Following the IG report draft review by the principals within the DOJ/FBI small group under investigation more leaks are submitted to the New York Times in an effort to get out ahead of the scheduled publication of the final report on December 9th.
One note before content review: The highly structured obfuscation within how these leaks are being released, in combination with the lawyers representing the principals, explains why there was such a lengthy delay after the principal review phase.
Each principal can provide feedback for inclusion in the report; however, all feedback added to the report generates an IG rebuttal. Keep this in mind because these leaks are the “feedback” and the leakers have no idea what the IG “rebuttal” will be. The more the principals’ obfuscate and justify conduct to the IG in their feedback, the stronger the rebuttal to that feedback will be in the final report.
The New York Times latest narrative effort is intentionally obtuse with the word “spy”:
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department’s inspector general found no evidence that the F.B.I. attempted to place undercover agents or informants inside Donald J. Trump’s campaign in 2016 as agents investigated whether his associates conspired with Russia’s election interference operation, people familiar with a draft of the inspector general’s report said.
[…] The finding also contradicts some of the most inflammatory accusations hurled by Mr. Trump and his supporters, who alleged not only that F.B.I. officials spied on the Trump campaign but also at one point that former President Barack Obama had ordered Mr. Trump’s phones tapped.
[…] [FBI] agents had an informant, an academic named Stefan A. Halper, meet with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos while they were affiliated with the campaign.
[…] The F.B.I. did have an undercover agent who posed as Mr. Halper’s assistant during a London meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in August 2016.
But that’s not spying? OK gotcha.
[…] Mr. Horowitz will also undercut another claim by Trump allies — that the Russian intermediary who promised dirt to Mr. Papadopoulos, a Maltese professor named Joseph Mifsud, was an F.B.I. informant.
This obfuscation is really silly. No-one has ever claimed Mifsud was an FBI informant. The concern has always been Mifsud was a western intelligence asset, perhaps CIA.
[…] The report is also expected to debunk another theory of Trump allies: that the F.B.I. relied on information to open the investigation from a British former spy, Christopher Steele, himself a onetime bureau informant who compiled a dossier of damaging, unverified information on Mr. Trump.
Another paragraph of nonsense. No-one has alleged the Steele Dossier was used to open the FBI investigation in July 2016. The technical origination of the FBI investigation known as Crossfire Hurricane came from the joint FBI/CIA operation into Papadopoulos on July 31st, 2016. The questions have always been about what predicate the pre-July ’16 originating investigations into Papadopoulos, Page, Flynn and Manafort were based on.
What was the evidence of Russia’s interference in the election, known to the FBI, before July 2016? And what was the evidence that connected the Trump campaign to that predicate claim?
[…] The inspector general will fault the F.B.I. for failing to tell the judges who approved the wiretap applications about potential problems with the dossier, the people familiar with the draft report said. F.B.I. agents have interviewed some of Mr. Steele’s sources and found that their information differed somewhat from his dossier.
Mr. Horowitz plans to say that the wiretap application, which referenced Mr. Papadopoulos, should have also included a statement he made to the undercover agent in London that could be seen as exculpatory or self-serving, the people familiar with the draft report said. (read full article)
A ‘wired’ FBI “undercover agent” recorded an exculpatory statement from Papadopoulos, but no – they weren’t spying? OK gotcha…. Oh, and the FBI just avoided the transcript of the ‘wired’ statement because it just didn’t fit their purposes. But not political? Uh-huh.