Monday, June 18, 2018

Understanding the OIG Report

Three years ago I agreed with the mainstream media I otherwise disdained, when they said it was a joke. Donald Trump had descended an escalator at his tower and announced his candidacy for president. He didn’t have a chance, I thought. His uncamouflaged narcissism would preclude a serious bid. No one who combed his hair like that could ever win, I thought. Then he won primary after primary and still I agreed with mainstream media: “His campaign is going to fall apart any day now. He’ll say something stupid; his poll numbers will plummet, and that’ll be it. He’ll drop out.”

And he did say stupid things, plenty of them — all joyfully trumpeted by media — but his numbers kept going up. Eventually Ted Cruz, his last serious opponent and my preferred candidate, dropped out. Trump won the Republican nomination. At that point I realized I was actually going to vote for him, but only because I could never vote for Hillary Clinton or the two minor candidates. I wasn’t comfortable with it, but I knew I would do it. As the campaign wore on, however, I found myself in agreement with virtually all his policy positions — and I really liked how he told Hillary to her face she would be in jail if he were president.

On election night I celebrated his victory. If he actually did half the things he said he would, I knew America would be much better off. At about 9:30 pm, I flipped around to NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and MSNBC and enjoyed the extreme distress on the faces of their talking heads as they realized Trump would actually win. I savored schadenfreude for the rest of the evening and all through the next day.

I believed President Obama’s DOJ and FBI had helped Hillary to avoid indictment for gross negligence in her handling of classified documents on her private server. However, I didn’t realize at the time that, after exonerating her, the Obama Administration had then weaponized the FBI, DOJ, NSA, and CIA against first Donald Trump’s candidacy, and then against his presidency.

That process I’ve been closely following for more than a year and a half, and I eagerly anticipated last week’s report by the DOJ’s Office of Inspector General (OIG). Its accumulated evidence of FBI and DOJ corruption was extremely damning, but the conclusion in its executive summary was perplexing to say the least. CBS reported it this way: “…the [OIG] report found that political bias [of Obama officials] did not affect the [Hillary email] investigation and it gave support to the decision not to prosecute Clinton.”

So how can the OIG report be both damning and exonerating? Former US Attorney George Parry, writing in The American Spectator, illustrates it best by using a hypothetical:

It seems like a day doesn’t go by without some female high school teacher getting arrested for having sexual relations with an underage student. The story line is always the same. Ms. Hotpants either gets caught in the act or because her student paramour shares with the world the naked selfies that for some weird reason she just had to send to his cell phone. Invariably the teacher is quickly and unceremoniously condemned, fired from her job and arrested.

To illustrate this point, let me apply the OIG’s reserved and non-judgmental standards to the hypothetical case of Teacher 1 and Student A who have been caught naked in a car parked behind the local Piggly Wiggly. Herewith is an excerpt from the hypothetical report by the Pleasant Valley School District’s Office of Inspector General:

We asked Teacher 1 why she and Student A had been in her car at Midnight. She replied that he had been doing poorly in her class, and she was tutoring him. We acknowledge that such additional instruction would be a valid and proper pedagogical undertaking. Nevertheless, we asked why they were not wearing clothes. She explained that they had become hot and sweaty, and she believed that it was important that teacher and student should eliminate physical discomforts to maximize the learning experience.

We asked why they had an open bottle of vodka and a box of condoms. She explained that these items had been left in the car by her husband. Since her spouse is not an employee of the school district, we were unable to question him regarding this matter.

While we found Teacher 1’s answers to be unpersuasive, she made no direct declaration as to why she had engaged in this drunken, naked and nocturnal meeting with Student A. Consequently, we have no definitive proof that she was motivated by a desire to engage in sexual relations. Therefore, we make no finding regarding her motive or intent.

As a trial attorney might say at this juncture: “I rest my case.”


Brian said...

By "Obama's FBI" do you refer to the FBI that was led by Republican appointed and Republican registered Mueller? The same Mueller that almost certainly prevented Hillary from winning with his statements days before the election?

You sound as goofy as Trump whining about the "witch hunt" empowered by his own Republican appointee Rosenstein.

One day you will simply have to get over your obsession with Hillary and Obama and admit to yourself there are no legitimate charges to be made. Sorry. And you will also have to face all the charges that continue to happen with the Mueller investigation.

