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All the times Horowitz contradicted Wray — but nobody seemed to notice

All the times Horowitz contradicted Wray — but nobody seemed to notice
© Greg Nash

Nine times during their joint testimony before a Senate committee on Monday, Department of Justice Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz contradicted FBI Director Christopher Wray ...

... but nobody appeared to notice.

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It's an instructive example of how false narratives and talking points in Washington are amplified by inaccurate media coverage. It’s more reason you cannot necessarily believe what’s reported and repeated, no matter how many are reporting and repeating it.

 

Here’s a link to yesterday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Justice's IG Horowitz and FBI Director Wray. I’ll include time code notes below so you can see for yourself. You don't have to take my word for it. But you'll have to read closely, because some of the statements include double-negatives.

IG Horowitz was asked whether he indeed found “no bias” among FBI officials in their decision-making, as widely claimed

(1:13:34) Horowitz: "We were not saying that for every single decision … there are hundreds of decisions being made."

(1:13:34) Horowitz: "We did not find no bias with regards to the October events." (Read that carefully.)

(02:25:30) Horowitz: "What we say here is not that there was no bias ... ." (Again, read that carefully.)

(1:18:56) Horowitz (referring to FBI head of counterespionage Peter Strzok focusing more attention and energy on Trump-Russia collusion and away from the Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense — Presented by Raytheon — First lady's office pushes for ouster of national security aide | Trump taps retired general as ambassador to Saudis | Mattis to visit border troops | Record number of female veterans to serve in Congress Election Countdown: Lawsuits fly in Florida recount fight | Nelson pushes to extend deadline | Judge says Georgia county violated Civil Rights Act | Biden, Sanders lead 2020 Dem field in poll | Bloomberg to decide on 2020 by February What midterm exit polls tell us about 2020 MORE email probe): "We were not convinced that was not a biased decision."

(3:00:09) Sen. Chris CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsGrassley defends acting AG against calls for recusal Is Matthew Whitaker stooge or savior? His actions will tell us Dem senators urge Pompeo to reverse visa policy on diplomats' same-sex partners MORE (D-Del.): "… your investigation found fault in an exchange of text messages that you identified that demonstrated some political bias. Is that right?" Horowitz: "Correct."

(3:02:12) Horowitz: "The one area where we were concerned about bias was in the October time period, and the weighing of Agent Strzok between focusing on the Russia investigation versus the Weiner laptop [Clinton emails] and our concern about his decision given the text messages."

(2:05:15) Sen. Mike CrapoMichael (Mike) Dean CrapoSenate GOP readies for leadership reshuffle Waters defends planned probe of Trump finances after GOP backlash Grassley to make chairmanship decision after meeting with colleagues next week MORE (R-Idaho) "What you’re telling us is you found bias … those who you found the bias among said, ‘Well, we didn’t let it bleed into our work performance' and you don’t have evidence to disprove that." Horowitz: "Correct."

(2:02:46) Horowitz: "When we got to October we had concerns that there may be bias impacting the decision to prioritize the Russia investigation … ."

(2:02:46) Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho): "You’re not saying you didn’t find bias … ." Horowitz: "… I think it’s clear …  Strzok had, as we say here, a biased state of mind."

And, yet, FBI Director Wray testified: “The [DOJ IG] report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper considerations.”

All of that aside, there's nothing magical about somebody — even Horowitz — stating certain words that makes it true or untrue. The IG report is rife with examples of bias, even if Horowitz hadn't explicitly said so. (But he did.)

Still, it is curious that Horowitz settled on repeated use of confusing double-negatives rather than clearer direct statements.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy-award winning investigative journalist, author of the New York Times bestsellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”