Well, well, well…all of our suspicions have been confirmed about how the FBI handled the Hillary Clinton email probe, one of two highly sensitive investigations in which disgraced former FBI Agent Peter Strzok was involved. Strzok was a counterintelligence agent with the bureau before being demoted to human resources once his extramarital affair with Lisa Page, a former FBI lawyer, was revealed two years ago. During the 2016 election, the two sent tens of thousands of texts, most were anti-Trump, which displayed gross unprofessionalism and added to the accusations that deep state antics were targeting Donald Trump and later his administration post-2016.
The two texts that caught the eye of everyone was one where the two had a meeting with then-Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe on August 15, 2016, where Strzok and Page discussed an “insurance policy” against a Trump presidency. And another where he said they would stop Trump. Strzok also signed off on the counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign and Russian collusion in July of 2016 that’s now being headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Katie wrote today that the FBI found zero evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. The two also discussed worries about whether the bureau was going too hard on Clinton during the email probe. Well, did they pull punches? It appears that they did. The Obama DOJ ordered the FBI to do so (via Fox News) [emphasis mine]:
Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page admitted under questioning from Texas Republican Rep. John Ratcliffe last summer that "the FBI was ordered by the Obama DOJ not to consider charging Hillary Clinton for gross negligence in the handling of classified information," the congressman alleged in a social media post late Tuesday, citing a newly unearthed transcript of Page's closed-door testimony.
Page and since-fired FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who were romantically involved, exchanged numerous anti-Trump text messages in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, and Republicans have long accused the bureau of political bias. But Page's testimony was perhaps the most salient evidence yet that the Justice Department improperly interfered with the FBI's supposedly independent conclusions on Clinton's criminal culpability, Ratcliffe alleged.
"So let me if I can, I know I’m testing your memory," Ratcliffe began as he questioned Page under oath, according to a transcript excerpt he posted on Twitter. "But when you say advice you got from the Department, you’re making it sound like it was the Department that told you: You’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to —"
Page interrupted: "That is correct," as Ratcliffe finished his sentence, " -- bring a case based on that."
So, while there was no evidence of collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign. Some of that odious behavior seemed to have been emanating from the J. Edgar Hoover building. Let's revisit what The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote about that in December of 2017:
The texts, which he exchanged with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, contain expletive-laced tirades against Mr. Trump. Such Trump hatred is no surprise and not by itself disqualifying. More troubling are texts that suggest that some FBI officials may have gone beyond antipathy to anti-Trump plotting.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office—that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Mr. Strzok wrote Ms. Page in an Aug. 15, 2016 text. He added: “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”
What “policy” would that be? The “Andy” in question is Andrew McCabe, the deputy FBI director. FBI officials are allowed to have political opinions, but what kind of action were they discussing that would amount to anti-Trump “insurance”?
In another exchange that month, Ms. Page forwarded a Trump-related article and wrote: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.” He thanked her and assured: “Of course I’ll try and approach it that way.” Mr. Strzok, recall, is the man who changed the words “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in James Comey’s July 2016 public exoneration of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
The McCabe meeting came on the heels of the FBI’s launch of its counterintelligence probe into Trump-Russia ties. July is also when former British spook Christopher Steele briefed the FBI on his Clinton-financed dossier of salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. The texts explain why Mr. Mueller would remove Mr. Strzok, though a straight shooter wouldn’t typically resist turning those messages over to Congress for as long as Mr. Mueller did.
Meanwhile, we’re learning more about the political motives of Mr. Mueller’s lieutenant, Andrew Weissmann. Judicial Watch last week released an email in which Mr. Weissmann expressed his “awe” and praise for Sally Yates, after the then acting AG and Obama holdover refused to implement Mr. Trump’s travel ban.
This should trouble anyone who cares about the integrity of the Justice Department.
Public confidence isn’t helped by the continuing Justice and FBI refusal to cooperate with Congress. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises Mr. Mueller, toed the Mueller-FBI line on Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee. He repeated FBI Director Christopher Wray’s preposterous excuse that he can’t answer questions because of an Inspector General probe. And he wouldn’t elaborate on the news that Nellie Ohr, the wife of senior Justice official Bruce Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, which hired Mr. Steele to gin up his dossier.
The man who should be most disturbed by all this is Mr. Mueller, who wants his evidence and conclusions to be credible with the public. Evidence is building instead that some officials at the FBI—who have worked for him—may have interfered in an American presidential election.
And the Fusion GPS, Trump dossier angle is another level, where the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the anti-Trump fact-finding mission that became this infamous document that remains mostly unverified. Yes, it began as a GOP opposition research project, but even The Washington Post couldn’t ignore the truth. The final document that we're all talking about was a Democrat-funded opposition project that included former and current Kremlin sources.
“The dossier's author, [Christopher] Steele, wasn't brought into the mix until after Democrats retained Fusion GPS. So while both sides paid Fusion GPS, Steele was only funded by Democrats."
Steele is the ex-MI6 spook who compiled this document, which wouldn’t be really all that controversial if it wasn’t allegedly used to secure spy warrants against members of the Trump campaign, specifically former foreign policy adviser Carter Page. It sure sounds like there was collusion...from Democrats
Strzok said his anti-Trump texts showed his patriotism and not indicative of bias. Not even CNN bought that. Strzok was fired last year. Page resigned but not before saying that all of their anti-Trump texting meant exactly what they say.
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