Is Bill Barr’s FISA probe a tragic farce?

Former South Carolina Congressman Trey Gowdy said Friday what we all suspect —  he doubts former FBI Director James Comey will be indicted as a result of an inspector general’s investigation into possible FISA abuse while he was in charge.

 Gowdy told Fox News host Bill Hemmer, “He’s not going to be indicted. So if that’s what people expect, they’re going to be disappointed. I’d rather set reasonable expectations.”

The public has been clamoring for Comey, and other ousted FBI bosses like former deputy director Andrew McCabe, to be prosecuted. They were all part of the cabal that oversaw the use of the unverified Steele dossier to obtain warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, against President Donald Trump’s former aide Carter Page. After months of waiting, not a single indictment has been issued to key players like Comey.

The Justice Department already declined to prosecute Comey over his handling of a series of memos he wrote that documented conversations he had with the president. The Office of the Inspector General report released in August stated that Comey violated DOJ and FBI policies, as well as the FBI’s employment agreement, by keeping copies of four of his memos in a personal safe and asking a law professor friend to describe the contents of one of the memos to the news media after Trump fired him in May 2017.

Comey said the conversations made him uncomfortable. At one White House dinner Comey says Trump asked him for his loyalty.  In another private Oval Office discussion Comey said the president asked him to end an investigation into Michael Flynn, the former White House national security adviser.

No wonder there was virtually no media coverage of a House Oversight Subcommittee meeting featuring Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz last Thursday. Does the public really care what he has to say?

Wall Street Journal Kimberley Strassel was alarmed at the absence of most Democrats at the hearing. The liberal media was probably busy chasing their new bombshell, the Trump-Ukraine collusion hoax.

“The room was almost empty; all but a few Democratic members didn’t even bother showing up. Apart from Fox News and a few conservative publications, news organizations ignored it. The featured—and substantive—witness: Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz,” wrote Stossel on Thursday.

“This is today’s Washington: theater upstaging truth. The headlines go to a long debunked “collusion” and “obstruction” narrative that liberal and media partisans refuse to quit. A press blackout is meanwhile imposed on those investigators—including Mr. Horowitz—who have rooted out gross misconduct by the officials at the Federal Bureau of Investigation who first spun that narrative.”

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, Legal Affairs Columnist at Politico also wrote an enlightening article on Friday noting that the Justice Department’s case against McCabe is already in trouble.

“The case federal prosecutors reportedly are preparing to bring against former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe for lying to his colleagues at the FBI is weak and likely to fail at trial. And if it does, the Department of Justice will be embarrassed—again—and struggling to answer why it brought the case in the first place,” the former prosecutor wrote.

“This isn’t a case where someone suspected of wrongdoing lied to the FBI during an interrogation. McCabe was deputy director of the FBI and allegedly lied during an internal investigation of a leak related to the Hillary Clinton email investigation that put him in a positive light. The leak to the Wall Street Journal was not illegal and he had the power to authorize it (a standard if unseemly Washington practice), but he allegedly lied because then-FBI Director James Comey would not have approved of his disclosure,” Mariotti added.

It all seems like a catastrophic travesty and waste of time and resources that is destined to become a footnote in history. Maybe a new team of government officials will one day try to destabilize and overturn another duly elected president. There will be no judicial precedent to stop them.