The Inspector General and the Office of Inspector General launched an investigation into certain actions taken by the DoJ and the FBI in advance of the 2016 election to include leaks and the matter of Andrew McCabe’s recusal (see OIG letter at the end).
Former Acting Director and current Deputy Director of the DoJ Andrew McCabe announced his plans to retire in 90 days after his grilling by two congressional committees last week. President Trump responded to the announcement by tweeting that McCabe was trying to beat the clock. McCabe has significant conflicts of interest and could be in trouble.
On January 15, 2018, the OIG and the DoJ Inspector General Mike Horowitz will present a preliminary report and 1.2 million documents to Congress compiled during the yearlong investigation.
There are many issues that have come up since then that were not part of the investigation but which have hopefully been reviewed during the course of the probe.
There are concerns that, since the OIG is part of the DoJ, it is a matter of the DoJ investigating itself.
We do however have reason to believe the Inspector General Mike Horowitz will be independent and impartial.
The Office of Inspector General is its own agency with 500 employees, a $100 million budget, and 73 Inspector Generals.
The role of federal IGs is to prevent and detect waste, fraud, and abuse relating to their agency’s programs and operations.
The Inspector General Act of 1978 requires IGs be chosen on qualifications, not political affiliation, though we doubt affiliation is ignored.
The IGs are independent but share information and coordinate through the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE). Mike Horowitz is the Chairman of the CIGIE as well as IG for the DoJ.
In the past, the IGs including Mr. Horowitz have shown that they will put out the report as they see it. In the case of Fast & Furious, while the OIG didn’t point to criminality on the part of any of the players, they did release a very harsh report. In fact, it is said to have infuriated then-president Barack Obama.
It was up to the DoJ or the President to recommend further action which they declined to do.
While Mike Horowitz was appointed by Barack Obama, he also worked under George Bush. Furthermore, he was at loggerheads with an irate Barack Obama for the president’s entire two terms because of the lack of transparency.
In the past, the OIG was always able to get all documents requested without roadblocks being put in their way. When Barack Obama came in, all that changed, and it became impossible to get the information needed to conduct probes.
Mr. Horowitz didn’t back down. He continued to fight the President and went to Congress in 2015 about the issue, asking for assistance.
He also brought up the delay in appointing IGs who were greatly needed. President Obama saw no need to rush on watchdogs for his agencies.
It is interesting to note that there were problems with the former administration acting honorably but it was the former DoJ Inspector General who made that fact known.
The former DoJ Inspector General Howard Krongard, who was inspector general for the State Department from 2005 to 2008, predicted earlier in 2016 that even if the FBI referred Clinton’s case to the Justice Department for prosecution it would “never get to an indictment.”
Krongard said the case would have to go through “four loyal Democratic women,” including DoJ chief Loretta Lynch, top White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates,and Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, who heads the department’s criminal division.
Hopefully that type of corruption has not continued into this administration.