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Sen. Grassley Releases ‘Annex A’ from the Horowitz Report

June 12, 2020 (EIRNS)—Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) have continued to press the Department of Justice to release sections of the investigative report of their Inspector General, Michael Horowitz. The latest is the previously suppressed “Annex A.” This annex is the result of the sausage-making that went into the infamous Jan. 6, 2017 “Intelligence Community Assessment” of Russian meddling. Evidently fired FBI director James Comey, proud of his “Operation Hurricane” operation, had pushed fired CIA director John Brennan and former Obama Intelligence director James Clapper on including the Steele dossier. As a result, an “Annex A” was created by the others as a disclaimer. Later, the Horowitz report quoted from Annex A’s disclaimer, that there was “only limited corroboration of [Steele]’s reporting” and that Steele had been “unable to vouch for ... [its] sourcing and accuracy.” It is that two-page Annex A that has now been released.

Senator Grassley’s press release yesterday also raises the pathetic case of the workings of the FBI’s Operation Hurricane team. It refers back to an earlier (April) release of footnotes from the Horowitz Report, and in particular a footnote number 350 on the devious Russians.

But the actual story is laughable: After Comey had his “J. Edgar Hoover” blackmail moment with President-elect Trump, there was a scramble at the FBI to buttress the Steele dossier. On Jan. 12, 2017, one of their operatives reported back that there may be a hole in the Michael Cohen story (most likely, the fallacious story that he had been in Vienna, meeting with Russians). Is the conclusion that Steele had been working mainly with corrupt Russian oligarchs, who might have fed him stories for money, without much regard for accuracy? No: Rather, the source, according to footnote number 350, “assessed” that the mistake must be “part of a Russian disinformation campaign to denigrate U.S. foreign relations.” So, the Russians acted with the intention of driving a wedge in between the U.S. and Russia, by making the U.S. look incompetent!

(Unfortunately, yesterday’s press release only refers to that silly assessment, with a straight face, as “intelligence reporting.”) However, it did provide a small peek into the quality of deliberation at Comey’s FBI.

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