Trump is the enemy of the truth, but in the long run truth wins out.

Jared J Bristol said...

Way too much Koolaid, Brian. You're delusional if you think Hillary and Obama did not collude with each other AND Russia in both the uranium 1 sale and the election. Both should be in jail for life for treason, along with several others. Your side is going to force a civil war if you don't get real.

Anonymous said...

Brian, I'm not fan of TV commercials whatsoever. However, I found one that I thought was particularly funny and pertinent to this discussion. It's the commercial where the father wants to know who has been eating all the Cheetos and uses a blacklight to discover that his whole family is lying. You can see it here:

Apparently, your comments indicate you've been living in Plato's Cave. Too bad we can't use a blacklight on the major players in this ridiculous Mueller investigation who should be in prison by now. But, as you said, "in the long run truth wins out". And, then what, Brian? Will you be moving to another country as those embarrassing Hollywood clowns have said they'd do?

Brian said...

C'mon guys, get real. This is important. If you are even going to pretend that Trump isn't the biggest, boldest, most out-right liar in American political history then this conversation can't get off the ground. Face facts. You support a liar who would like to censor the free press, who admires and praises dictators and would love to be one. Wake up and seek the truth.

Anonymous said...

I don’t generally use ad hominem attacks, which is what the Left always does, but you’re an idiot useful or otherwise.

Jared J Bristol said...

Amen Charles, but you're too kind.

Montedoro44 said...

It's astonishing that the acts that Hillary committed are not in question, and in the view of some experienced prosecutors, are indeed prosecutable crimes. And there's possible collusion with Russia, through the Clinton Foundation. And there are real links between Huma Abedin and the terrorist organization Muslim Brotherhood. And the Imran Awan - Debbie Wasserman Schultz scandal -- real crimes . . . and yet there is no interest in Deepstate to investigate any of this.

On the other hand, the investigation targeting DT is intense and expensive, committing infractions, never-ending, and not coming up with anything that matters that can be prosecuted.

And all Brian can do is to try to change the subject. Nice try. This is not about Hillary vs. Donald, but about authorities who are vested to apply the law, not applying the law. Investigating Hillary is not equal to supporting Donald. How embarrassing to write such stuff. No need for ad hominem, just dismissal from serious discussion.

Brian said...

Charles and Jared, there really is nothing you can do that involves facts or the truth to defend yourself, hence the personal attack.

Monte, how am I changing the subject? I pointed out that the Trump "witch hunt", and any investigating of Hillary was, and is, headed by Republicans, from Comey to Mueller to Rosenstein. I bring up Trumps struggle with the truth to point out that the epidemic of choosing not to believe clear facts and truth is a culture that starts right at the top and passed down to those desperate to believe, like little baby birds open-mouthed awaiting a worm from mommy. Eat up those lies! Yummy!

Step away from your echo chamber for a moment and take a deep breath of reality.

Feel free to let me know what facts you think are wrong with this Politifact article:

Brian said...

Monte irrationally said about the Mueller investigation: "never-ending, and not coming up with anything that matters that can be prosecuted."

Never ending? Shorter than the Watergate investigation.
Not coming up with anything? Over a dozen indictments, but more importantly, how the hell would you know about Mueller has or doesn't have? Is he secretly filling you in?

Brian said...

Tom said: "I really liked how he told Hillary to her face she would be in jail if he were president"

Very telling that you admit to liking his lies even after they are shown to be not true!

Reality Check said...

A report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found no political bias in the conduct of an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and account, but it offers a scathing condemnation of how former FBI Director James Comey and other FBI employees handled aspects of the investigation (such as when Comey broke DOJ policy, and most likely cost Hillary a victory by going public days before the election)

The report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz is a blow to both Comey and President Trumpas it rejects Trump’s claims that the FBI went easy on Clinton. Investigators found no evidence that the FBI avoided charges because of political bias—ultimately concluding the
The IG report does not extensively relitigate the decision not to recommend charges against Clinton in July, and notes that its role is not to second-guess outcomes. Rather, investigators were focused on whether the decisions made by the department were reasonable and untainted by bias, they said.

The major takeaway is this: Trump’s comments about Comey run counter to the IG report in every major respect. Trump alleged political bias where Horowitz finds none.

