Earlier this month, the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Justice released a 568-page report which determined that former FBI Director James Comey acted insubordinately during his investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unlawful private email server.
The report was welcomed by Democrats and Republicans alike, as it offered supporting evidence to both sides that Comey and the email probe helped/hurt Clinton/Donald Trump in the 2016 election. (RELATED: IG Watchdog: James Comey Broke the Rules in Hillary Clinton Investigation).
However, the fact that the email probe either helped or hurt your preferred candidate should not be what’s taken away from the IG report. The real takeaway here is that the FBI influenced the election of a president, period.
Here’s exactly how Comey and the FBI affected the 2016 election.
James Comey’s “extraordinary and insubordinate” actions “negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.” While DOJ IG Michael Horowitz remarkably did not accuse Comey of bias in his report, he did determine that Comey’s decision to go over the heads of his superiors with regards to his July 5, 2016 statement recommending against prosecution of Clinton “negatively impacted” the public’s perception of the FBI and DOJ “as fair administrators of justice.” Indeed, the election was just over four months away when Comey held his infamous press conference, and his statement provided confirmation bias for both camps: those in favor of Clinton took it as proof of her innocence, while those in favor of Trump took it as proof of establishment corruption – and both groups subsequently carried those opposing viewpoints with them into the voting booth in November.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s tarmac meeting with Bill Clinton was an “error in judgment.” Horowitz criticizes former AG Loretta Lynch for not being more sensitive to public perceptions when she agreed to meet privately with Bill Clinton aboard an airplane in the midst of the FBI investigation into Hillary’s email server. “Lynch’s failure to recognize the appearance problem… and to take action to cut the visit short was an error in judgment,” Horowitz writes. Arguably, Lynch should not have met with Clinton at all, in public or in private. But the fact that she was caught doing so certainly looked fishy – and therefore negatively influenced public perception.
Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. While proof of anti-Trump bias and collusion between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, did not emerge until after the election, Horowitz comes down hard on them in his report. Indeed, a text exchange between Strzok and Page released for the first time in the report provides evidence that the two intended to prevent Trump from being elected:
Mr. Trump is “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Ms. Page wrote.
“No,” Mr. Strzok wrote. “No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
To many, the above points are undeniable proof that the FBI investigation was biased, either one way or the other. Horowitz, however, didn’t see it that way, and chalked up the actions of Comey, Lynch, Strzok, Page, et al. as irresponsible “user error.”
Even so, we should not dismiss the one glaring fact made disturbingly clear in the report: the FBI played a role in the 2016 election, and Robert Mueller is going down the wrong rabbit hole.
Source: The American Conservative