DOJ Inspector General Investigates Department and FBI for Political Bias
By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security
Is the U.S. facing a constitutional crisis? The Department of Justice Inspector General is investigating whether the DOJ and the FBI engaged in political bias when they investigated the Clinton email scandal.
The IG is also looking into how these two organizations obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant from a federal court. The FISA warrant was for conducting surveillance on then-candidate Donald Trump and his campaign.
This is a serious probe. If validated, it would fundamentally alter the very fabric of our constitutional Republic.
U.S. citizens expect their government officials to leave their own political opinions at home. However, serious issues have arisen since the election that question that expectation.
DOJ Inspector General to Release Report
The IG should release its findings this month. The investigation questions whether alleged political bias infected the DOJ and the FBI when they began investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server which contained classified material. The probe is also looking into the considerably different methods of how the Michael Flynn investigation and the Russian collusion investigation were handled.
Recent DOJ and FBI actions have questioned their objectivity. A recent DOJ IG report was highly critical of former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, who was found to have lied or mislead IG investigators. That probe resulted in a criminal referral for McCabe’s actions.
McCabe also came under scrutiny for not disclosing that his wife received almost $700,000 in campaign contributions for her failed Virginia state Senate race.
Former FBI Director James Comey further clouded the situation when he disclosed in his book why he reopened the closed Clinton email investigation in October 2016.
Comey wrote, “It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the restarted investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in all polls.”
Comey’s Decision Making Comes into Question
Comey‘s explanation also raises the question of political bias. Why didn’t Comey charge Clinton or her aides with mishandling classified material?
Since the scandal broke, we have learned from FBI records that then-President Barack Obama used a pseudonym in his email communications with Clinton and others. Were any of those communications marked classified?
If so, that would contradict statements Obama made that he learned of the email scandal when everyone else did. It is possible that this was the reason Comey didn’t indict Clinton because as indicting her would implicate Obama.
There are also other questions that require answers:
What role did Obama play?
Did Obama use undue influence when he stated twice that Clinton made a mistake, but did not put national security at risk? Was this a signal to investigators not to indict Clinton?
Was there a two-tiered investigation?
Much of the criticism levied against the government has been two-tiered. The Clinton email investigation was allegedly done gingerly, with Comey accepting then Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s order to downgrade it to a “matter” rather than an “investigation.”
Clinton was allowed to destroy 30,000 emails she deemed personal communications. She was also allowed to destroy cell phones and other electronic devices, as well as completely wipe or “bleach bit” her computer server.
Also, Clinton and her staff were not subjected to grand jury subpoenas. These types of subpoenas were used in other investigations, such as the FBI raids of the offices and homes of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, and Trump attorney Richard Cohen. Why then wasn’t Clinton’s home raided? That’s where the server was originally kept.
What is the FBI’s standard for lying?
Others have lied in their official capacities, such as McCabe and Flynn. What is the FBI standard for lying and providing false information to Congress, government agencies and the courts? Has there been leaking of classified information?
Does Comey qualify as a liar when he testified that he never gave background interviews or provided anonymous leaks to news affiliates? What about Comey’s testimony regarding Clinton’s exoneration, when we learned he was writing memoranda exonerating her months before interviewing her?
Did Comey leak classified material? Constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley of George Washington University says Comey’s explanation of his handling of the memos and leaking them to his Columbia University law school friend was troubling and confusing.
FBI Officials Engaged in Political Bias
Further evidence of alleged political bias surfaced when the IG reported that senior FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who were investigating the Clinton email scandal and the Trump Russian collusion investigation, sent numerous text messages to each other showing a strong animus toward Trump.
Obtaining the FISA Warrant
What we have learned is the infamous Russian dossier, which the DOJ and FBI used to gain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Trump aide Carter Page, was never verified or substantiated. It was paid for by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Clinton campaign.
So far, no other facts have surfaced; nor have we seen the original FISA court application. In a perplexing interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier, Comey seemed to have no knowledge of who paid for the dossier and did not appear to care about its origin.
Comey still believed the Republicans paid for the Christopher Steele dossier, but this notion was refuted months ago.
At the end of March, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, announced that he found no official intelligence that was used to open the investigation of Page. What other evidence did the DOJ and FBI present to the FISA court judges?
The FISA warrant was used to surveil American citizens. Who unmasked them and why?
James Clapper and the Steele Dossier
Last Friday, the House Intelligence Committee announced that it had found no evidence of Trump colluding with the Russians. But a section of the report that received less attention was the committee’s suggestion that then-Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper leaked information from the Russian dossier to the media.
Incidentally, CNN was the media affiliate to which Comey allegedly leaked the dossier. Comey now serves as a CNN contributor.
The Nunes report discusses how Clapper gave inconsistent testimony to Congress and how he denies ever having discussed the dossier with anyone in the media.
How did the media know of the Russian dossier? Who knew of its contents? Was it James Comey, senior FBI officials, CIA director John Brennan or Clapper?
Finally, the IG report on McCabe said that he received a call from the Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General regarding how the FBI was handling the Clinton Foundation investigation. During this same call, McCabe was asked to stop the investigation. Why was the DOJ asking the FBI to terminate the investigation before it was completed?
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has appointed a federal prosecutor to work alongside the Inspector General and look into how the DOJ and the FBI complied with certain legal procedures and requirements. This prosecutor will also investigate whether political bias favored one side over the other.
If the Department of Justice has become involved in partisan politics, U.S. citizens need to know.
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