Brian said...

Our Cheeto-in-Chief is now using children at the border in horrendous ways in some twisted attempt to use them for leverage to get a deal to fund his moronic wall. I wonder if he got this ploy of separating children from families from Putin, Kim jong-un, or another of his thuggish dictator friends? What a cretin.

Tom McLaughlin said...

Jared's comment about the Dems forcing a civil war I have called crazy ten years ago when first I heard it. So much has happened since then that I would never have thought possible -- I not longer consider it crazy at all.

If present trends continue like the Democrat/media war on Trump, demagoguery at the southern border, selective enforcement of laws depending on who the perpetrators are, deep state depredations, and especially any attempts to confiscate guns -- I no longer consider civil war out of the realm of possibility during my lifetime.

Brian said...

I agree, Civil War is a possibility if a segment of the population continues to ignore the truth and hide their eyes from easily proven facts, and instead continue to blindly follow a leader who expresses his admiration for dictators, acts like a dictator, and who continually lies about anything he wants because he knows his sheep will choose to believe him. People WILL stand up and fight for children, and the horrible crap going on at the borders. People WILL fight against the rich and powerful getting better treatment by the law, and by society in general.

And knock it off with the gun crap, Tom. Nobody ever has, nor ever will, (nor ever should), try and "take away your guns". That is a BS battlecry, one used successfully over the years to rile up uninformed people.

One scenario I can imagine is if the Mueller investigation finds something serious enough to remove Trump from office, but he refuses to give up power. The White House would be taken over by angry mobs which could spark off some serious battles.

But like the last Civil War, the right side will win again.

Billy Yank said...

Civil War? Let's play along with this nutty talk. Would I join the side that supports the "very fine people" that make up the neo-nazis, (and of course the neo-nazis themselves would be on this side), those that support child molesters (Roy Moore), and those that like the idea of their leader cozying up to the dictators of the world and insulting most non-dictator countries, the side that pushes closer to dictatorship with desires to stop the free press, and the side that tolerates a leader with over 5 pages of undeniable "pants-on-fire" lies, because hey, how important is honesty anyway?

Or would I join the side that is against all that?

Jared J Bristol said...

Well...Billy Yank (what are you yanking?)...if you join the side that it's obvious you will join, prepare to lose. What are some of Trump's more egregious lies of which you speak? The the economy will boom? That he will give the country a tax break? That he will do everything he can to promote world peace (eg. NOKO, Iran, etc.)? That he will make America great again? That he's transparent? Compare to Obama. That he won't bow and kow-tow to world leaders? That he has a proper SS#? Real school records? No terrorist friends? You are truly as delusional as Brian. Clueless.
Come on, lay some out for us.

Jared J Bristol said...

For Billy and Brian: Go here and then talk to us.

Billy Yank said...

well, Jared....I put a link that led to all 5 pages of Trumps most blatant lies, so I'm not sure why you are asking again, but thanks for pointing out the obvious lie of making America great again. A real challenge would be finding ANY example of Trump talking for more than 1 minute (non scripted) without at least one lie involved.

Trump transparent??? Are you kidding me? Starting with the White House visitor logs being kept secret I knew we were in trouble. Here is a link laying out that this is one of the least transparent administrations ever.

Trump doesn't bow and kow-tow to world leaders? Well, not if they aren't run by ruthless dictators he might not, but look at all the ass kissing he does with those terrorist thugs he admires. And SALUTING some North Korean general! Are you serious?

I'll ignore your conspiracy theories on the Birther issue, I'd rather get your views on Bigfoot.

The goofy Town Hall article just shows how easily you get sucked into believing lies.

The idea that this is simply a continuation of an Obama-era practice is "preposterous," said Denise Gilman, director of the Immigration Clinic at the University of Texas Law School. "There were occasionally instances where you would find a separated family — maybe like one every six months to a year — and that was usually because there had been some actual individualized concern that there was a trafficking situation or that the parent wasn’t actually the parent."

Once custody concerns were resolved, "there was pretty immediately reunification," Gilman told NBC News. "There were not 2,000 kids in two months — it’s not the same universe," she added.

Anyway, have fun fantasizing about fighting alongside your child molesting, neo nazi brethren.

Anonymous said...

