For all of us who knew “the fix was in” on Hillary and the investigation of her mishandling of classified emails and destruction of evidence, the anticipation of Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report has been like waiting for Godot. (Spoiler alert if you don’t know the play: Godot never arrives.) Now, sources tell Sara A. Carter that our worst fears about this interminable delay may be well-founded, as the report now sits in the hands of the DOJ and FBI.
Now wait just a minute! Aren’t the DOJ and FBI the subjects of this report? Yes, they are. And the report is expected to be scathing. But they get to see it before we do, and no doubt they’ll do whatever they can to lessen its impact: edit, add notes, change wording, redact. Numerous sources tell Carter that everyone mentioned in the report gets to review it before it sees the light of day. The 400-page report (some say 500) is expected to be extremely thorough –- and it better be, considering how long this has taken. Work started almost a year and a half ago.
Although the report has been finished for several weeks, its release has been repeatedly delayed. (Unbelievably, sources told Carter that Horowitz originally delayed releasing it until former FBI Director James Comey’s book tour was over! But I’m thinking that maybe he wanted to find out what Comey was saying in interviews.) It’s not known how long the current review process is going to take. Gosh, it sure will be ironic if the report turns out to criticize the DOJ and FBI for stonewalling, slow-walking and heavily redacting documents, because that’s what they’re probably doing with it RIGHT NOW.
Won’t it be hilarious if it turns out they redacted the part about all the wrongful redacting they do? Of course, somebody would have to get it un-redacted for us to ever know they did that.
Now, who might that person be? Alleged Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation into Trump’s campaign, but this IG report has nothing to do with that. It’s about the way Hillary’s use of a private server to conduct State Department business was investigated --- or not --- by the DOJ and FBI. We already know that her “investigation” was handled very differently from most, so much so that I often feel compelled when discussing it to put quotation marks around the word “investigation.”
Anyway, there is no excuse for Sessions to retreat from this. He needs to take control of it and shine some light on it or be fired. This report concerns Hillary; it has nothing to do with the investigation of Trump, so if Trump fires Sessions over it, no one can say it’s obstruction. (Well, Chuck Schumer and everybody at MSNBC will call it obstruction, but it won’t be.)
So we wait. In the meantime, Congress is still conducting oversight hearings. Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are trying to get Andrew McCabe’s testimony, but he reportedly wants immunity first. (Please don’t give him that; subpoena him and make him plead the Fifth if necessary.) And Bill Priestap, head of the FBI’s counterintelligence division and Peter Strzok’s former boss, was reportedly very cooperative during a closed-door hearing with members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees.
According to a report in The Hill, Priestap was involved in changing the description of Hillary’s handling of classified emails from the potentially criminal “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” He also reviewed and edited the comments James Comey made in July 2016 that he would not be recommending criminal charges against Hillary. It’s good that they got him on the record.
So progress is being made on some fronts, But we’ll have to start screaming for some heads if the IG report is allowed to languish in the very departments it threatens to expose.