Democrats were thrilled in January 2017 when Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz launched a probe into the DOJ and FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
Two House Democrats, Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings and Michigan Rep. John Conyers, first requested an IG investigation into the FBI over alleged illegal leaks damaging to Clinton in an Oct. 4 2016 letter.
Horowitz, an Obama appointee, announced his investigation into the FBI and DOJ’s handling of the Clinton probe four months later in January. Cummings praised Horowitz’s decision at the time, saying the investigation was needed to stave off a “crisis of legitimacy” at the FBI.
Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff praised both the investigation in an appearance on MSNBC the same day as Horowitz’s announcement.
“I think this was very appropriate for the IG to initiate and I say hats off to my colleague Elijah Cummings for making the request for this investigation some months ago, it now has bipartisan support,” Schiff said.
“We had a very serious and I believe very consequential decision by the director of the FBI to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation and in violation of the department’s longstanding policy and do so right before the election, that ought to be the subject of a DOJ IG investigation, I think they’re the right party to do it, I have every confidence to believe they’ll do it objectively.”
Much to Schiff’s chagrin, the IG investigation has revealed instances of political bias at the FBI — in favor of Clinton.
FBI deputy director Andy McCabe announced on Monday he is departing the FBI. On Tuesday, it was revealed that Horowitz is investigating whether McCabe stonewalled an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server.
McCabe reportedly waited three weeks to inspect a laptop belong to former congressman Anthony Weiner, who is married to longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin. Around the same time, FBI insiders suspected that McCabe had stonewalled an investigation into the Clinton Foundation, according to The Washington Post. Conservatives have long questioned McCabe’s impartiality, due to his wife’s close ties to Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe.
FBI would set a dangerous precedent if it forced out dedicated career public servants in capitulation to Trump and WH pressure. President has already removed one top FBI leader — Comey — over Russia; McCabe would be another. https://t.co/3txhTds3vA
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 23, 2017
Documents obtained and published by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch also suggest that McCabe may have steered the Clinton investigation away from an indictment.
The emails show McCabe’s wife emailed him a report in True Pundit, an anonymously written, pro-Trump website, which quoted an FBI source accusing McCabe and other FBI officials of soft-pedaling the Clinton investigation because they were rooting for her to win.
McCabe seemed troubled by the source’s accuracy and passed the article on to Comey, adding: “FYI. Heavyweight source.”
The article quoted an FBI source as saying: “McCabe was one of the few people who backed Comey’s decision not to refer Hillary Clinton to the Justice Department for indictment. McCabe and Comey are both lawyers. They aren’t street agents. They’re more political. We wanted her (Clinton) indicted. They did not.”
McCabe believed that account must have come from a “heavyweight source,” according to his own emails.
The IG investigation previously uncovered evidence of a pro-Clinton bent at the FBI. (RELATED: FBI Agents Say Comey ‘Stood In The Way’ Of Clinton Email Investigation)
The investigation revealed Peter Strzok, a top FBI agent on the Clinton investigation, and FBI lawyer Lisa Page exchanging pro-Clinton and anti-Trump texts and referring to an “insurance policy” against a Trump victory.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office – that there’s no way he gets elected – but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40,” Strzok said of Trump in one message to Page, referring to McCabe as “Andy.”
During the Clinton investigation, Strzok led the interviews of top Clinton aides Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin — neither of whom faced consequences for making false statements in those interviews.
Comey drafted a letter exonerating Clinton months before the investigation ended, and months before the FBI ever interviewed Clinton and her aides. Comey’s draft originally described Clinton’s handling of the server as “grossly negligent” — a term that carries legal significance but was later charged to “extremely careless.”
Strzok, who later conducted the interviews with Clinton and her aides, is reportedly responsible for watering down the investigation’s conclusion months before it was finished. He was also a key agent in the investigation into Russian meddling, before being taken off of the probe in July.
One person who may not be surprised that that the IG investigation revealed evidence of a pro-Clinton bias at the FBI is President Trump, who Trump mocked Democrats on Twitter for complaining about alleged anti-Clinton bias at the FBI, who he said was “VERY nice” to Clinton.
What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
have been allowed to run – guilty as hell. They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
“What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the F.B.I. Based on the information they had she should never have been allowed to run – guilty as hell,” Trump wrote on the same day Horowitz announced his investigation. “They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!”