It appears the Department of Justice Inspector General report into the origins of the FBI investigation into President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign may finally be released … soon.
As such, the same media that touted the investigation into Trump’s campaign — which found no evidence of Russia collusion — is now trying to discredit the report on how that investigation was started and whether any crimes were involved.
On Thursday, The Washington Post published an article claiming witnesses interviewed by the DOJ’s IG would not be permitted to submit written feedback. Later in the day, the Post updated its story with clarification from the IG’s office, which said those witnesses would be able to submit feedback “consistent with rules to protect classified information.”
“As part of our factual accuracy review, and consistent with our usual practice, we are providing witnesses with the opportunity to review portions of the report that relate to them,” said IG spokeswoman Stephanie Logan. “Also consistent with our practice, we undertake every effort to ensure witnesses can provide their comments and we are clarifying to witnesses that they will be able to provide written comments, consistent with rules to protect classified information.”
The Post had reported the comments from anonymous witnesses who claimed they could not submit feedback and could only review sections of the investigation pertaining to them “in a secure area, after signing nondisclosure agreements.” They were also allegedly told they could not take any notes they made regarding the document with them when they left. All the claims published by the Post were from anonymous sources.
On Twitter, some used the Post’s article to push the narrative that whatever IG Michael Horowitz found in his report is tainted by bias. One of the authors of the Post report, Devlin Barrett, shared the article (he followed up his initial tweet by including the IG’s clarification).
CNN analyst Susan Hennessey used Barrett’s initial tweet to foment the idea that the report would not be credible.
“This is extremely irregular. There are growing signs that there are serious problems with the IG report and questions as to whether this is designed to be an honest accounting of the views of the IG or a political document driven by Barr’s conspiracy theories,” Hennessey tweeted.
In April, The Daily Wire reported that media outlets would do this to Horowitz’s report, since it investigates the false narrative that the media pushed for the first two years of the Trump administration.
At that time, Politico’s Natasha Bertrand went to great lengths to claim the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court routinely used unverified information to grant warrants to spy on U.S. citizens – like Carter Page. She also attempted to redeem the credibility of Christopher Steele, who put together the infamous Steele Dossier, much of which has either been discredited or unproven.
Bertrand, a true believer of the Russian-collusion narrative, tried to suggest Horowitz was not knowledgeable nor was he willing to learn about the FISA process. Of course, Bertrand’s sources for these claims were all anonymous.