“Last week’s political trifecta—the Iowa caucus, the State of the Union, and President Trump’s impeachment acquittal—temporarily starved other stories of oxygen. Among those was the news that the inspector general’s report on FISA abuse was misleading and that redacted information contained in four footnotes contradicted sections of the lengthy expose on the Crossfire Hurricane investigation.
Sens. Chuck Grassley and Ron Johnson dropped that bombshell in a letter delivered to Attorney General William Barr that requested Barr declassify the information hidden in the redacted footnotes. While the declassified version of the Grassley-Johnson letter did not identify the four footnotes at issue, a detailed analysis of the IG report suggests the redacted information concerned Christopher Steele’s sources and potentially the FBI’s purported predication for the launch of Crossfire Hurricane. These conclusions come from a deep-dive into the IG report read in tandem with the Grassley-Johnson letter.
That letter noted that the senators had “reviewed the classified report of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) with regard to the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane investigation, and [were] deeply concerned about certain information that remains classified.” Their concern? “That certain sections of the public version of the report are misleading because they are contradicted by relevant and probative classified information redacted in four footnotes.”
The next sentence is the key, as it establishes that the redacted information concerns not just a few details addressed in the IG report, but goes to the heart of the entire Crossfire Hurricane investigation: “This classified information is significant not only because it contradicts key statements in a section of the report, but also because it provides insight essential for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation.”
From these details—that the redacted information contradicts “sections of the public version of the report” and provides insight “for an accurate evaluation of the entire investigation”—it is possible to pinpoint the footnotes and concerns Grassley and Johnson see.” (Read more: The Federalist, 2/11/2020) (Archive)