Lower-level officials” and “missteps”? Was Trump indirectly spied on? Let’s just wait for Horowitz—then let the spin begin
By David Singer
The mass media faces its day of judgment on 9 December when Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz releases his report into alleged spying on American citizens conducted by the FBI during the 2016 election.
The mass media has shown little interest in investigating allegations that an American citizen and Trump campaign staffer for a short period—Carter Page—and by extension—the Trump campaign Committee, candidate Trump, candidate designate Trump and then President Trump were spied on during:
Biggest scandal in America’s political history
- the Presidential campaign from late October 2016 to election day—November 8, 2016
- the transition period between November 8 2016 until Trump was sworn in as President on 20 January 2017
- the period Trump was President between January 20, 2017 and October 2017.
The legal steps to enable such spying required four applications by the FBI to the top secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. To obtain the warrants to conduct such spying the FBI was required to produce verified information to justify their issue.
The bulk of information allegedly produced to the Court consisted of an unverified report which had been prepared by a former British secret service agent—Christopher Steele—using Russian contacts.
Steele was allegedly paid for his report by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton.
These allegations—if substantiated by Horowitz—will justify Republican claims that this is the biggest scandal in America’s political history —exceeding the Watergate break-in.
The inspector general’s inquiry is limited in scope as Attorney General Barr has already confirmed:
“He’s looking at a discrete area that is—that is you know, important, which is the use of electronic surveillance that was targeted at Carter Page,”
59% of the public do not have a fair amount of trust of the media
The mass media will be praying that the Horowitz Report does not substantiate the above allegations. If it does the mass media will face further erosion of reader support and advertising revenue.
A Gallup poll conducted between 3-15 September reveals that:
- 13% trust the media “a great deal,” and 28% “a fair amount”
- 69% of Democrats, 15% of Republicans, 36% of independents trust media
The corollary that 59% of the public do not have a fair amount of trust of the media is disturbing enough.
The mass media’s failure to have put its well-resourced investigative reporters on to this political scandal, if substantiated by Horowitz, can only see more readers deserting their favourite news outlets for fairer and more reliable news coverage and analysis.
The mass media are predictably playing down the Horowitz Report—as only they know how—by relying on anonymous leaks as to its contents.
The New York Times leads the pack:
The mass media are predictably playing down the Horowitz Report
“A highly anticipated report by the Justice Department’s inspector general is expected to sharply criticize lower-level F.B.I. officials as well as bureau leaders involved in the early stages of the Trump-Russia investigation, but to absolve the top ranks of abusing their powers out of bias against President Trump, according to people briefed on a draft.
Investigators for the inspector general, Michael E. Horowitz, uncovered errors and omissions in documents related to the wiretapping of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page — including that a low-level lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, altered an email that officials used to prepare to seek court approval to renew the wiretap, the people said.”
CNN follows closely behind:
“What the report says is unknown. But some witnesses who have been interviewed by the inspector general say they expect that it will likely reveal some missteps, though none that should be interpreted as undermining a legitimate investigation.”
“Lower-level officials” and “missteps”? Was Trump indirectly spied on? Let’s just wait for Horowitz—then let the spin begin.