About the IG Report on the Russia Investigation

So the report is out, and the DoJ’s Inspector General has testified, and there are two important takeaways:
  1. There is no no conspiracy, just business as usual for the FBI.
  2. Business as usual by the FBI is a complete sh%$ show with abuse of due process and of a complete disregard due diligence.

So the implication is that the FBI routinely plays fast and loose with our civil rights when they can operate in secret before a court that has largely captured by the state security apparatus:

Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz said Wednesday that the FBI was justified in opening its 2016 investigation into the Trump campaign, but he told sharply divided lawmakers that he could not vindicate the bureau’s former leaders because of other major errors — effectively offering both political parties fresh ammunition in their feud over the Russia case.


Since his 434-page report was released Monday, Democrats have emphasized its conclusion that political bias did not drive the investigation into a possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia; Barr and fellow Republicans have said the report found so many flaws that the investigation should have never happened.

“Does your report vindicate Mr. Comey?” asked Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.).

“It doesn’t vindicate anyone at the FBI who touched this, including the leadership,” Horowitz responded. “Does it vindicate Mr. McCabe?” Kennedy asked, referring to Comey’s deputy, Andrew McCabe. “Same answer,” Horowitz responded.

The inspector general found 17 errors or omissions made by the FBI as it sought and received approvals to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Those applications were filed to the secret court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, to oversee intelligence and terrorism cases.

In a perfect world, this report would lead to serious reform of the FISA court, which has routinely been used to undermine the constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure.
Of course, we do not live in perfect world, so I expect no reform.

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