December 2, 2019

Please Check Unreasonable Expectations at the Door

Filed under: Probable Cause — Bill @ 3:59 pm

DOJ-FISA-ReportOn December 9, 2019, US Department of Justice (DoJ) Inspector General (IG), Michael Horowitz, is planning to release the long-awaited Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) report to the public.  The report is expected to be approximately 500 pages long.

In very broad terms, IG Horowitz was instructed to investigate alleged abuses of the FISA and its judicial component, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, by US DoJ employees.  It had been alleged that the FBI and other employees of the DoJ (including attorneys) had abused the FISA during their investigation into alleged irregularities associated with the 2016 presidential election.

The FISA report was not intended to be an all-encompassing investigation into all of the allegations of crimes and abuses of authority associated with the 2016 election.  However, because of the potential factual overlap between allegations, the FISA report may need to include information about some other unrelated matters in order to avoid leaving obvious factual gaps in the FISA fact reporting.

The point of the preceding blather is to encourage people to read the entire 500-page FISA report when it is made public to better understand that the alleged FISA abuses were part of a much larger investigation beyond the scope of the FISA report.  Relying on any of our skews media, whether print or electronic, to accurately and completely summarize the FISA report will be deceptively disappointing.  As seen in some of the reporting by Sulzberger’s Slimes at the New York Times, the skews media’s manipulative spin has apparently already begun.

The purpose of any DoJ IG investigtion is to provide the US Attorney General (AG) with accurate, timely investigative facts so the AG can identify and correct intentional and unintentional instances of fraud, waste, and abuse committed by employees of the DoJ.  Its purpose is to improve DoJ administration, not prosecute alleged crimes.   The FISA report will be an administrative report of information, not a prosecutorial brief in support of criminal complaints or grand jury indictments.

The DoJ IG is not a prosecutor.  If he believes a prosecutable crime has been committed, he can refer his beliefs to an appropriate US Attorney.  The decision to convene a grand jury or charge a crime (or not charge) will be made by a US Attorney or other DoJ attorney so empowered.  It will not be made by the DoJ IG.  However, the DoJ IG’s reports are prepared with considereation of evidentiary admissibility.

If readers of the DoJ IG’s FISA report are expected it to open the floodgates of federal criminal prosecutions, they’re likely to be disappointed.  Nevertheless, the FISA report has likely already been submitted without redactions to Connecticut US Attorney John Durham whom AG William Barr selected to investigate the origins of the special counsel’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, and whether it was properly predicated.   The FISA report is likely to be rich in investigative leads that has and will save USA Durham’s team a great deal of time.

My hope is that the DoJ IG’s FISA report will be used as it was intended:  To identify the dismal failures of duty in the US DoJ, especially those failures or omissions that have for years been eroding the performance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Main Justice employees.  I also hope that it will be of immense assistance to USA Durham in preparing criminal prosecutions where and if warranted in DoJ and the FBI.


  1. I am expecting vanilla pudding.

    Comment by Tributary — December 3, 2019 @ 11:16 am

  2. Tributary,

    My fear is that the DoJ IG Horowitz has found that the illegal conduct by DoJ attorneys and FBI agents goes far deeper than just this one instance of DoJ employees intentionally and criminally deceiving the FISC. Horowitz was appointed DoJ IG in 2012 by Obama. Horowitz succeeded DoJ IG Glenn Fine who was appointed DoJ in 2000 by Clinton. Horowitz has impeccable swamp-dweller credentials and high hopes for a long and lucrative legal career once the presidential leak in the profitable swamp has been plugged post-Trump. In other words, I don’t see Horowitz making any more than perfunctory ripples in the swamp.

    Comment by Bill — December 3, 2019 @ 4:35 pm

  3. You were 100% right on this. This is just taking way too long, and I am tired of waiting and getting nothing. It is like Horowitz did it on purpose taking his time. I really hope Durham and Barr make for speed because this swampy stuff is getting old. We need action with handcuffs.

    Comment by Stebbijo — December 9, 2019 @ 3:56 pm

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