The Clinton reckoning is tiptoeing in

This is a historic moment of bated breath and tight sphincters all over Clintonworld.  After decades of skating on their grifts, abuses, and outright crimes, a reckoning is coming.  And not just for the Hillary Clinton, but for her enablers.  The leaks begin about the I.G. report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation

Until Wednesday, there had been virtually no genuine leaks coming out of the inspector general's office at the Department of Justice – the sign of a probe with integrity. But that silence ended when the I.G.'s office circulated relevant portions of its report to people named in it, for their comments, which would be included when the report is published.

"With a cloth?"

The first sign was the now-infamous New York Times article, "Code Name Crossfire Hurricane: The Secret Origins of the Trump Investigation," in which, all of a sudden, it was officially admitted that the Trump campaign was spied on by the Obama intelligence apparatus and that at least one secret agent was employed.  Clearly, a major spin operation was underway in which damning facts to be revealed in an I.G. report are presented in the most favorable light possible and then can be dismissed as "old news" when the report is published.

But not everyone who now has seen portions of the report is playing defense.  Sara Carter is one of the key investigative reporters covering the biggest political scandal in American history.  She writes:

Inspector General Michael Horowitz's report, which is expected to be released within the next three to four weeks to the public, has been turned over to current and former officials for review, as first reported in The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.

The draft, however, does not include any recommendations for criminal prosecution.  If there was any evidence collected by the Inspector General's office of criminality, Horowitz would then refer the matter to the Department of Justice and submit a criminal referral to prosecutors.

"It would be up to the Inspector General to make the recommendations but there is an expectation that there will be at least one referral for prosecution," said a source familiar with the findings, who added that it is not conclusive as the Inspector General's office never discusses ongoing investigations.

In other words, so far, nobody outside the tightly controlled I.G. office knows the nature of any criminal referrals resulting from the inquiry.  But the history of the investigation into Andrew McCabe, already made public before he was able to retire and collect extra retirement income, suggests that the I.G. is far from reluctant to make such referrals:

As for the criminal referrals, it would be similar to the outcome of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, who was fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Horowitz's explosive first report released in April found that he lied multiple times about authorizing a leak to The Wall Street Journal.  In McCabe's case, Horowitz referred his findings to Sessions, who fired him several days before he was set to retire.  Horowitz also submitted a criminal referral on McCabe to the DOJ for possible criminal prosecution, as reported.  It would be up to Washington prosecutors to determine whether or not to move forward with the referral and it elevated the possibility that McCabe would be charged with a crime.  Horowitz's report concluded that McCabe had lied to then-FBI Director James B. Comey, as well as his investigators and others regarding his authorization of the leak.  McCabe lied on four occasions, three of those were under oath.

A.G. Sessions already revealed that John Huber, a U.S. attorney in Utah, has been charged with investigating scandals relating to Justice Department investigations of President Trump, and the U.S. attorney in Little Rock has a grand jury investigation underway.  So the pieces are in place for action on any referrals that may result.

It is important to remember that the I.G. report currently in the review and comment stage is but the second (McCabe was the first) of three, as Carter notes:

The report [under review and comment now] is expected to focus solely on the Clinton investigation and not on the 2016 Russia election meddling investigation, according to sources. ...

The Clinton report is expected to be followed by a third report on the IG's investigation into the FBI and DOJ's handling of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application on Carter Page, a former volunteer for the Trump campaign. The IG announced this investigation in March.

The "Crossfire Hurricane" story in the New York Times was playing defense on the FISA application investigation, it seems.  My speculation is that both phases of the I.G. report are close to being released.  Or else, the email investigation report makes reference to the counterintelligence investigation of Trump.  Because of the integrity of the I.G. office, we don't really know, but we will be finding out soon.

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