Justice report provides ammo for both Trump and his critics

by Garry Watts June 18, 2018, 1:09
Justice report provides ammo for both Trump and his critics

Much of the public attention has been focused on Peter Strzok, a seasoned FBI counterintelligence investigator who worked the Clinton investigation and was later on Mueller's team until anti-Trump text messages with an FBI lawyer, Lisa Page, were discovered and brought to the special counsel's attention.

The DOJ internal review organization found that Comey's actions before the election were not within Federal Bureau of Investigation norms, but they were not motivated by bias and did not challenge Comey's decision to not prosecute Clinton.

Horowitz's revelations are an ironic footnote to the Clinton investigation, which began with the revelation that the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee had used a personal email address to conduct official correspondence while secretary of state.

He said there was "no question" that Strzok regrets sending anti-Trump messages, but added: "I think what he was doing is expressing his political opinions in what he thought was a private text conversation, and he regrets that this has been weaponized by people with political motivations to try to discredit the Mueller investigation".

First, President Trump tweeted, that his voters are "the smartest, strongest, most hard working and most loyal that we have seen in our countries (sic) history".

Strzok responded: "No. No he won't".

Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, told "Fox & Friends" that the report casts doubt on whether Trump will ever agree to an interview with Mueller's team because "why would he get interviewed by a corrupt investigation?"

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More importantly than anything, it totally exonerates me.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies on Capitol Hill in May of previous year.

It also said, according to the new IG report, that Comey was deliberately drawing out the Clinton email investigation to help Republicans. "The IG report basically tells you that both prongs of the Mueller investigation are either corrupt or answered". But the report ultimately notes that agency employees are entitled to their own political views and found no evidence that the investigation was compromised by political bias.

Trump's lawyers will argue that the report's criticism of Comey makes it clear the President fired him for the right reasons - and the decision was not part of an effort to obstruct justice. Though there's no evidence the device was put on the back-burner to protect Clinton, the watchdog said it could not be certain that Strzok's decision to prioritize the Russian Federation probe over examining the Weiner laptop was "free from bias", especially because Strzok was exchanging anti-Trump text messages at the time.

Also criticized in the report was Comeys decision, despite the discouragement of the Justice Department, to reveal to Congress that the FBI was reopening the investigation following the discovery of new emails. "Comey will now officially go down as the worst leader, by far, in the history of the FBI", Trump tweeted. It also calls him "insubordinate" for not alerting then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to his plans to say publicly that Clinton would not be charged in the case.

The contents of Weiner's laptop became the subject of widespread speculation during the FBI's 2016 probe into Clinton's private email server and alleged mishandling of classified data.

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