Michael Horowitz squashed a thousand conspiracy theories about the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane that have been lovingly cultivated by the president and his defenders.
Move over Rudy, and make room for Attorney General William Barr. Whoever he may have once been, Barr’s become another of Donald Trump’s personal lawyers, serving the president first and the country second, if at all.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz had barely pressed the send button concluding that the FBI was justified in its investigation into suspected Russia interference in the Trump campaign and election before Barr was out contradicting it, just like he pre-butted Robert Mueller’s report. The Horowitz report, the AG claimed, “now makes clear that the FBI launched an intrusive investigation of a U.S. presidential campaign on the thinnest of suspicions that, in my view, were insufficient to justify the steps taken.”
The 476-page report made no such thing clear. Quite the opposite. Horowitz squashed a thousand conspiracy theories about the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane that have been lovingly cultivated by the president and his defenders. The IG’s main finding was that the inquiry started “in compliance with Department and FBI policies with no political bias,” but rather with “an authorized investigative purpose.” It did not rely on materials from the infamous Christopher Steele dossier until after the investigation had already been opened. It relied on information about George Papadopoulos, aka coffee boy, received from Australia. There were procedural issues with the application and updates for the FISA warrant, which the FBI will correct. No information derived from the warrant was used. A low-level agent who didn’t follow procedures is gone. And there was no spying on the Trump campaign. Of interest to tabloid readers, the report also notes, in passing, a friendly relationship between Steele and Ivanka Trump.
And it helps restore the good names of, among others, Comey; former FBI Assistant Director Andrew McCabe, whose pension was taken away by Trump; Sally Yates, who was dismissed as acting attorney general for insubordination; and even Rod Rosenstein.
The report is a grave disappointment to Trump, Barr and Republicans who had such high hopes that Horowitz would support Trump’s charge that the FBI was full of “dirty cops,” treasonous and traitorous, responsible for the “oranges of the investigation.”