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Live Blog

Here is your live blog for the day.

And a little Bee to end the week:

Less time to have to rig things for the nominee this way:

Gonna go out on a limb here and say that their problem in 2016 wasn't that the public didn't get to see enough of Granny Maojackets.

Conservative pundits are expressing a diversity of opinions on yesterday's IG report, with some calling it a total "whitewash!" (e.g. Sean Hannity) and others calling it "one of the most damning rebukes of the FBI that I think we’ve ever seen” (Jason Chaffetz).

Somewhere in between is Kim Strassel, who writes at the WSJ that the report was "careful in its conclusions but damning on the facts."

Be ready to hear the report absolves the FBI and DOJ of “bias.” Not true. It very carefully states that “our review did not find documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to the specific investigative decisions we reviewed.” Put another way, he never caught anyone writing down: Let’s start this Trump investigation so we can help Hillary win.

But the bias is everywhere. It’s in the texts between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and those of three other employees who are routinely “hostile” to Candidate Trump. It’s in Ms. Page’s freak-out that Mr. Trump might win the presidency and Mr. Strzok’s reply: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” It’s in a message from an unnamed agent in November 2016 who writes that although the FBI found Clinton aide Huma Abedin had “lied,” it doesn’t matter since “no one at DOJ is going to prosecute.” To which a second agent replies. “Rog—noone is going to pros[ecute] even if we find unique classified.”

It’s in the Justice Department’s decision to cut deals with Mrs. Clinton and her staff and shelter them from a grand jury. And to agree to limitations in searching for and in devices. And in immunity agreements. The report is largely neutral on all this, giving officials the broad benefit of the doubt on “discretionary judgments made during the course of an investigation.” But it immediately follows that statement by noting that its job of evaluating the integrity of decisions was “made significantly more difficult” by the obvious bias among key players, which “cast a cloud” over the entire “investigation’s credibility.”

Keep in mind, Horowitz has referred five FBI employees for investigation in connection with their politically charged texts, so more will be coming out of that. My own initial opinion was shock and disappointment that the IG was unable to find documentary evidence that bias influenced the Clinton probe when the report seems to be chock full of it. But perhaps, as Molly Hemingway suggests at The Federalist, I don't know how to read an IG report.

 The FBI’s IG Michael Horowitz has a good reputation for good reason. But his report is in support of the FBI and its policies and procedures. As such, the findings will be focused on helping the FBI improve its adherence to those policies and procedures. Those who expected demands for justice in the face of widespread evidence of political bias and poor judgment by immature agents and executives were people unfamiliar with the purpose of IG reports.

Horowitz is still looking into the FBI's handling of the Trump/Russia probe, where bias and animus toward Trump seem to have influenced the unprecedented government surveillance of his campaign.

As to that -- this text exchange between FBI officials shortly after the election is quite telling.

What is Trump going to do when he finds out the FBI was spying on his staff? I think we're finding out now.

 

 

Remember when people were saying that Trump looking for a 4 percent growth rate for GDP was crazy? Maybe not so much:

My periodic reminder: