As we anticipated, the heartbreak over the just-released Inspector General's detailed report on the events that took place on June 1, 2020 at Lafayette Park in Washington, D.C. is very real for CNN's Jim Acosta. And we're about to make his day much worse – without apology.
To quickly recap before we get into Acosta's reaction, the key finding from IG Mark Lee Greenblatt's department that caused journalist tears to flow was the one where then-President Trump and his Attorney General Bill Barr were vindicated of media-driven allegations about how they supposedly used federal resources to order protesters “tear-gassed” in order to clear a path for a “photo op” of Trump walking from the White House to the historic St. John's church, which rioters had set on fire the night before:
The evidence we obtained did not support a finding that the USPP [U.S. Park Police] cleared the park to allow the President to survey the damage and walk to St. John's Church. Instead, the evidence we reviewed showed that the USPP cleared the park to allow the contractor to safely install the antiscale fencing in response to destruction of property and injury to officers occurring on May 30 and 31. Further, the evidence showed that the USPP did not know about the President's potential movement until mid- to late afternoon on June 1–hours after it had begun developing its operational plan and the fencing contractor had arrived in the park.
Acosta, a performative “reporter” who featured prominently in many a planned dust-up between reporters and the Trump White House back in the day, did not take to the Twitter machine last night to post his reaction to the news. Instead, he weighed in during this morning's “New Day” broadcast, one of the lowest-rated programs on the struggling network.
During the segment, Acosta – who was one of the lead false narrative drivers on what was originally claimed to have happened last year, sought to cast doubt on the report, proclaiming that “it raises more questions than it answers” and suggesting it was a “whitewash” from an IG who he said “sounded” as though he was “auditioning to become the Inspector General at Mar-A-Lago.”
CNN’s @Acosta on the IG report debunking CNN’s “reporting” on Trump’s visit to Lafayette Square Park: “Raises more questions than it answers”
“As I read the report you wondered if [the IG] was auditioning to become inspector general at Mar-a-Lago. This was almost a whitewash" pic.twitter.com/ABtjxskjz7
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 10, 2021
It was a predictable claim for him to make about the IG who had just crushed his false framing of the park's clearing, but a quick look at Greenblatt's history indicates he's no partisan actor, serving in both George W. Bush's and Barack Obama's respective administrations before being appointed to serve in Trump's in 2017:
In 2003, he joined the staff of the United States Senate Homeland Security Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations as an Investigative Counsel. He was promoted to Deputy Chief Counsel and later became Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel. During his five-year tenure at the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Greenblatt led or supervised numerous complex, bipartisan inquiries that identified waste and abuses in important programs, such as Medicare and the United Nations. For instance, he led the Subcommittee's investigation into waste, fraud, and abuse in the United Nations' Oil-for-Food Program, a $64-billion operation involving numerous complex international transactions.
In 2009, Greenblatt became an investigative counsel at the United States Department of Justice's Office of Inspector General. In that role, he led several investigations into senior-level misconduct and other sensitive matters, such as allegations of conflict of interest, nepotism, and misuse of office by senior DOJ officials.
In 2014, Greenblatt joined the staff of the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Inspector General as Director of Special Investigations. He was later promoted to Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Compliance and Ethics and subsequently to Assistant Inspector General for Investigations. In 2017, President Trump nominated Greenblatt to serve as Inspector General of the Export-Import Bank of the United States. Greenblatt's nomination was approved by the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs and the United States Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, but the vote was never taken up by the Senate. On January 17, 2019, Greenblatt was nominated by President Donald Trump to be Inspector General of the Department of the United States Department of the Interior, and on August 1, 2019, the Senate confirmed his nomination by voice vote.
In one respect, Jim Acosta is right in that there was a partisan hack involved in the whitewashing of what happened that day. What he doesn't tell you, though, is that the partisan hack is Jim Acosta himself, and all the liberally biased media figures who went right along with him in the deliberate election-year deception on this story (and others) over the past year.