Inspector General Horowitz Completes Investigation – Notifies Congress of Classification Review…

The DOJ Office of Inspector General Michael Horowitz has notified congress that his investigation is complete.  In a letter to congressional committee members with oversight authority, IG Horowitz states the draft report on his FISA abuse investigation is currently undergoing an internal classification review:

PROCESS:  The completion of the draft report indicates: (1) the investigation has concluded; (2) the IG referencer checks are now complete; and (3) the draft is submitted to the DOJ (AG Bill Barr) and FBI (Christopher Wray) for a review.

Depending on the size, scale and content of the report a classification review could take several weeks.  This is where President Trump previously granting AG Bill Barr authority to make declassification decisions will come into play. Ultimately the decision on what can be released is now in the hands of U.S. Attorney General William Barr.

AG Bill Barr’s May 23rd, 2019, declassification authority covers investigative material from the DOJ, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, State Department, Treasury Department, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

How much AG Bill Barr will declassify is an unknown; and this part will most likely be the source of a great deal of debate and political positioning.

After the classification review, and possible declassification determinations by AG Bill Barr, the draft report will be returned to the Office of Inspector General for a Final Draft assembly.  Any information remaining classified will be placed into a separate “Classified Appendix” that will not be public.

The Final Draft could, likely will, be shared with key stakeholders who are outlined within the report during the Principal Review Phase (generally two/three weeks). Here the IG may accept feedback on the investigative findings.  If the IG accepts feedback for placement in the report; the referencer will generally provide additional material specific to the allowed response from the principal(s), with further comment from the IG.

Interesting note from the IG letter:

An intellectually honest inference would be that several witnesses came forward only after the Special Counsel investigation was complete.

From this point, a good guess based on processes and procedures would be to anticipate a final public report in approximately six to eight weeks.   Though it could be delivered faster depending on the scale/scope/complexity of the classification review.

 

Inspector General Horowitz Completes Investigation – Notifies Congress of Classification Review…


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