On June 14, the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Inspector General Michael Horowitz released his report on the DOJ and FBI investigation of the use by Hillary Clinton of her personal email account when she was Secretary of State. It confirms that leading officials of both those entities, including Attorney General Loretta Lynch and FBI Director James Comey, acted improperly. And it provides devastating evidence that the investigations against Donald Trump do indeed amount to an ongoing “witch hunt.” Although the IG’s report on Russiagate (the allegations of Russian “meddling” and Trump “collusion” in the 2016 presidential election) has not yet been released, one must assume that same bias was in play, given the significant overlap of those investigating both affairs.
The new report found that James Comey was “insubordinate” and operated outside DOJ rules and prosecutorial ethics in the Clinton investigation, in particular in announcing to the press in July 2016, that he thought no charges should be pressed against the Democratic Presidential candidate, which was outside his scope of action. Although the IG concludes that Comey’s actions were not based on political bias, but only of personal arrogance, there is enough evidence that his systemic violation of DOJ procedure and ethical rules justified his termination by President Trump. Thus, the report indirectly refutes one of the charges that special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to prove, namely that Trump “obstructed justice” by firing Comey.
Beyond the former FBI Director himself, the report provides evidence of the outright hostility toward Donald Trump exhibited by the FBI officials entrusted by Comey with leading the investigation into Russiagate. According to Rep. Trey Gowdy, who had previously denounced the attacks on the FBI, the report “conclusively shows an alarming destructive level of animus displayed by top officials at the FBI…. Bias so pernicious and malignant as to both taint the process, the result, and the ability to have confidence in either.”
The most explicit animus is in the texts exchanged by lead FBI investigator Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI attorney Lisa Page, who worked under since-fired Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. In one, Strzok vowed he would do what is necessary to “stop Trump”, whom he described in a string of vulgar terms. Strzok was the lead agent in both the Clinton case and Russiagate, and Comey personally defended him as one of the few FBI officials he trusted to do the work.
The obvious bias of others interviewed during the IG’s investigation is documented in the report. And yet the IG accepted their claims of objectivity and professionalism.
Moreover, in the course of the investigation, the IG found many instances of FBI officials who were leaking secret information on the various investigations to the media, Comey among them, which is, of course, illegal.