Inspector General Michael Horowitz was the first person assigned to “investigate the investigators” of the Trump campaign and 2016 Russian influence in the election. He was the guy many patriots felt would finally expose the cabal of Deep State actors in Washington DC who manufactured crimes in order to prevent Trump from winning in 2016 or to remove him from office if they were unsuccessful. Both attempts have failed, and as we continue on with round three of “Deep State Tries to Take Down Trump” with the impeachment debacle, many had looked to Horowitz to be the Deep State slayer.
If reports from multiple news agencies are correct, he’s not the guy.
Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said.
Mr. Horowitz referred his findings about Mr. Clinesmith to prosecutors for a potential criminal charge. Mr. Clinesmith left the Russia investigation in February 2018 after the inspector general identified him as one of a handful of F.B.I. officials who expressed animus toward Mr. Trump in text messages and resigned about two months ago, after the inspector general’s team interviewed him.
Though Mr. Trump’s allies have seized on the messages from Mr. Clinesmith and his colleagues as proof of anti-Trump bias, Mr. Clinesmith has not been a prominent figure in the partisan firefight over the investigation. His lawyer declined to comment, as did a spokeswoman for Mr. Horowitz.
It’s best to reserve judgment until the IG report is released December 9th, but it doesn’t look good. If Kevin Clinesmith is the only person implicated in this mess, then the IG investigation is a failure. It could even be a cover up. It will certainly get the left saying, “See, there was no conspiracy against the President.” But how will the right react?
Some will say this is the smoking gun and the fact that Clinesmith was a low-level player doesn’t mean he wasn’t working on behalf of bigger fish. They will still point to James Comey, James Clapper, Peter Strzok, John Brennan, and other higher-level Department of Justice players who were working against President Trump. But that’s not what the IG report will say, according to news stories being published about it. The report will essentially clear the big boys while laying out Clinesmith as the scapegoat.
According to the report, Clinesmith edited at least one email to make it more damning of the Trump campaign in hopes of sparking the FISA warrants and renewals. It will say he did this of his own accord and without the knowledge or prompting of his superiors. It will not point to a Deep State conspiracy but will instead say a low-level employee snuck in his own thoughts to help the cause.
He’s the perfect scapegoat. He was removed from the Mueller investigation because of clear bias against the President. He noted in a text message when asked if he would stay at his position within the Trump administration by texting, “Viva la resistance.” He’s low enough on the totem pole to absolve everyone above him with degrees of separation between him and any real power players in the bureaucracy. In other words, he’s the right guy to hang out to dry.
Some in conservative media are doing their part in putting the news out there. Don’t get me wrong – this really is a big deal and proof of wrongdoing that led the nation down the rabbit hole of investigations and hoaxes. But it’s a Pyrrhic victory because it doesn’t get to what many of us believe is the heart of the matter: A Deep State attempt to take down the President.
Nevertheless, it’s still important and the news should be broadcast far and wide:
‘Here We Go’: Former FBI Official Under Criminal Investigation For Altering FISA Docs; Trump Responds
President Trump highlighted the news on social media early Thursday, tweeting, “‘Former FBI Employee Accused of Altering FISA Documents.’ Hello, here we go!”
In its report detailing the alleged FISA warrant alteration, CNN attempts to tamp down the potential significance of the accusation, stressing that its sources insist that “the situation did not sway an independent Justice Department watchdog from finding the surveillance was valid,” but acknowledging the major political ramifications of the development.
The alleged alteration of the FISA information “did not change Horowitz’s finding that the FISA application had a legal basis,” CNN reports, citing the The Washington Post. “Some witnesses who have been interviewed in Horowitz’s investigation have said they expect the inspector general to find mistakes in the FBI’s handling of the FISA process, but that those mistakes do not undermine the premise for the FBI’s investigation.”
Now, attention turns to John Brennan, the U.S. Attorney put in charge of the DoJ’s official investigation of the investigators. It was curious that Attorney General William Barr would double up on efforts so soon. Normally, it’s prudent to wait for the IG report and using recommendations within it to determine whether a full-blown investigation is necessary. But Barr pushed forward early, and now we may have an indication of why. It’s important that this investigation is completed before the 2020 election. Had Barr waited, there may not have been enough time to get charges on the table.
If Michael Horowitz won’t take down the Deep State, perhaps he’s a part of it. If so, it makes AG Barr’s move to assign John Durham to investigate the investigators that much more important. And wise.
We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.
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