There is a lot of speculation about what Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, due to be released on Monday, will contain.
While only Attorney General Barr has actually seen the report to this point, the media establishment is spinning the narrative that the report is going to completely contradict Barr’s previous statements and exonerate the FBI for allegations of wrongly monitoring the Trump 2016 campaign, The Hill reports.
What we actually know
What we really know about the IG report right now is very little. The reports surrounding the contents of the report are mostly speculative, since Horowitz has been very tight-lipped throughout the whole process.
The one fact that cannot be denied, however, is that the separate investigation being conducted by U.S. Attorney John Durham, which was launched as a complementary investigation to the IG report, is now a criminal matter.
Based on the information that has been released on that front, at least one FBI employee — albeit a lower-level staffer — purposely manipulated forms used to obtain the FISA warrants at the heart of the matter. The alterations to those forms are believed to be the reason Durham’s investigation is now a criminal matter.
Media stoking conflict
Right now, journalists are trying to drive a wedge between IG Horowitz and AG Barr. Even though nobody has seen the report, the media claims that the IG’s findings will amount to a great, big nothing-burger.
The Los Angeles Times recently published an article stating that the report will completely exonerate the FBI. The fact that at least one person could be headed to jail, however, is not exactly an exoneration on the matter.
As the speculation about the report continues, the Justice Department is telling everyone to pump the brakes and wait for the report before saying anything about it.
Kerri Kupec, a Justice Department spokesperson, stated: “Rather than speculating, people should just read the report for themselves next week, watch the Inspector General’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and draw their own conclusions about these important matters.”
The two things to look for during Horowitz’s testimony are going to be whether exculpatory evidence was wrongly withheld and if procedures were bent to suit a specific purpose.
Even if the initial Russia collusion investigation was launched properly, it still does not mean everything that was done during the investigation was handled properly. There are a lot of different aspects to this investigation than just the premise on which it was initiated.
Considering the high-profile of this investigation and impact it was going to have on the country, every “i” should have been dotted and every “t” should have been crossed. If that did not happen, we can only imagine how sloppy the work was on other investigations — including the one conducted into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.