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HORIST: The Horowitz Report mimics the Mueller Report … but there are differences

HORIST: The Horowitz Report mimics the Mueller Report … but there are differences

The much anticipated and recently released report by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz seems to be paralleling the report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.  They both had elements Republicans and Democrats could seize upon.

In the Mueller Report, Republicans were able to refute the Democrats’ two-year baseless claims that President Trump, his family and members of his campaign had criminally colluded with Russian operatives in their efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.  Mueller emphatically stated that no American citizen participated in President Putin’s mischief.  He totally exonerated Trump & Company.

Democrats were able to avoid a total political humiliation by claiming that Mueller had cited several examples of where Trump had obstructed the investigation – leading to their charge of “obstruction of justice.”  Mueller had made no such claim or accusation.  Rather Mueller pointed to several times where Trump may or may not be accused of obstruction.  Mueller left the final determination to his bosses at the Justice Department.  Attorney General William Barr – in consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the attorneys in the Office of Professional Conduct – determined that the examples noted by Mueller did not rise to the level of obstruction of justice.  Case closed – except for the partisan Democrats.

Inspector General Horowitz was commissioned to look into the launching of the FBI investigation of the Trump campaign’s colluding with Russia as a subtext of the larger investigation of Russian meddling in our elections generally.  The issue was whether partisan political views or personal animus was the reason for the investigation of Trump – or was it justified based on initial facts.  This was an important distinction since Mueller exonerated the Trump folks from working with the Russian government for political advantage.

As with Mueller, the Horowitz Report seems to have left both Republicans and Democrats cheering and jeering at the two elements of the Report.  Horowitz said that he was UNABLE to find evidence that the launching of the investigation into Trump campaign involvement was predicated on political biases. That got the Democrats running to their friends in the press to claim the Republican accusations of misdeeds by intelligence officials were as bogus — as bogus as their own claims about Trump’s working with Russians.

On the other hand, Horowitz did cite some 17 egregious “errors” in acquiring search warrants and permission to tape phones from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court.  This had the Republicans rendering a collective “aha” – arguing that the 17 screw-ups prove that certain intelligence officials were out to get Trump.

While Democrats viewed the errors as little more than clerical errors, Republicans saw the “mistakes” as something much more sinister.  In one case, an FBI agent altered an email used in evidence to remove words that would have made it appear less damning to the Court.  That agent has been recommended for criminal charges by Horowitz.  Hardly a clerical error.

It is also disturbing that ALL the alleged random errors worked against the Trump campaign.  Something that smacks of coordination and conspiracy more than benign accidents.

In terms of the Democrats taking a victory lap on the overall determination of no political bias – not so fast.  When former FBI Director James Comey said he and others were totally exonerated, Horowitz said, not so.

Horowitz – as the IG for the Department of Justice – could only talk to folks working for the Department.  He could not issue subpoenas.  He could not compel testimony.  That is why I highlight “UNABLE to find evidence” in a previous paragraph.  The IG work was more of an inquiry than an investigation.

What Democrats need to worry about is the criminal investigation being carried out by the DOJ’s John Durham.  He can look at the actions of anyone inside and outside the Department of Justice.  He has the power to subpoena folks like former FBI Director James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, Former Intel chief James Clapper and other players, such as James McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

It is always ill-advised to make predictions regarding the outcomes of major investigations – especially in these politically volatile times.  But it does appear that Democrats are beginning to lose the upper hand they have enjoyed in the court-of-public-opinion for several years.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.

2 Comments

  1. David Barron

    Democrats seem to be leaning hard on the “obstruction of Justice” in the impeachment. I would like to ask, what justice? This was not a just and legal by the Constitution effort by the House to remove a sitting President, it was driven by pure hate, their obstruction of him doing the job that the citizens who put him in office to do, lying, cheating, and stealing millions of hard earned tax dollars out of the General Treasury for what result. Since the Democratic pushed investigation and results have proven to be a complete failure the Democratic Party should be on the hook for all of the completely idiotic investigation and results cost. The American Public should NOT be on the hook to pay for this.

  2. Poorgrandchildren

    Wasn’t the charge Obstruction of CONGRESS? And isn’t that what all three branches supposed to do–obstruct each other when the other is out of line? Political Attorney Dan Backer checked the code and found no such crime as obstruction of Congress.