TriggerFinger


Horowitz report released


It's up at the DOJ IG website. There's a press release and the full report. It's 476 pages.

UPDATE: Initial conclusions are that Horowitz identifies a lot of errors, mistakes, problems, procedures that were not followed, and so on, but fails to bring it home. It's a hefty black eye for the reputation of the FBI but doesn't really offer consequences other than suggesting a lot of performance reviews. It's not a whitewash, more like a greywash.

The ray of hope: Both US Attorney Durham and AG Barr have issued statements disagreeing with the report's conclusion that the investigation was adequately predicated. That seems to indicate we will be hearing more from them.

As for Horowitz himself, this report combined with the Clinton email report strongly suggests that Horowitz (an Obama appointee, remember) is playing a sacrificial defense game. He's admitting what he has to, doesn't have all the necessary information, and refusing to draw the obvious conclusions.
IG Report
The decision to seek to use this highly intrusive investigative technique was known and approved at multiple levels of the Department, including by then DAG Yates for the init ial FISA application and first renewal, and by then Acting Attorney General Boente and then DAG Rosenstein for the second and third renewals, respectively. However, as we explain later, the Crossfire Hurricane team failed to inform Department officials of significant information that was available to the team at the time that the FISA applications were drafted and filed. Much of that information was inconsistent with, or undercut, the assertions contained in the FISA applications that were used to support probable cause and, in some instances, resulted in inaccurate information being included in the applications. While we do not speculate whether Department officials would have authorized the FBI to seek to use FISA authority had they been made aware of all relevant information, it was clearly the responsibility of Crossfire Hurricane team members to advise them of such critical information so that they could make a fully informed decision.
[...]
However, as we describe later, as the FBI obtained additional information raising significant questions about the reliability of the Steele election reporting, the FBI failed to reassess the Steele reporting relied upon in the FISA applications, and did not fully advise NSD or 01 officials. We also found that the FBI did not aggressively seek to obtain certain potentially important information from Steele. For example, the FBI did not press Steele for information about the actual funding source for his election reporting work. Agents also did not question Steele about his role in a September 23, 2016 Yahoo News article entitled, "U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump advisor and Kremlin," that described efforts by U.S. intelligence to determine whether Carter Page had opened communication channels with Kremlin officials. As we discuss in Chapters Five and Eight, the FBI assessed in the Carter Page FISA applications, without any support, that Steele had not "directly provided" the information to Yahoo News
[...]
We did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that political bias or improper motivation influenced the FBI's decision to seek FISA authority on Carter Page.
[...]
As more fully described in Chapter Five, based upon the information known to t he FBI in October 2016, the first application contained the following seven significant inaccuracies and omissions: 1. Omitted information the FBI had obtained from another U.S. government agency detailing its prior relationship wit h Page, including that Page had been approved as an "operational contact" for the other agency from 2008 to 2013, and t hat Page had provided information to the other agency concerning his prior contacts with certain Russian intelligence officers, one of w hich overlapped with facts asserted in the FISA application ; 2. Included a source characterization statement asserting that St eele's prior reporting had been "corroborated and used in criminal proceedings,"which overstated the significance of Steele's past reporting and was not approved by Steele's handling agent, as required by the Woods Procedures; 3. Omitted informat ion relevant to the reliability of Person 1, a key Steele sub-source (who was attributed with providing the information in Report 95 and some of the information in Reports 80 and 102 re lied upon in the application), namely that ( 1) Steele himself told members of the Crossfire Hurricane team that Person 1 was a "boaster" and an "egoist" and " m a en a e in some em bellishment" and (2) 4. Asserted that the FBI had assessed that Steele did not directly provide to the press information in the September 23 Yahoo News article based on the premise that Steele had told the FBI that he only shared h is election-related research with the FBI and Fusion GPS, his client; this premise was incorrect and contradicted by documentation in t he Woods File- Steele had told t he FBI that he also gave his information to the State Department; 5. Omitted Papadopoulos's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in September 2016 denying that anyone associ ated with the Trump campaign was collaborating with Russia or with outside groups like Wikileaks in the release of emails; 6. Omitted Page's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in August 2016 that Page had " literally never met" or "said one word to" Paul Manafort and that Manafort had not responded to any of Page's emails; if true, those statements were in tension with claims in Report 95 that Page was par t icipating in a conspiracy with Russia by acting as an intermediary for Manafort on behalf of the Trump campaign; and 7. I ncluded Page's consensually monitored statements to an FBI CHS in October 2016 that the FBI believed supported its theory that Page was an agent of Russia but omitted other statements Page made that were inconsistent with its theory, including denying having met with Sechin and Divyekin, or even knowing who Divyekin was; if true, those stat em ents contradicted t he claims in Report 94 that Page ix had met secretly with Sechin and Divyekin about future cooperat ion with Russia and shared derogatory information about candidate Clinton. None of these inaccuracies and omissions were brought to the attention of OI before the last FISA application was filed in June 2017. Consequently, these fa ilures were repeated in all three renewal applications. Further, as we discuss later, we identified 10 additional significant errors in the renewal applications.
[...]
We identified at least 17 significant errors or omissions in the Carter Page FISA applications, and many addit ional errors in the Woods Procedures. These errors and omissions resulted from case agents providing wrong or incomplete information to OI and failing to flag im portant issues for discussion. While we did not f ind documentary or testimonial evidence of intent ional m isconduct on the part of the case agents who assist ed OI in p reparing the applications, or the agents and supervisors who performed the Woods Procedu res, we also did not receive satisfactory explanations for the errors or problems we identified. I n most instances, t he agent s and supervisors told us t hat they either did not know or recall why the information was not shared with OI, that the fa ilure to do so may have been an oversight, t hat they did not recognize at t he time the relevance of t he information to t he FISA application , or t hat t hey did not believe the missing information to be significant . On this last point, we belWe found no evidence that the FBI used CHSs or UCEs to interact with members of the Trump campaign prior to the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigationieve that case agents may have improperly substituted their own judgments in place of the j udgment of OI, or in place of the court, to weigh t_he probative value of t he information.


IG Report
We found no evidence that the FBI used CHSs or UCEs to interact with members of the Trump campaign prior to the opening of the Crossfire Hurricane investigation

This part is about Mifsud. Mifsud was not FBI, so this doesn't actually clear anyone. Mifsud is western intelligence -- we don't know what agency. Barr probably does at this point.

This entry was published Mon Dec 09 12:21:23 CST 2019 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2019-12-09 22:06:52.0. [Tweet]

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