The Justice Dept Inspector General report on FBI corruption is now available [pdf].
The report is 568 pages long. I guarantee that almost every news report you read about it today will be based not on a careful reading of the entire report, but on a reading of its executive summary plus some quick dives into relevant but juicy segments within.
Nonetheless, this paragraph in the executive report I think is significant:
During the course of the review, the OIG [Office of the Inspector General] discovered text messages and instant messages between some FBI employees on the [FBI] investigation team, conducted using FBI mobile devices and computers, that expressed statements of hostility toward then candidate Donald Trump and statements of support for then candidate Clinton.
The quote that is making the biggest headlines so far is Peter Strzok’s statement, in response to Lisa Page’s text that Trump might win, that “No, no he’s not, we’ll stop it.”
However, I did a quick scan of chapter twelve of the report, which is focused on all the texts by FBI officials, and find that this is merely one very minor example of a deeply partisan FBI that was closely aligned with the Democratic Party. Not only were Strzok and Page passionately willing to use the FBI’s powers overturn a legal election because they didn’t like the winning candidate, a Republican, there were other agents that felt the same way.
My own read of the executive summary shows that most of the report covers ground that has already been revealed in past news reports. The report does reveal that former FBI director James Comey was generally incompetent, not partisan. He had a very hot potato in his hands (clearly illegal acts by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton), and didn’t know how to handle the situation. He tried to abstain, then found this was a bad idea. In the end, he only made things worse for everyone, including himself. Moreover, his waffling and inability to demand a straightforward and honest investigation allowed partisan subordinates like Strzok, Page, and others to misuse the FBI and its powers to play politics and corrupt the agency’s investigations.
And without doubt the FBI did misuse its powers and investigative position. This report puts a stain on everything it does, now and into the future. And the bottom line remains the same: The culture in the Washington bureaucracy, and in the FBI, is blindly partisan, and willing to do illegal acts to help the Democratic Party. Trump had better start cleaning house soon, or else this modern praetorian guard will overthrown our democracy.
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