I don’t know what’s more frightening — that people with guns and badges and the Federal writ dedicated themselves to suborning the constitutional order or that they were so transparently and hilariously incompetent at it.
“We’ll stop it.”
With the revelation of those three words, which popped up in today’s Justice Department report about the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton, the world has changed.
We now know that senior FBI official Peter Strzok sought to calm his mistress and fellow FBI official Lisa Page’s fears of a Trump presidency by promising to stop it from happening. By text message.
Eighteen months later, Congress asked the Justice Department for all materials relating to the couple’s conduct — and the text containing those three words was missing from those materials. The thing was, the text to which it was a response was supplied to Congress. But not the smoking gun. That had been disappeared. Until the Justice Department report revealed them.
Let’s face it: It is highly unlikely that this extraordinarily incendiary text simply vanished of its own accord. Someone almost surely vanished it so that it would not become the subject of a thousand Fox News broadcasts. I think we can presume that special someone was its author, Peter Strzok.
This guy Strzok may be the emblematic figure of the past few years of Washington scandal. He was intimately involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and in the Russia investigation — that is, until independent counsel Robert Mueller found out about the texting with Lisa Page and fired them both off the probe only a month after Mueller started his work.
The report notes that Hillary Clinton email crisis — called Midyear — came back into play in late September 2016 as the Russia investigation was getting its sea legs. Strzok was more interested in the latter, the Inspector General reports, and “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.”
In other words, he wanted to get Trump more than he wanted to deal further with the Clinton matter. Other texts he shared with Page feature weird formulations suggesting this as well — texts that Strzok must be made to explain to the public in sworn testimony before the House or Senate Judiciary Committees in short order.
Like this one, from Aug. 15, 2016: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration … that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 …”
Strzok told the IG that this “was part of a discussion about how to handle a variety of allegations of ‘collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the government of Russia’ … Given that Clinton was the ‘prohibitive favorite’ to win, Strzok said that they discussed whether it made sense to compromise sensitive sources and methods to ‘bring things to some sort of precipitative conclusion and understanding.’ ”
Let’s parse this. What he meant was they were discussing whether to leak information (thereby “compromising sensitive sources and methods”) to ruin Trump, mindful that it might not be necessary to do so because Hillary would win anyway.
Yes, this is just great, that they were having such a conversation within the FBI, isn’t it?
The evidence amassed in the Justice Department report makes one thing clear: Strzok is dangerous — and an utter schmuck. Consider the astounding vainglory of a text he sent just after Mueller was appointed: “I personally have a sense of unfinished business. I unleashed it with [Midyear]. Now I need to fix it and finish it.”
The IG says Strzok “acknowledged that his text messages could be read to suggest that Strzok held himself responsible for Trump’s victory and Clinton’s defeat … However, Strzok said he strongly disagreed with this interpretation.” You can read the report and see how he lays out his disagreement. It’s cringe-inducing babble and nonsense.
He’s proof that the “deep state” made up of permanent Washington officials working their will against political types supposedly out to get Trump is a real phenomenon — and that it’s just as much derp state (Twitter wag Kate Hyde’s term) as deep state.
See, here’s the thing. Trump did get elected. What’s more, Strzok himself told Page in a text that when it came to the Russia probe, “my gut sense and concern” told him “there’s no big there there.”
Trump is fortunate in his political enemies. He ran against the worst possible Democratic candidate. And these revelations from Derp State Strzok are deeply threatening to the political and institutional viability of the Mueller probe itself — the very thing Democrats and left-liberals have spent the past year praying might do him in.
Did I call him a schmuck? Strzok is the ultimate shlimazel — a Yiddish term for a clumsy oaf who trips himself up at every turn. Strzok reassured his mistress that he’d stop Trump. He didn’t do it in 2016. And he may have contributed to not stopping Trump in 2020.
By the way, they’re no longer an item.