Well, it’s about time. Fired FBI Director James Comey admitted in a CNN town hall that the text messages between also terminated FBI Agent Peter Strzok and former bureau attorney Lisa Page made the entire agency look like trash. It damaged the institution and it tarnished the Russia investigation Caleb Howe at Mediaite has more:
Comey was fielding a question from the audience when the topic came up. The audience member asked what Comey thought should have been the consequences for Strzok, Page, and Andrew McCabe.
“I think, given the standards that we have,” said Comey, “there should have been, and was, severe discipline around their behavior.”
“Everyone has opinions,” said Comey. “You can’t bring them to work and have them affect your work, there have to be severe consequences.”
CNN’s Anderson Cooper followed up with several questions, including whether he would “acknowledge” the episode “damaged” the FBIs reputation and “tarnished” the Russia investigation.
“Definitely, yeah” Comey said.
Strzok and Page were involved in an extramarital affair, where the two exchanged tens of thousands of text messages, most of which were anti-Trump. It was a clear-cut example of bias at the FBI. It also didn’t help that at the time, Strzok was a top counterintelligence agent, one of the key people who reportedly signed off on the probe into Russian collusion that was eventually overtaken and overseen by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Strzok was also involved in the Clinton email probe, where both he and Page felt that the FBI could be going too hard on Hillary. The two also mentioned an “insurance policy” against Donald Trump, which many have alleged was a reference to the Trump dossier—a political opposition research document funded by the Clinton campaign that was used to secure a FISA spy warrant against Carter Page. Page served as a foreign policy adviser on the Trump campaign. The document is largely trash and unverifiable, so why use it and say it’s a credible source of evidence. Well, the DOJ IG report on FISA abuses will be out in June. We’ll find out then.