You are probably scratching your head, you’re angry, and more so perplexed⏤as much of what came out today was not what was expected. Nor what had been put out prior by many of the political pundits and talking heads, was totally not as anticipated. Many of you who follow America Out Loud are now reading and following the release and outcome of the first version, as we will call it, of the Justice Department’s Inspector General Investigation report.
So what happened? Let me try to make sense of this for you … by being as clear and as basic as possible⏤essentially putting it in pure layman’s terms.
First off, the current references that have been in the news throughout the day⏤be they good, bad, or indifferent, depending on the political bent, persuasion, or politics of the news organization presenting them, have been about and are referring to the ‘short, light version’ of the Justice Department’s Inspector General investigation report which was released by that agency about 10 am this morning. We’ll call this ‘version one’ of the overall Justice Department’s Inspector General Investigation report. This version of the report refers solely to former FBI Director James Comey, and his conduct and behavior while serving as the head or that agency. As the version of this report released this morning states and indicates; he was found to be in violation of FBI policies, procedures and directives.
So, the Justice Department’s internal watchdog, the “Office of the Inspector General” today released a scathing report stating that former FBI Director James Comey ‘violated FBI policies and his employment agreement with the bureau by leaking memos containing classified information’ —
“We conclude that Comey’s retention, handling, and dissemination of certain Memos violated Department and FBI policies, and his FBI Employment Agreement,” the Justice Department inspector general report states.
Further, the Justice Department Inspector General Report in this section about the former Director, referred to the former FBI Director as a “DANGEROUS EXAMPLE” in that he failed to follow FBI policies, procedures, and directives. Hence, his performance and leadership was egregious!
Understand⏤for that, he was fired by President Trump. That was the extent of the punishment available to the President (…and all presidents). Note that the President does not have the ‘authority’ to recommend or call for or direct prosecution of anyone⏤that being said, means any American. To which I say, thank God! For those of you that would desire otherwise of the president, then we are asking for a form of government authorizing totalitarian authority, and the authority of which is granted to a dictator. Be careful what you ask for⏤the Founders had it right, and it is for that reason why we have a Constitutional Republic. Unlike, perhaps what some would desire, particularly a guy named Obama wanted.
Unfortunately, failure to follow the rules of your office of responsibility, again, in this case for James Comey, and his position in the Office of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations, it is not a felony or indictable offense to fail to follow the rules. While his actions and behavior as FBI Director was abhorrent and beyond reproach, they were not felonious, they were grounds for firing, because again he violated the FBI’s policies, procedures, and directives.
Secondly, and most importantly, this brings me to the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General and its particular mission and what authorities it has within the Federal government. In order to do so, we have to fully understand the role and responsibilities of the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General, which is headed by Michael Horowitz. In this case, understand that the ‘Office of the Inspector General’ as it does inside any Federal government agency (most Federal agencies and cabinet level departments have and office of the inspector general), serves as a “watch dog” to alert the Justice Department of any illicit, wrong-doing, and or other internal violations within the organization, as it pertains to policy, procedures/procedural, directives, and if applicable criminal acts and actions by employees. Also, understand the Office of the Inspector General is not a prosecutorial agency and has no powers, authority, or jurisdiction to indict, bring charges, or to present or conduct prosecutions. Within its role it can only recommend and advise within the law.
Personally, I believe there has been a big misunderstanding, as many people that I’ve talked to believe it to be⏤in fact many were and have been led to believe this, unfortunately they’ve been misled. To that end, I can only say, this is more than likely the fault of many of the pundits and talking heads. Need I mention names, such as Sean Hannity, and many of his guests who were saying whatever necessary to push ratings, leaning forward on possible outcomes, and of course, hoping for heads to roll. Others, the likes of Tucker Carlson, perhaps will use the opportunity now to slam the likes of the Inspector General, the Attorney General, and even the President. That would be short sighted on his part and only exacerbate the problems for President Trump and his team. Hopefully, both are now knowledgeable of the responsibilities of the Inspector General. So for now, let’s wait and see.
Understand, that the ‘larger in scope, more intense version’ call it ‘version two,’ of the overall Inspector General Report which specifically is related to ‘FISA abuses’ by the agencies involved under the Obama administration, is forthcoming. That version of the report has not been released yet. It is reported to be more and more damning and horrific. Again, for now, let’s wait and see.
Finally, again in this case too, understand, the Office of the Inspector General can only advise and provide recommendations, and in select cases present criminal referrals for investigation and perhaps prosecution. Also, understand, in the case of version one of the report, as stated and what was stated in the report⏤this is the wording of the Inspector General’s report, and is not the final decision of the Justice Department. Of course, the Attorney General would need to decide that any referral pertaining to criminal activity must justifiably be a crime and a felony in nature under the law.
That said, the ‘FISA abuse’ portion of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s report should be much more defining as any criminal actions found, well those would be felony charges. As I am hearing there are many which are abhorrent and beyond reproach. We already know there will be indictments and criminal referrals. We’ll see where Comey plays out in that part of this whole ordeal.
So for now, I would say let’s wait and see what comes forward, likely in the coming days and weeks, in the much more lengthy report that addresses FISA abuse.
Also, remember⏤regardless, James Comey as director, went way too far, coloring way outside the lines in each and every case. While it appears he may have been let off or vindicated in his conduct as FBI Director, Mr. Comey is not out of the woods yet. As of today, he still remains a central figure in two other pending investigations pertaining to surveillance abuse, i.e.; the FISA investigation, which WILL deal with felony and criminal violations of the law as it pertains to those who ordered, directed, implemented and made decisions both directly and indirectly with surveillance and spying on Americans⏤mainly targeting the Trump Campaign, its staff members, and Donald Trump himself, the number ONE target!
Going forward, as we wait for the second version of the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s report, which I would expect to see in the days and weeks after the Labor Day holiday. Many, including myself have long anticipated that the more damaging version would be released second by both design and Attorney General William Barr, perhaps to set the stage for the forthcoming 2020 Election season. Those identified for prosecution, found guilty, to possibly include treason, should be sent to prison. Certainly, for me, if found guilty, those individuals, and I don’t care who they are, in the end should be hanged⏤if not, regardless, they’ve earned a special place in hell.