The Justice Department inspector general’s report is due to be released anytime now and it could be very explosive. Attorney General Jeff Sessions bluntly came out and said that the long-awaited watchdog report on the Hillary Clinton email case could lead to perhaps a mass firing. Workers at the White House is on edge waiting to see what is in the report. The report reviews the FBI and DOJ’s handling of that case and should be released today. Anyone connected to that investigation is not safe by any means here.
In an exclusive interview with The Hill’s new Internet show “Rising” on Wednesday, Sessions said the option of “termination” is on the table for those accused of serious wrongdoing. “If anyone else shows up in this report to have done something that requires termination we will do so,” Sessions said. IG Michael Horowitz is sure to nail several people in the report.
“I think it will be a lengthy report and a careful report,” Sessions said, adding that he thinks it will “help us better fix any problems that we have and reassure the American people that some of the concerns that have been raised are not true.” Well, I hope so. But most Americans are convinced that their concerns are indeed true and are just waiting to see if any of these politicians will, in fact, have to answer for their alleged crimes. Sessions is not the most reliable source anymore on this. His credibility has been damaged by missteps and inaction while attorney general.
For instance, former FBI Director James Comey “deviated” from bureau and Justice Department procedures in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton, damaging the agencies’ image of impartiality even though he wasn’t motivated by politics, the department’s watchdog reportedly said according to Bloomberg. “While we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part, we nevertheless concluded that by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice,” Inspector General Michael Horowitz said in the report’s conclusions, which were obtained by Bloomberg News.
Comey was fired in May 2017, upon recommendation by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. His handling of the Clinton case was cited, though President Trump later indicated the Russia probe was also a factor. Trump has continued to label that investigation as a “witch hunt” and is likely to seize on the IG findings to further question the FBI’s integrity. At the same time, some of the IG findings may hit the bureau for actions seen as harmful to Clinton. Again, let’s hope so. Even Sessions believes the firing of Comey was justified. “It was the right thing to do. The facts were pretty clear on it. He made a big mistake and he testified only a few weeks before the termination that he would do it again [announce reopening the Clinton probe] if he had the opportunity,” Sessions said.
Topics the inspector general reviewed include Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that no prosecutor would find grounds to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for improperly handling classified information on her private email server, as well as Comey’s decision to inform Congress only days before the election that the Clinton investigation was being re-opened. Comey’s public announcement of findings angered Republicans, while his reopening of the inquiry outraged Democrats.
“I think it’s going to put a lot of the missing pieces in this giant puzzle together,” House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said on Fox News. Among the officials expected to come under scrutiny in the report are former FBI Director James Comey, then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and FBI official Peter Strzok. Both Comey and McCabe have already been fired in connection with all this. Others have resigned in anticipation of these findings.
From Fox News on McCabe:
“McCabe wasn’t fired until March of this year, following a separate inspector general finding that he leaked a self-serving story to the press and later lied about it to Comey and federal investigators. Horowitz’s office sent a criminal referral for McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington.”
“In this report, though, Horowitz has investigated whether McCabe should have recused himself from the Clinton email investigation due to this family’s ties to the Democratic Party. He did not decide to do so until a week before the election. McCabe could also come under scrutiny over the timeline of his knowledge of additional Clinton-tied emails found on disgraced Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop. McCabe and others knew that the emails were found as early as September 2016, but the FBI did not work to obtain a warrant to review them until October.”
“This week, lawyers representing McCabe filed a suit against the Justice Department and the FBI alleging that they wouldn’t give up files connected to his firing.”
Strzok is a different matter here. He was not fired. Instead, he was re-assigned from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to the FBI’s Human Resources Department last year. He came under fire when Horowitz found a trove of anti-Trump text messages between him and former FBI employee Lisa Page, with whom he was allegedly romantically involved. She has since resigned. Considering his texts smearing, attacking and ranting over President Trump, the guy should be gone. At least one email hinted at a coup of the presidency. I don’t know why Strzok still has a job frankly.
Loretta Lynch is also being sized up over the infamous Arizona tarmac meeting with former President Bill Clinton, just days before the FBI announced it would not press criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. Lynch has claimed she and the former president only discussed “innocuous things” and that the meeting was just a “chance encounter.” They talked about grandchildren… right.
Horowitz is expected to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee next week on the report. By then, numerous people could lose their job.
Is this what Trump calls “draining the swamp?”
What do you think should happen?