Two points that will fall on Brian’s & Billy Yank’s deaf ears:

*Hillary’s political Leftist ideology is much more aligned with Putin’s. So, why would the Russians want the MAGA capitalist, Trump, to win when she would align with Putin to make America even more socialistic than when Obama was in office?

*The bottom line of this whole mess is that the corruption at the upper levels of the DoJ & FBI was to obfuscate crimes committed by Hillary and to insure that both she and her accomplice, Obama, would not be exposed. Pure and simple.

Time will tell.

Brian said...

Charles, what does it matter WHY? Look at the clear facts and it is obvious Putin tried to help Trump, is anybody really still arguing this? My guess is that the attraction is recognizing the "tough" guy authoritarian leadership style in each other. They can dominate more of the world if they team up? There are also financial deals to consider. We don't know why yet, but we know Trump is scared to say anything bad about Putin. What is your explaination for that? It seems that so many Trump defenders dodge that question.

I have yet to se any proof what so ever that Obama was involved in any crimes. What is the most damning evidence in your eyes?

Montedoro44 said...

Trump lies vs. Obama lies — 10 minutes with Ben Shapiro:

Billy Yank said...

Trump lies vs. Obama lies

Montedoro44 said...

Interesting & somewhat unresponsive response, Billy Yank. Counting the number of instances of lies, without evaluating their import is the unresponsive element. Ben Shapiro began his analysis by making this point. Maybe you missed it or you don't want to consider it, if your greatest goal is to derogate Trump.

A single Obama lie, like "Isis has nothing to do with Islam" or "If you like the [health care] plan you have, you can keep it. If you like the doctor you have, you can keep your doctor, too." is of far more concern than hundreds of Trump lies, on the order of "The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote." or "the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years".

Lives have been lost by "Isis has nothing to do with Islam.", and more will be, as the official US government misunderstanding of the war that Obama refused to acknowledge exists progresses, and our defenses continue to be hampered by this falsehood. The Obama lies involving the steamrolling of the Iran nuclear deal, JCPOA, and the ridiculous explanation of the cause of the Benghazi incident, continue to cause seriously destructive consequences.

Billy, please evaluate content, not just count things that are not similar in value as if they are equal.

Billy Yank said...

My search for your supposed Obama quote of "Isis has nothing to do with Islam" came up empty. I saw quotes from people putting those words in his mouth, but the closest I could find was his saying “All of us have a responsibility to refute the notion that groups like Isil somehow represent Islam, because that is a falsehood that embraces the terrorists’ narrative”

Does Isis "represent" Islam? Do abortion clinic bombers and murderers "represent" Christianity? Seems like an opinion to me. And Shapiro claiming Trumps lies are really not all that damaging is also an opinion. Why is Trump's BS Health Care claim of “I am going to take care of everybody. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now” not as bad as Obama's dumb claim? We still don't know yet how damaging all of Trump's proven lies about Russia are until we get to the bottom of the whole Russian investigation. Which reminds me of how all Trump supporters continue to dodge the question of what they think is going on. What is he trying to hide? What has him nervous?

The constant flow of clear facts, easily verifiable lies that come from Trump is incredibly damaging to all of society. Why should he be believed about anything when he gets caught lying so often about stupid stuff?

As Spiro Agnew's Lawyer said, "Donald Trump’s Lies Are Fatally Wounding Our Democracy"

CaptDMO said...

As Spiro Agnew's Lawyer said, "Donald Trump’s Lies Are Fatally Wounding Our Democracy"
How odd you'd hang on such a revered (oh please) institution such as Brookings in their citation, of Spiro Agnew's lawyer's ignorant delusion, that "our democracy" was a "thing" in the US.
And how in the HELL did The Brookings Institution end up with an ".edu" web-o-net
"The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC."

Fred said...

This whole situation was summed up nicely by Steve Schmidt, a longtime Republican strategist who worked with Bush and McCain, and recently renounced his membership in the Republican party after 30 years. He called Trump a "useful idiot" for Russia and said that the party has become "corrupt, indecent, and immoral". he went on to say that "The first step to a season of renewal in our land is the absolute and utter repudiation of Trump and his vile enablers. I do not say this as an advocate of a progressive agenda. I say it as someone who retains belief in Democracy and decency".