Democrats worry the forthcoming IG report could undercut their Trump investigations

We’ve been hearing for weeks that Inspector General Michael Horowitz report would be released soon and that it would cast a very different light on elements of the Russia collusion investigation, including the Steele dossier and the behavior of the FBI. Today, Politico reports Democrats are worried the report is going to deliver on those promises and, in the process, wind up undermining their endless investigations of President Trump:

“I don’t think it will throw us off track, but it will certainly give Republicans ammunition to try to divert attention away from the specifics of the Mueller investigation,” said Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), a senior member of the House Judiciary Committee…

Democrats, wary of Republicans’ narrative becoming dominant, are preemptively trying to dispel those claims.

“If there’s really a ‘deep state’ within DOJ to tank Donald Trump, then they should’ve revealed in 2016 that they had a counterintelligence investigation ongoing with regard to the Trump campaign,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), who sits on the Intelligence and Oversight committees…

“There’s nothing there. It’s a big nothingburger,” Krishnamoorthi added.

It’s a nothingburger, they said nervously. I don’t think that’s likely to be the case. More importantly, Democrats don’t think that’s the case or they wouldn’t be doing their best to dismiss it before it has even been seen by anyone.

Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Mark Meadows thinks the report is going to change the tone in Washington: “Because Inspector General Horowitz is known for calling balls and strikes, any validity that he offers in his report that substantiates some of the things that conservative members have been saying for some time … will change the narrative overnight,” Meadows told Politico.

Meadows has already suggested there is “game-changing” information about the Crossfire Hurricane investigation which will be declassified soon. It’s not clear if that is part of the IG’s report or will be part of a separate investigation launched by AG Barr.

But there’s another reason to assume IG Horowitz’ report will have an impact: His record. Horowitz’ previous report on the Clinton investigation had an impact as did his report on Andrew McCabe, which led to McCabe’s firing. The only way Horowitz’ report won’t have an impact is if he found nothing of import in the past year. And that seems very unlikely. There have already been suggestions that his report will take aim at Christopher Steele and his dossier. We’ll have to wait and see what else it contains but Democrats are right to be worried.