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Inspector General’s report detailing FBI misconduct reads like the script to ‘Richard Jewell’

Bill Bramhall's editorial cartoon for Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, following Attorney General William Barr disagreeing with the Justice Department's inspector general's report into the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties with Russia.
Bill Bramhall's editorial cartoon for Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019, following Attorney General William Barr disagreeing with the Justice Department's inspector general's report into the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties with Russia. (Bill Bramhall/New York Daily News)

So a pudgy fellow, some might say not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree, is improperly targeted by the FBI and pursued and investigated by the bureau even though their exhaustive investigation produces no credible evidence of the fellow’s involvement in any crime. The FBI uses discredited evidence, chicanery and press leaks to try to ruin the guy. They are joined in their attempt to bring down this poor man by a rabid media feeding off those inaccurate leaks and convicting him in the court of public opinion with their shoddy reporting and illicit assistance from arrogant and unaccountable denizens of the deep state swamp.

The plot of Clint Eastwood’s new movie, “Richard Jewel"? Or a reasonable interpretation of the recent report issued by the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Justice covering the FBI investigation into the 2016 election campaign of President Donald Trump (”Highly anticipated watchdog report finds FBI was justified in opening Trump-Russia probe and did not act with political bias," Dec. 9)? Both of these tales are based on true histories and reveal a federal police agency that is powerful, with unlimited resources and wthat can be ruthless and corrupt in the pursuit of its own unscrupulous agendas.

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Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report, scathing as it is, has already been criticized by U.S. Attorney General William Barr for not coming down even harder on the FBI for improperly interfering in the 2016 election. More ominous is that the Horowitz report has also been criticized by U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a criminal investigation into the origins of the 2016 FBI probes of the Trump campaign. Mr. Durham, whose own findings are due soon, took the very unusual step of publicly disagreeing with Mr. Horowitz on several key but unidentifiable issues.

Unlike the Inspector General’s review, Mr. Durham’s investigation could lead to criminal indictments for any high FBI officials who broke the law in their misguided attempt to kneecap a Trump presidency. And, unlike the unfairly persecuted Richard Jewel, these officials may have to answer for their misdeeds in a court of law. Great irony there.

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Jon Ketzner, Cumberland

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