The usurping group of FBI and DOJ officials we have called “the small group” have an established set of media operatives and outlets aligned to assist their narrative. Tonight Devlin Barrett (Lisa Page and Peter Strzok’s favorite narrative engineer) publishes a report in the Washington Post highlighting their concerns.
According to the WaPo Inspector General Michael Horowitz is not allowing the ‘small group’ to provide written rebuttals to the IG report on FISA abuse during their principal reviews. The outline by Devlin on behalf of the group also confirms our timeline.
Nothing in that series of paragraphs is unusual.
The “Top Secret” refers to classified material inside the FISA report which we already knew about. Remember, President Trump authorized AG Bill Barr to declassify material in order to assist the IG investigation [Directive Here]. Until the report is made public all of that underlying material is classified. Hence some special handling is needed and no notes etc. are permitted. It’s not a conspiracy, it’s a matter of process handling.
The material inside the report is classified until the report is made public. Ergo the report itself must be handled ‘as if’ it is Top Secret classified, because technically it still is.
The principal review phase under IG Horowitz generally lasts two weeks, ten business days. Each principal only is allowed to see the segments that pertain to their specifics. Each principal may provide feedback to how the report outlines their activity. The IG may, or may not (not required), include comments from the principal in the final report. If principal comment is included the IG will generally present rebuttal evidence.
In all draft reviews the principals are required to sign non-disclosure agreements; this prevents leaks. Nothing about this is extraordinary. However, in this example it appears Horowitz is trying to speed up the release by not waiting for the legions of lawyers to submit written responses for consideration. Instead Horowitz is recording any commentary and will transcribe into the final report if he feels it warrants inclusion.
Again, other than oral comments (to be transcribed), as opposed to written responses from the lawyers, nothing about this is unusual. This is the standard process.
Considering the number of lawyers involved this decision by Horowitz makes sense.
There is likely to be a flood of spin from the PR teams behind each principal outlined in the report. Lawyers for James Comey and Andrew McCabe will be using every angle of Lawfare imaginable to attempt to shape their clients image within the report.
Lawyers, Lawfare legal teams, and DC-based PR consultants for Sally Yates, John Carlin, Mary McCord, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Hillary Clinton, James Baker, Michael Kortan, Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann, Chris Steele, Glen Simpson, Nellie Ohr, Bruce Ohr, John Brennan, James Clapper and many more will all be working at courtroom rates to control any report damage for their clients.
The Obama administration will be working in the background, while Fusion-GPS takes in fees and pays their primary journalists and narrative engineers premium rates for column inches that protect their client interests. This is one big confab of interests all positioning to control any negative impressions and highlight their magnanimous patriotic activity.
The timing is exactly as we suspected, ten business days for principal review ending next Friday November 21st (week prior to Thanksgiving).
This gives the inspector general a few days to tidy up the added comments, pass the rebuttals through the final IG referencer check, and then release a public report. Likely that release would be the week after Thanksgiving, though it could possibly be released as early as Thanksgiving week.
The executive summary is almost guaranteed to have been written already. Perhaps the executive summary was part of AG Bill Barr’s briefing in the White House today along with the discussions of Chinese (5G) software and national security matters.
Undoubtedly, AG Bill Barr has to inform President Trump what material he declassified for the IG as part of the directive he was given by President Trump in May of this year. It is possible, perhaps likely, AG Barr informed President Trump of that material today.
[AGAIN – SEE THE DIRECTIVE]
WHITE HOUSE – By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby direct the following:
Section 1. Agency Cooperation.
The Attorney General is currently conducting a review of intelligence activities relating to the campaigns in the 2016 Presidential election and certain related matters. The heads of elements of the intelligence community, as defined in 50 U.S.C. 3003(4), and the heads of each department or agency that includes an element of the intelligence community shall promptly provide such assistance and information as the Attorney General may request in connection with that review.
Sec. 2. Declassification and Downgrading.
With respect to any matter classified under Executive Order 13526 of December 29, 2009 (Classified National Security Information), the Attorney General may, by applying the standard set forth in either section 3.1(a) or section 3.1(d) of Executive Order 13526, declassify, downgrade, or direct the declassification or downgrading of information or intelligence that relates to the Attorney General’s review referred to in section 1 of this memorandum. (link)
At the conclusion of Attorney General Bill Barr’s oval office meeting today with President Trump, the president held a session with the White House communications team prior to a late departure for the Louisiana rally.