Political analyst and commentator Dan Bongino has a great dot-connecting podcast today that outlines the players, motives, moves and intentions surrounding the ongoing Deep Administrative State battle.
It is an excellent presentation in all facets, with one minor gear slightly askew – which CTH will explain. The content is very well presented. Everyone should listen to the podcast. (Hit the little orange arrow):
The only divergence CTH holds to the overall outline is below.
This is not a criticism to the well thought-out Bongino presentation. When compared to our research and the myriad of granular issues that can be overwhelmingly complex, the summary and conclusions of Mr. Bongino are accurate, factual and well delivered. There’s just a part of the process missing from the analysis.
CTH has a worm buried deep in the machine.
Think about the CTH worm like a tiny, seemingly insignificant, gear amid a massive and complex information machine that runs on hundreds of other interconnected gears that work in concert.
Here’s the flaw.
IG Michael Horowitz is *NOT* a decision-maker in the system.
The IG is an evaluator of investigative fact. He holds absolutely no power. The distinction is important. Understanding the distinction is critical.
Within the IG process – a draft report is assembled, exhaustively and painstakingly reconciled, and delivered to the principles. In essence, the DOJ Inspector General presents his findings to his boss.
That’s where things get squirrely.
That’s where Dan Bongino’s excellently prepared outline goes askew.
Mike Horowitz schedules an appointment, shows up and gives his DOJ boss the draft report. [This happens prior to the draft report going to the principles outlined within the report.] The boss says: “Thanks Mike; really, you’ve done an excellent job; please thank your entire team; we’ll take it from here; and we’ll get back to you shortly”.
From that moment, Horowitz no longer has control or input. He has assembled the draft report. The bosses review the draft. Within the bosses review, redactions to the report begin. These are not the type of redactions you are familiar with. There are no black boxes covering up the text.
This type of redacting is actually decisions above the IG’s pay grade. The redactions are removals of report content that become part of classified appendices. The issues the bosses want to see handled with sensitivity are removed. Text is not covered-up, it is removed.
Remember the IG report on FBI misconduct and bias? If so, you might remember there were two classified appendices. This is how the bosses remove the damaging stuff which allows the executive summary of the report to be written in a manner that might be entirely different from the report content.
The decision-making over the removed material (classified appendices) is the opportunity for corrupt DOJ/FBI officials to remove any uncomfortable issues for their interests. This is where the risk is managed. This is where the administrative state protects itself.
Once the “classified” information is removed (“classified” as determined by the officials in control to represent details that are of national security value – and not necessarily based on anything other than their arbitrary opinion), the report is given back to the IG in modified form to allow: (A) the modified draft to be submitted to the external principles for potential feedback and addition; and (B) the executive summary to be written.
The executive summary is formulated to describe what is left visible within the main report. It is a summary of the public version. The executive summary does not draw attention to the classified appendices.
As a result the executive summary may end up being disconnected from the main body of the report because substantive information is now removed and held only in classified appendices.
When the final report is presented, the control over the “national security” appendices is tight and only given to a select set of elected political officials charged with oversight.
As Bongino has eloquently outlined, in this current IG example the oversight team just happens to be the team that is at greatest risk from the content within the draft IG report.
The removed material, the classified and national security appendices, can hold the problematic material that is damaging to the administrative state.
This little known and highly opaque process allows the deep state damage control. It is not a flaw in the system; it is by design. The ‘system’ is not technically influencing the IG report; the ‘system’ is controlling the consequences of the report based on national security interests.
See how that works?
That is the process.
Now…. That’s the bad news. There is, however, a possibility for good news.
Without providing my opinion on the matter; it is a fact the person who Michael Horowitz would normally be calling to schedule the draft report meeting has changed.
Because of the Jeff Sessions recusal issues, the previous two draft reports (¹FBI handling of Clinton email, and ²FBI bias in ’15/’16) were delivered to Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller.
It was Rod and Bob, with input from Chris who said: “Thanks Mike, we’ll take a look and get back to you”; and then proceeded with the removal of *national security* content for placement in the lock-box of classified appendices.
Do the prior IG report consequences, or lack therein, make sense now?
For this third IG report, perhaps the most important IG report, Michael Horowitz should be calling Acting AG Matthew Whitaker to schedule the appointment.
Depending on your confidence in Mr. Whitaker; the very positive potential outcome Dan Bongino describes might be true…. Or, if you are more cynical of the deep state; and your experience has taught you these officials tend to think well ahead of everyone else; that Acting AG appointment might result in the same outcome of the prior two.
To fuel the optimism angle…. Perhaps that’s why Jeff Sessions *needed* to resign.
Perhaps, without knowing the granular details – but on the advice of others, that’s why POTUS Trump agreed to allow the IG to complete his tasks (prior to Sessions removal announcement); with advisors aiding the office in timing etc.
I agree with Bongino that there’s an epic game of political chess afoot within the overarching dynamic. The stakes could not be higher; and if you are one or two degrees wrong in forecasting the motives; you likely can’t anticipate the moves.
So CTH provides the information, you decide what it means.
The good thing is, regardless of how it all ends-up, President Trump *can* request to see all of the report content –and he can declassify it– if the people around the office of the president desire to aid him in doing so.
Then again, the deep state knows this too….