Donald Trump is doing what desperate people tend to do when they realize things are slipping away from them: he’s grasping at straws. He hoped the Nunes memo would magically save his dying presidency. He hoped his photo op with murderous dictator Kim Jong Un would do the same. Of course none of his tactics have worked. For quite some time Trump has been counting on a DOJ Inspector General report to magically bail him out. That report arrived today, and blew up in his face.
Trump has spent months insisting on Twitter that the FBI went soft on Hillary Clinton during its investigation of her emails, and that two FBI agents – Peter Strzok and Lisa Page – had conspired against him. He kept touting the IG report as something that would vindicate him, to the point that it raised the question of whether he had managed to corrupt the Inspector General. Today we found out otherwise.
The IG report is very long and touches on a number of topics, but two findings in particular stand out. The first is the conclusion that FBI Director James Comey improperly went overboard when he gave a press conference scolding Hillary Clinton even while admitting that she’d done nothing wrong, and that he was again out of line when he sent a misleading letter about Clinton just eleven days before the election. In other words, not only did Hillary do nothing wrong, she was a victim of FBI overzealousness.
The second key finding in the IG report is that while Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were out of line for expressing their political views in private text messages, they did nothing improper with regard to the FBI’s investigations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. In other words, the report just wiped out Trump’s biggest talking points. Trump keeps striking out on these things, and he’s running out of increasingly desperate and low-percentage swings.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report