Department of Justice Inspector General (“IG”) Michael Horowitz’s report will finally be made public on Thursday of this week. After an investigation that’s lasted well over a year, I’m cautiously optimistic that the report will answer many questions about the Federal Bureau of Investigation under former Director James Comey and Acting-Director Andrew McCabe and the Justice Department under former Attorney General Loretta Lynch. This report may also help restore some of the American people’s trust that was lost in the FBI and DOJ over the controversial investigations surrounding the 2016 presidential election.
However, as a veteran of Washington, this is not the first highly anticipated government report that I’ve waited on. Once the media drumbeat begins, expectations can build and this time is no exception. The inflammatory allegations that are under investigation are driving public interest. But IG reports are infamous in this town because sometimes they leave you frustrated and wanting more information, like in the case of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi. More times than not they’re short on details, and are usually remembered for what information was redacted or edited as opposed to what actually ends up being disclosed.
That being said, I believe that Inspector General Horowitz understands this is not your everyday IG report that will be thrown into the circular file and forgotten about in a hot second. He must know that he has got to do everything in his power to get this right. The American people want and deserve accountability. After such a long and drawn out investigation, this report must be seen as thorough. If the highlights of the investigation are only that James Comey was “insubordinate” in his actions and Loretta Lynch is “rebuked” for her handling of the Clinton case, that won’t cut the mustard. Americans from coast to coast are eager for serious consequences and criminal referrals, like the one sent to the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia concerning Leakin’ Andy McCabe.
The central question in my opinion is did Hillary Clinton and her cronies get preferential treatment in her email server investigation for political reasons?
There are scores of questions, subject areas, and allegations in play. The central question in my opinion is did Hillary Clinton and her cronies get preferential treatment in her email server investigation for political reasons? If Horowitz finds evidence of this, the natural question is, will there ever be an impartial investigation of the Clinton email scandal and by whom? This is why I along with many others have called for a second special counsel in this case.
Other pressing questions center on James Comey’s infamous exoneration memo that we now know was written months before Hillary Clinton’s FBI interview, as well as what Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton really spoke about during their secret obstruction of justice summit on the tarmac in Phoenix.
There are also many unanswered questions concerning FBI official Peter Strzok’s text message about an “insurance policy” to investigate the Trump campaign and another text that states former President Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing." As you may recall, President Obama went out of his way to ensure the public that the Hillary Clinton email investigation was free from any White House political influence. This text says something entirely different, which leads to the question: what did Barack Obama know and when did he know it?
Inspector General Horowitz and his team certainly had their work cut out for them in this case, but they are not all-powerful. In fact, their jurisdiction ends at the Justice Department’s door. So, for example, who’s going to investigate the serious allegations concerning the Obama-Kerry State Department’s involvement with the fake Russian dossier during the 2016 election?
The American people have a right to know about the activities of former State Department officials Victoria Nuland and Jonathan Winer in facilitating the phony Christopher Steele-Russia dossier and other alleged political opposition research efforts involving Clinton associates Sidney Blumenthal and Cody Shearer. Winer wrote in an op-ed that he met with Steele in 2016 and passed on a summary of what he learned to Nuland, then the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. Prior to that, she served as State Department spokesperson during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary.
Hopefully there’s an ongoing investigation by the State Department Inspector General into these troubling matters already underway, but if there isn’t, one should be demanded by Congress without delay.