As the IG report made clear, officials who assessed Steele’s credibility did so with “medium confidence” and found Steele’s reporting was “minimally corroborated.”
During a January 2017 interview to assess Steele’s credibility, Steele’s primary source contradicted his claim that a sensational rumor about Trump watching prostitutes urinating in a Moscow hotel had been confirmed. Also, Steele had claimed his top source had been speaking with a former senior Russian official for a while. The source told the FBI they’d never met. Still, the Russian probe continued.
Too many journalists seem to have forgotten that the intelligence community is not supposed to spy on Americans. So, of course, CNN didn’t broadcast Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham’s opening statement on the IG report. It’s not news.
What really angers the folks at CNN? Barr’s use of the word “spying.” (Too accurate.)
In this news cycle, issues have been replaced by fact-resistant narratives — to wit, James Comey, Boy Scout. The IG report shredded any notion of Comey as a ramrod straight lawman standing up for what is right against bully President Donald Trump.
While Horowitz didn’t find partisan bias as the cause for the Russian probe, he found plenty of anti-Trump bias.
It’s impossible to believe that the investigation would have continued if these tawdry allegations had been hurled against a member of the Washington establishment, say, an incumbent senator. Or a former secretary of state.
I would not discount the effect of arrogance among law enforcement elites or the corrosive effect of using and over-relying on confidential sources. This wouldn’t be the first time the FBI picked on someone just because it could.
Horowitz catalogued 17 errors or omissions in applications to wiretap former Trump adviser Carter Page, who served as an operational contact for a government agency for five years. On CNN and MSNBC, one often hears — for good reason — about the threats faced by whistleblowers and those who testified against Trump. But you don’t see a lot of tears for Page.
“From the day news of the investigation broke, I have faced threats to my life and have been forced to live like a fugitive. I still don’t feel safe enough to establish a fixed residence,” Page wrote in the Journal.
As Horowitz told the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday, “The activities we found here don’t vindicate anybody who touched this.”
There was much at stake in this probe — and still the FBI, and later special counsel Robert Mueller, continued an investigation based on dubious sources and false claims that undermined the public’s faith in the 2016 election.
During the Russian probe, House Democrats railed against the notion of a foreign government meddling in U.S. elections. The real horror is that our own law enforcement system did it for them.