If Senator Lindsey Graham is correct – tomorrow the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz will release a much anticipated review, looking into how the FBI and DOJ used an application to the FISA court to investigate the Trump campaign. There are wide-ranging opinions about what exactly this report may, or may not, outline.
The IG review has been ongoing for 21 months. This report is anticipated to be a culmination of that investigative effort. The ‘tick-tock club’ of Sean Hannity, Sara Carter, John Solomon and various Fox pundits have promised the report will be the most devastating outline of gross FBI and DOJ misconduct in the history of IG review.
Additionally, a network of financially dependent social media voices, book writers, podcast pundits and Q-theorists collectively known as the ‘trusty plan group’, have predicted criminal indictments, wide-scale arrests and a shock to the DC system that will fracture the foundation of the administrative state and simultaneously drain the swamp.
Meanwhile the Lawfare group has been the most visible advocacy network for the current and former DOJ and FBI officials who participated in setting up and using the FISA surveillance system now under IG review. The Lawfare group has stated the IG report will exonerate all of their pre and post election activity; validate the justification for their predicate efforts; and leave the ‘tick-tockers’ and ‘trusty planners’ having to reconcile to their stunned audiences how they interpreted all the data so incredibly wrong.
A review of the last three IG reports which brush up against the same DOJ and FBI network: (1) IG review Clinton email/FBI conduct; (2) IG review of McCabe/media leaks; and (3) IG review of James Comey conduct; shows the IG report on FISA is likely to come down somewhere in the middle. ie. mistakes were made; poor judgements were evident; some unprofessional conduct was found; some lack of candor was identified; department policies were not followed; but no direct evidence of intentional wrongdoing was attributable to a coordinated political effort.
If prior IG reports are predictive we should see something akin to:
…Everyone collectively just happened to make identical mistakes, at the same time, in the same direction, together with all the administrative staff within all intelligence organizations… many of them were professionally trained lawyers… but no-one did anything wrong on purpose….
Remember the modern mantra for DOJ definitions of legality are all about “intent“.
Defining statutory violations by the intent of the violator is specifically attributable to how President Obama, AG Eric Holder and AG Loretta Lynch changed the entire enterprise of lawful application to make outcomes arbitrary, variable, changeable to the situation.
The IRS targeting wasn’t unlawful because it wasn’t intentional. The death of four Americans due to sketchy CIA and State Dept. operations in Benghazi was not unlawful because the risky situation wasn’t created intentionally. Hillary Clinton’s private email server with classified information wasn’t “intentional”, etcetera – etcetera, the list is long.
The nice thing about switching to definitions of lawbreaking by “intent” is the ease in arbitrary application. Republican targets ‘intended’ to violate laws… Democrat targets, well, not-so-much. Fluidity is a necessary oil amid a two-tiered administrative state.
If you elevate, I mean really elevate, and look at the bigger issue inside each of the examples there’s a connective thread surrounding a purposeful shift in accountability for broken laws by focusing on “criminal intent.”
“Intent”, not consequence, is now the larger shield being applied toward excusing the action of people within institutions of government and society. Consider:
Ah yes, Hillary Clinton was not guilty or accountable because FBI Director James Comey said they couldn’t prove intent….. But the statute doesn’t require intent… But the DOJ said ignore the statute, they require it… and so it goes.
Also see years of Inspector General internal investigations culminating in the very familiar phrase: “declined to prosecute”; yup, they all surrounded intent.
Apparently anyone who breaks the law (lies) while inside the DOJ or FBI didn’t intend to… While lawbreakers (fibbers) outside the FBI/DOJ offices are intentful sons-of-bitches.
The “intent” issue extends everywhere….
Illegal alien entry, and accountability for fraud, all downplayed because there’s no proof of intent. Walk down a pier in San Francisco and shoot a girl in the head… your honor, my client didn’t intend to do it. The focus on intent -a specific decision made within the administration of a modern justice system- has become a shield against consequence.
It was a “mistake”…. he/she/it made “a poor decision” etc. A pattern of obfuscation downplaying consequence and allowing those decision-makers charged with delivering accountability to withdraw or apply the rules of law based on their individual overlay of ‘intent’.
That shift is factually visible everywhere now.
The prior IG report by Horowitz [FBI bias & investigative outcome] was fraught with the application of ‘intent’ inside the inspectors explanation of absent evidence toward bias.
Each of these examples does not seem to be arbitrary, but rather connected to a more consequential decision by those in power to water-down accountability and open the doors for further abuse.
If the official didn’t ‘intend’ to do wrong, or more specifically if the people in position of delivering accountability for the wrong-doing cannot find specific intent, then the action is less-than regardless of outcome.
Consider what FBI officials were doing inside the FBI regarding media-leaks, then insert the James Wolfe example here & ask yourself how could they ever hold him accountable?
Pro Tip: They didn’t.
Following along the ideological lines we can all see how a shift to ‘intent’ can become a very serious issue within a corrupt system.
Within that system, and against that purposeful filter and determination, plausible deniability becomes the construct for intentional criminal engagement.
The illegal alien voter didn’t intend to violate the law… therefore no law was violated. The Democrats who ballot-harvested illegal alien registration didn’t intend to violate the voting integrity statute… therefore no statute was violated. Everyone just, well, made a mistake.
A corrupt official doesn’t even need to put a finger on the scales of justice, once the scales are intentionally mis-calibrated like this.
If you wonder why there is such an overall sense of anxiety, poor conduct, lack of virtue and general unease within the recent landscape…. I would deposit the likelihood all of the unnerving instability around us is being caused by this shift away from consequence based entirely on ‘intent‘.
Brazen unlawfulness and abuses are now subject to arbitrary determinations of intent.
According to the current DOJ legal proceedings Michael Flynn the outsider intended to lie… FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, the insider, didn’t:
It’s this weird mish-mosh world where changing your party registration before you
defraud your investors rob the bank might just help you out if you get caught.
From all current indications FBI Director Christopher Wray is directing his organization to spend more time filling the cracks in the dam (bias training) -trying to hold back the tide of electoral anger- than they are doing actual FBI work. Which begs the question….
….did Bill Barr purchase scuba gear?