The Report’s Real Message: Trump Is Lying
Written by WPVR on June 15, 2018
He has repeatedly claimed that the Justice Department tried to protect Hillary Clinton. A watchdog’s report says otherwise.
The new report from the Justice Department’s watchdog covers a lot of ground. It runs more than 500 pages and evaluates investigations that touch both President Trump and Hillary Clinton. As a result, some of the initial news coverage — which has to cram all of the big findings into a few paragraphs — can be a little difficult to follow.
If you’re trying to do so, I recommend keeping your focus on the big picture. The report addresses one question that’s more important than any other: Did the Justice Department and F.B.I. use their power, as Trump has repeatedly claimed, to help Clinton’s campaign and hurt his?
In the lead-up to the report, Trump’s allies agreed that this was paramount. “The central question in my opinion,” David Bossie, Trump’s former deputy campaign manager, wrote this week on the Fox News website, “is did Hillary Clinton and her cronies get preferential treatment in her email server investigation for political reasons?”
And the report’s answer is clear: No.
Federal investigators and prosecutors did not give preferential treatment to Clinton. They pursued the case on the merits. They were guided by, as the inspector general’s report puts it, “the prosecutor’s assessment of the facts, the law, and past Department practice.”
The most significant mistake in the investigation didn’t help Clinton. It hurt her, badly. It was James Comey’s decision to violate department policy and talk publicly about the investigation. If it weren’t for that decision, the polling data suggests Clinton would be president.