Count yourself lucky if you didn’t have to sit through Monday’s impeachment spectacle. I wonder if anyone whose job description doesn’t include covering it is actually tuning in at this point. Maybe some of the most virulent Trump-haters enjoy watching lawyers asking other lawyers pre-scripted questions (carefully rehearsed over the weekend), but let me tell you, it was torturous. I really don’t want to be lectured about the “facts” and the law by the likes of Al “impeach-him-again” Green or that attorney/Democrat megadonor Dan Goldman, who would argue that up was down if it helped his side. (News flash, Judiciary Dems: an opinion piece from the WASHINGTON POST is NOT evidence.)
In short, this was almost indescribably awful. There were a few high points, though, so I’ll offer up one of the finer moments for your viewing pleasure. Watch this and share my pride in outspoken Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert…
This travesty simply is what it is, and it will have to play out. (Articles of impeachment reportedly will be submitted Tuesday.) But it seems to me that the longer it goes on, the easier it is to see how just WRONG it is, in so many ways: in terms of fact, logic, ethics, tradition, justice or any other way you want to look at it. Some people, if they hear that 2+2=5 long enough, will believe it, but you and I and millions of others will not bow to the lie. Hold tight till we get to the Senate, when 2+2 will equal 4 again.
Byron York called this effort a “preemptive impeachment,” recalling a WAPO report that Judiciary Committee Democrats sent letters to more than 80 people in March of this year “demanding all communications from a host of controversies surrounding Trump” and used their new majority power to start a broad range of investigations targeting him. Keep in mind, these are the same people who now seem so deeply, gravely concerned at the prospect of a government official using his or her office to investigate political opponents. Good grief, this is exactly what they themselves have been doing.
Moving to the IG report, it was finally released on Monday, and before “journalists” had read more than a couple sentences of the more than 400 pages, the spin began. All Democrats had to do was grab the one incongruous conclusion –- that there was sufficient “predicate” (reason) to open an investigation into the Trump campaign’s possible Russia ties regardless of agents’ bias –- and start spreading the fertilizer. Recall my warning that internal investigations tend to conclude this way and that Horowitz has a history; he ludicrously decided that bias didn’t affect the outcome of the Hillary email case. This apparently is the way he rolls.
HOWEVER, as anyone who bothers to actually read the report will see, it is devastating to the FBI. And, with all due respect to Mr. Horowitz, the only way this spectacular set of screw-ups can be explained is that it was done deliberately to sabotage Trump. This obvious conclusion will be scrupulously avoided by mainstream media, of course, as long as that is possible. But it’s already known by AG Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham, head of the DOJ’s criminal investigation into the handling of the “Trump/Russia” investigation.
Think of the IG report as a roadmap for Durham, who is free to take his investigation much farther, subpoenaing witnesses (anyone he wants –- not just government employees), impaneling a grand jury, and filing criminal charges. As critical as we might be of Horowitz, remember that he was operating with much less access to evidence than Durham has. Just look at how some of Horowitz’ prospective witnesses, even at the FBI, were able to dodge him. That Comey truly is a snake.
Durham must have turned up something pretty big for him to release a statement that reads in part, “...last month we advised the Inspector General that we do not agree with some of the report’s conclusions as to predication and how the FBI case was opened.”
Durham, unlike the political hacks who upon the release of the report were already spinning like mad, got it weeks ago and by now can probably recite it from memory. Conservative Treehouse offers an excellent explanation of why Durham felt compelled to issue such a rebuke on the day of its release.
The major conflict emerges on page ii of the Executive Summary, “The Opening of Crossfire Hurricane and Four Individual Cases.” (I’ll link to the story below, which contains highlighted portions.) This passage shows essentially what I’ve been saying: that Horowitz had little evidence to go on, just a small part of the picture, in assessing the “predicate.” This article details how it all boils down to one key difference: Durham has interviewed Alexander Downer and Joseph Mifsud, and Horowitz has not.
Horowitz questioned FBI officials about the reason for the opening of Crossfire Hurricane on July 31, 2016, and the only evidence anyone cited was the conversation between George Papadoupolos and Alexander Downer on July 26 of that year, in which Papadopoulos allegedly told Downer he’d heard the Russians had emails damaging to Hillary. You and I know --- and I hope you’ve read Papadopoulos’ book DEEP STATE TARGET --- that there was much more to his interactions with “confidential human sources” (SPIES) and that it appears he was set up by Mifsud to be “fed” the Hillary story. This is apparently what Durham and Barr have been looking into.
The article makes the case that, in examining the Horowitz and Durham conclusions, the one variable of significance is Mifsud. Mifsud wasn’t in the CHS (“confidential human source”) database for the FBI, but it’s explained why he really couldn’t have been a Russian operative, either. So, and this is key: somebody else was “running” him. The article points ultimately to...drum roll, please...John Brennan, theorizing that CIA asset Stefan Halper was working Mifsud, thus leaving Brennan with plausible deniability so he could later feel free to go around telling huge whoppers on MSNBC.
But, rest assured, Durham KNOWS. This is much a bigger case than Horowitz has been able and/or willing to make, and it’s going to come out.
If you still don’t think Durham’s got the goods on those “deep state” hoaxers, read this excellent piece by Roger L. Simon. My thoughts exactly!
And I’m saving the best for last. This report by George Neumayr for AMERICAN SPECTATOR explains why the left’s spin on the Horowitz report is wrong, and why Trump, from the start, has been right about the “witch hunt.” To quote Neumayr: “”If anything, the report makes the FBI look like a politically crude amateur hour. By relying so heavily on Hillary Clinton’s opposition researcher Christopher Steele, the FBI basically let her purchase FISA warrants against her opponent’s campaign.” Whew, a must-read.