horowitz testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee today–testimony that, as I understand it, was not broadcast by the television networks. Horowitz’s testimony was summarized in a White House email a few hours ago:
As Horowitz made clear today, no one who touched this FISA application at the FBI is vindicated by his report.
QUESTION: “The former FBI Director James Comey said this week that your report vindicates him. Is that a fair assessment of your report?”
HOROWITZ: “You know, I think the activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this FISA.”
Horowitz refused to rule out political bias as a reason for the FBI’s inappropriate handling of FISA requests.
QUESTION: “Can you say it wasn’t because of political bias?”
HOROWITZ: “On, on decisions regarding those FISA matters, I do not know their state of mind.”
The FBI‘s review process of the FISA applications was found to have basic, fundamental, and serious errors.
HOROWITZ: “We also found basic, fundamental, and serious errors during the completion of the FBI’s factual accuracy reviews procedures, known as the WOODS procedures which are designed to ensure that FISA applications contain a full and accurate presentation of the facts. Department lawyers and the court should have been given complete and accurate information so they could have meaningfully evaluated probable cause before authorizing the surveillance of a U.S. person associated with a presidential campaign. That did not occur.”
The FBI failed to meet the most basic obligations of ensuring FISA application accuracy.
HOROWITZ: “We found that investigators failed to meet their basic obligations of ensuring that the FISA applications were scrupulously accurate. We identified significant inaccuracies and omissions in each of the 4 applications, 7 in the first application and a total of 17 by the final renewal application.”
Horowitz confirmed that Christopher Steele was politically biased and was attempting to prevent the election of Donald Trump. The FBI failed to disclose his bias to the FISA court.
QUESTION: “Christopher Steele, is it fair to say that had a political bias against Donald Trump?”
HOROWITZ: “He, given who he was paid for, there was a bias that needed to be disclosed to the court.”
QUESTION: “Does it seem that he personally had a bias, not just because he’s on the payroll of the Democratic Party, but he –“
HOROWITZ: “Well we found in the course of this and heard from Mr. Ohr about his comment to him that he was desperate to prevent Mr. Trump’s election.”
Horowitz concluded that the debunked Steele dossier played a “central and essential role” in the FISA application.
HOROWITZ: “We concluded that the Steele reporting played a central and essential role in the decision to seek a FISA order. FBI leadership – FBI leadership supported relying on Steele’s reporting to seek a FISA order after being advised of concerns expressed by a department attorney that Steele may have been hired by someone associated with a rival candidate or campaign.”
Horowitz agreed that an FBI lawyer created fraudulent evidence in order to get a FISA application approved.
QUESTION: “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?”
HOROWITZ: “That’s correct. That is what occurred.”
Inaccurate information in the applications made the case appear much stronger than it truly was.
HOROWITZ: “As a result of these 7 significant inaccuracies and omissions, relevant information was not shared with and consequently considered by department lawyers in the FISA court. And the FISA applications made it appear as though the evidence supporting probable cause was stronger than was actually the case.”
That is what James Comey calls vindication! His position is much like that of Lisa Page, who came out of hiding to give interviews in which she argued that her betrayal of her duties as an FBI lawyer in a desperate attempt to undermine the incoming Trump administration didn’t constitute a crime. Thus setting a new low bar for FBI employees.
This was one of the more dramatic moments in today’s testimony:
This exchange. Staggering.
Cruz: “A lawyer at the FBI creates fraudulent evidence, alters an email that is in turn used as the basis for a sworn statement to the court that the court relies on. Am I stating that accurately?"
Horowitz: "That's correct. That's what occurred" pic.twitter.com/pnsp7gssT1
— Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) December 11, 2019
An FBI lawyer named Kevin Clinesmith, who was part of Robert Mueller’s all-star lineup, reportedly is the one who altered a CIA email in a manner that reversed its meaning. He inserted the words “not a source” into the CIA email, when the gist of the email was that Carter Page had been, for several years, a trusted CIA source. The altered email was submitted to the FISA court as part of the FBI’s successful effort to continue spying on Page and the Trump transition team. Clinesmith presumably will be criminally prosecuted.
Some of us knew that the Obama/Holder/Lynch Department of Justice and the Comey FBI were corrupt, but we never imagined how corrupt they would turn out to be.