An interesting discussion between Representative John Ratcliffe, former congressman Trey Gowdy and Fox News Host Jason Chaffetz surrounding: the pending Inspector General Report into FISA abuse; the upcoming Mueller testimony; and the activity of U.S. Attorney John Durham.
Within the interview Ratcliffe notes he has recently spoken to Inspector General Horowitz about the timing of his upcoming report where Ratcliffe says the “investigative work is complete”. WATCH:
If previous reports of Christopher Steele being willing to speak to U.S. authorities about his dossier work in 2016 are accurate; and if Horowitz has completed his investigative work; then it’s likely Horowitz has already interviewed Steele.
The IG FISA investigation began in May of 2018, approximately 14 months ago. The assembly of the investigative details into a draft report should be expected to take about four to six weeks depending on the OIG referencer team and the scale of the summary documentation assembled.
However, a concerning aspect to Ratcliffe’s comments surrounds the 20% of the report stated to be “classified”. I am very suspicious of this statement.
One of the hopeful objectives projected upon President Trump granting AG Bill Barr the authority to declassify information, was the possibility this would allow AG Barr to remove the classification concerns within the IG report. If 20% is indeed classified, those projected hopes are considerably diminished and we should modify expectations accordingly.
One of the most consistent tools used by the DOJ and FBI to bury their institutional corruption has been the use of classification to hide damaging material. While the information from Ratcliffe is obviously limited it sounds like the DOJ and FBI will have an opportunity to continue hiding information.
Once a draft report is prepared, cited and referenced, the draft will then undergo an administrative review – that’s the troublesome phase. The administrative review is where the prior IG reports seemed to be shaped to protect the interests of the institutions under Rod Rosenstein, Robert Mueller and Christopher Wray.
The administratively approved draft report is then re-checked by the referencer to insure the notations of fact are accurately cited. Then the draft report is usually sent to the principals outlined in the report, and they are given approximately two weeks to provide feedback.
The principals must sign non-disclosure agreements prior to being allowed to review the draft. However, the public will likely know when this part is happening because while the principals cannot divulge the details the identified participants will make public comments about the report, and publicly begin to position their defenses.
If the principals provide feedback or counter opinion as to the substance of the report content the IG may allow those points to be included in the final report. Usually if the IG adds counter-points in the report the IG will also note material as to why those counterpoints may or may not hold merit.
The draft, the principal responses, the counter-points and all of the reference material is then assembled into a final report that is submitted to the DOJ Attorney General; and in this case, likely the FBI Director. The AG will then make the report public.
Depending on the scale of the investigation and all of the participating departments a rough estimate for final public report would be eight weeks +/- from the conclusion of the investigative phase.