Inspector General’s Report Is A Feast For Trump
The long-awaited report on the inner-workings of the F.B.I. leading up to the 2016 Election is so full of ripe fruit almost anyone can take anything they want to from it.
But for Trump it’s a real bounty:
- The report really makes it seem like it wasn’t such a bad idea for him — for whatever reason — to fire Comey. Calling Comey “insubordinate” and depicting him as imperious.
- While concluding: “We found no evidence that the conclusions by department prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations”, the report finds some at the F.B.I. showed “willingness to take official action” to harm Trump (although there’s no evidence they actually did).
- And it contains the following exchange between FBI agent Peter Strzok, (long gone from Mueller’s investigative team — now working in Human Resources), and Lisa Page, a former F.B.I. lawyer he was having an affair with: Page: “[Trump is] “not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.” That at least lends some credence Trump’s claim that the investigators themselves need to be investigated. (Also, how could they have been so stupid?! Texting on official F.B.I. devices so their affair would not be discovered?)
You can be sure Trump’s going to rev up all these things and get as much mileage out of them as he can. (As he already is with 11! Tweets this morning alone.)
Strangely, the 2nd biggest beneficiary of the report might be Hillary Clinton:
- Because the report concludes there was nothing particularly fishy in the decision not to prosecute her: “[the decision not to prosecute] was consistent with the department’s historical approach in prior cases under different leadership, including in the 2008 decision not to prosecute former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales for mishandling classified documents.”
- And that anything Comey did wrong was to the disadvantage of Clinton, including the infamous “letter to Congress” less than 2 weeks before the election.
And — how’s this for a kicker? — it also found that Comey himself used personal email accounts at times to conduct official F.B.I. business.
The New York Times has a really good wrap up of many pertinent findings.