A new report just released suggests that an upcoming Inspector General report may rule that both the FBI and Justice Department officials broke the law when it came to the handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Today investigative reporter Paul Sperry confirmed that the Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz has “found ‘reasonable grounds’ that there has been a blatant violation of federal criminal law in the FBI/DOJ’s handling of the Clinton investigation/s,” adding that the top watchdog official has “referred his findings of potential criminal misconduct to Huber for possible criminal prosecution.”
This all came about amongst growing calls for a second special counsel like the Mueller investigative team to probe the Clinton email fiasco along with other FISA abuses that took place during the 2016 election within the Clinton Campaign.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced back in March that he had appointed John Huber who is one of Utah’s top federal prosecutor to look into any potential wrongdoing. The inspector’s report has now been submitted for review.
It’s being reported that this report’s findings are to be made public by the end of this month.
Here is more on this via The Wall Street Journal: “Multiple subjects of a report on the Justice Department’s handling of a 2016 investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email use have been notified that they can privately review the report by week’s end, signaling the long-awaited document is nearing release.
The report is likely to reignite the volatile debate over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s handling of the Clinton probe, and it will put Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department’s inspector general, in a familiar place—taking aim at members of the law enforcement community.
Those invited to review the report were told they would have to sign nondisclosure agreements in order to read it, people familiar with the matter said. They are expected to have a few days to craft a response to any criticism in the report, which will then be incorporated in the final version to be released in coming weeks.
Mr. Horowitz told lawmakers last month he expected to issue the report in May, but Tuesday’s notification is the first indication that Mr. Horowitz has largely completed his inquiry. Congressional committees are expected to review the report in coming weeks.
Mr. Horowitz’s office issued a related report last month, which laid the groundwork for the firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, finding that he misled investigators probing his role in providing information to a reporter for The Wall Street Journal. Mr. McCabe disputed the allegations, which have been referred to the Washington U.S. attorney’s office to determine whether he should be charged with a crime.
The inspector general’s yearlong review is expected to yield sharp criticism of actions by several top officials, including former FBI Director James Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that Mrs. Clinton had been reckless with the nation’s secrets but he was recommending against prosecuting her.
The report is also expected to scrutinize whether Mr. McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton investigation, since his wife’s campaign for the Virginia legislature was aided by then- Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton ally. And it is likely to criticize the numerous texts exchanged by two FBI employees critical of President Donald Trump and others.
Beyond that, the document’s release will shine an unusual spotlight on Mr. Horowitz, the Justice Department’s in-house watchdog since 2012.
Inspectors general, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate, don’t automatically change with administrations, a way of maintaining their independence. Their probes often involve interviews with dozens of witnesses and can produce reports months or even years after a problem comes to light.
In January 2017, Mr. Horowitz announced a review of Mr. Comey’s public statements on the Clinton investigation and related matters. Since then, officials have been bracing for his report, which has occasionally been in the news, such as when he released the related report on Mr. McCabe last month.
The McCabe report drew the ire of one of Mr. Horowitz’s predecessors, Michael Bromwich, an attorney who now represents Mr. McCabe and who said he had evidence that contradicted the initial report’s findings.
No stranger to antagonizing his colleagues, Mr. Horowitz spent several years as chief of the public-corruption unit in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office in the 1990s. In that role he helped prosecute more than a dozen police officers from New York’s 30th Precinct who were accused of stealing money and drugs from criminal suspects and reselling the drugs.
He authorized the arrest of the officers just as a colleague was planning to use them as witnesses in a major drug case.
“It not only involved proceeding against law enforcement, which is your day-to-day partner in fighting crime…it also had negative impacts on other cases in the office, and needed to be handled with skill, sensitivity and all those things Michael has,” said Mary Jo White, who was U.S. attorney and Mr. Horowitz’s boss at the time.
Mr. Horowitz also served as an official at Justice Department headquarters in Washington and spent a decade in private practice. He was appointed by President George W. Bush to the U.S. Sentencing Commission and nominated by President Barack Obama to the inspector general post, which his supporters cite as a sign of bipartisan respect.
At his confirmation hearing, Mr. Horowitz cited the police corruption case and another prosecution involving the Teamsters that also disrupted colleagues’ work, saying they showed he could maintain his independence from people he had worked with for many years.
“I wasn’t interested in winning popularity contests as the head of the corruption unit,” he said. “I was instructed by the U.S. attorney to doggedly pursue corruption, to be independent of the other units in the office, and that’s precisely what I did.”
At that hearing, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) pressed Mr. Horowitz on whether he could be impartial toward the then-head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, whom Mr. Horowitz had publicly supported. Mr. Horowitz said he would pursue “every avenue in that case, no matter who’s involved.”
Several months later, Mr. Horowitz’s office released a report on the botched “Fast and Furious” g*n-trafficking operation, in which officials lost track of g**s sold to suspected smugglers. The report faulted Mr. Breuer for not promptly informing superiors about a similar operation he had learned of in 2010.
Some Obama Justice Department officials criticized that report as applying simplistic hindsight to complex episodes during which the proper course of action wasn’t always clear.
Officials generally say they expect Mr. Horowitz to reach good faith conclusions in the coming report. “Horowitz is open-minded and fair,” said Matthew Miller, who ran the Justice Department’s public affairs office when the “Fast and Furious” operation first became public.”