Inspector General Rebukes Partisan DOJ, Cites Crossfire Hurricane Witch Hunt

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Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz this week issued a report that reproved the Department of Justice for its partisan leanings as part of a broader take on “performance challenges” facing the department, according to a press release from the IG’s office.

Horowitz’s “2021 Report on the Top Management and Performance Challenges Facing the Department of Justice” offered “strategies” for improving the DOJ’s image after the the Pew Research Center found in 2020 that the DOJ “had one of the lowest ratings among federal agencies” and that “the political affiliation of the survey respondents seemed to affect their view of the Department.”

One strategy to pursue, according to Horowitz, “is to ensure adherence to policies and procedures designed to protect DOJ from accusations of political influence or partial application of the law.” These policies were thrown out the window in 2016, Horowitz said, as the FBI conducted its Crossfire Hurricane witch hunt.

Horowitz also mentioned the “political considerations [that] allegedly influenced the Department’s decision to obtain communications of members of Congress and the media, accusations that lawful protestors were cleared from Lafayette Square for political purposes, as well as claims that some Department officials may have sought to take action to alter the outcome of the 2020 Presidential Election.”

A second strategy outlined by Horowitz involved strengthening “public trust by enhancing transparency and accountability” through the use of “body worn cameras by its law enforcement personnel” and “ensuring that Department employees who engage in misconduct are appropriately disciplined.”

Horowitz also provided an update on his office’s ongoing review into the DOJ’s preparation for and response to the events of Jan. 6. A forthcoming report “will examine information concerning the January 6 events that was available to DOJ in advance of January 6; the extent to which such information was shared by DOJ with the U.S. Capitol Police and other federal, state, and local agencies; and the role of DOJ personnel in responding to this event.”

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