It is amazing to watch all the pundits weigh in on an IG report they have never seen. This is evidence that they are terrified that this report will disclose the real conspiracy against Donald Trump. It is important to realize that the IG report is only part of the investigation. Horowitz only has limited authority. This was addressed in H.R. 4917, which authorized an IG to issue subpoenas, but only if approved by a panel of three other inspector generals. It passed the House in September 2018 but was never passed by the Senate. This means the IG has very limited ability to do anything other than report what is verified by actual documents.
The most likely result is that Horowitz will report what was done wrong, but he will not have enough information to evaluate intent other than from public records demonstrating bias. The result is that William Barr could totally embrace the findings of the IG report, but that does not mean he will consider this report to exonerate anyone.
This is easy to understand. Imagine there is a person who decided to hire someone to murder his or her spouse. Financial records would be subpoenaed and evaluated. These records would show what funds were expended and who received them. But a report on these records would not be nearly enough to convict anyone. There would also have to be testimony, probably by a medical examiner, showing when, where and how the person died. There would be a detective who described his or her investigation. He or she would report on interviews with the suspect and with others. There would likely be eyewitnesses called to testify.
The point is that the investigation by the IG, by definition, is insufficient to support a prosecution. While he can be critical of people for failing to follow procedures, he cannot indict anyone. He didn’t even have the authority to subpoena records or testimony. It would hopelessly naïve to think that this report would accuse people of criminal conduct,
This means a lot of people, on both sides, have been creating absurd expectation for the IG report. When the actual report is produced, it will be declared a nothing burger. This ignores the reality of the situation. The IG report is part of a much bigger investigation. It is important, but it is far from the entire case. What really matters is how it meshes with a much broader criminal investigation being conducted by John Durham. When Durham speaks, he is not going to be critical of people, he is either going to indict them or close his file.
Horowitz delivered the IG report to the DOJ and the FBI. Everyone involved reports to William Barr. William Barr announced that he has received the report and is reviewing it. Now that the comment period is over, Horowitz will deliver the final version to William Barr sometime prior to next Tuesday. It will be William Barr, not Horowitz who will make the public statement regarding the report. He will not necessarily limit this to what is in the report. Remember that when he delivered the Mueller report, he also said that he and Rosenstein had determined that there was no obstruction of justice.
The first time anyone will hear directly from Horowitz will be next Thursday when he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee. This means the real bombshell next Tuesday is likely to come from William Barr and while he will certainly reference the findings of the IG report, he is extremely unlikely to limit his comments only to that report.
Once again, the speech by William Barr to the Federalist Society is extremely important. If he has facts to support his accusations, Tuesday is going to go off like a nuclear bomb. If he does not, then he is going to have a hard time justifying his previous remarks. Since he has obviously read the entire unredacted report and he knows exactly what John Durham has found, it would be wise to assume that he does indeed have the facts.