The July 12, 2018 public congressional hearings of FBI Agent Peter Strzok proved several things: (1) Republicans deserve the title “The Stupid Party,” and continue to earn it every day. (2) Democrats continue to demonstrate they are the post-constitution, current socialist and future communist party. (3) The Department of Justice and FBI continue to be led by hopelessly corrupt Democrat/deep state operatives. (4) Neither organization is trustworthy, and may never be trustworthy again. (5) Strzok’s testimony did even more damage to the FBI than any of the many blows to its credibility its former and current leaders have inflicted on it in the last several years. (6) The self-imagined elite’s hatred of normal Americans is virtually limitless.
During my police days, I occasionally worked with FBI agents. Some were decent, professional people. Most were very much like Strzok: arrogant, condescending, petty, deceptive, full of unmerited self-regard, and brimming with hubris. Considering what Strzok has been caught doing, considering he has been demoted–he was the number two man in the FBI intelligence division, an assistant deputy director–considering he was recently escorted out of FBI headquarters, and may–may–face firing, one would expect Strzok to display at least a bit of feigned contrition, the smallest glimmer of humility. At the very least, one would think he would not wear a constant smirk. One would be wrong. Fox News noted:
Strzok, throughout it all, remained defiant and maintained that he did not show bias in those infamous messages with former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
SC Republican Trey Gowdy:
…questioned “how many witnesses” Strzok interviewed before an August 2016 text from Strzok to Page stating ‘we’ll stop’ then-candidate Trump from becoming president.
Strzok said he was not able to answer the question based on instructions from FBI counsel.
An FBI attorney was seated behind Strzok throughout the hearings. Threatened with contempt, Strzok later said the attorney said he could answer the question:
But after Gowdy asked it again, Strzok replied only:
‘I don’t recall. I’d have to check the case file.’
‘That’s eerily similar to what you said a couple of hours ago. I’m looking for a number,’ Gowdy said. ‘You don’t recall interviews conducted in the first week of an investigation you originated?”’
Strzok maintained that he did not remember, which touched off another heated exchange with Gowdy.
Granted, Congress is scarcely worthy of respect, but Strzok managed to make his questioners look like paragons of virtue. His opening statement cloaked Strzok in patriotism, equated him with the integrity of the FBI, and claimed so much as accusing him of wrongdoing played into “our enemies’ campaign to tear American apart.” He also invoked “Russia!” equating any criticism of him with helping Vladimir Putin.
It was the classic Animal House defense, from the scene where Otter, played by Tim Matheson, realizing he and his fellow Deltas were guilty as sin, wrapped them all in the flag. The only difference is Strzok and his FBI minders stuck around. The Deltas marched out, humming the National Anthem.
One of the most infamous, and troubling, text exchanges between Strzok and FBI Attorney Lisa Page, which who Strzok was having an affair, occurred in August, 2016:
Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”
Strzok claimed he didn’t remember writing that text. However, he suddenly remembered that he wrote it “late at night, in shorthand.”
At another point during Thursday’s hearing, Strzok said he believes it was the result of the outrage at the time over Trump’s spat with Khizr Khan, whose son was killed during the Iraq War and who became a prominent critic of Trump.
‘You need to understand that that was written late at night, off-the-cuff and it was in response to a series of events that included then-candidate Trump insulting the immigrant family of a fallen war hero, and my presumption based on that horrible disgusting behavior [was] that the American population would not elect someone demonstrating that behavior to be president of the United States,’ Strzok said.
Strzok continually portrayed himself as a great patriot, and said the “we” that would prevent Donald Trump from becoming president were the American people. This is interesting in that nowhere in Strzok’s thousands of communications with Page does he use the American people or the electorate as a pronoun antecedent, just as he did not in that text exchange.
Strzok adamantly maintained that his non-stop, incredibly biased statements did not in any way indicate bias, and that they had no effect whatever on his work. He argued that there were many superiors over him and many others under him who would never have allowed any such thing to occur, and indignantly wrapped himself in a pristine reputation of the FBI that no longer exists. Considering what is known about the former Director–James Comey–and former Deputy Director–Andrew McCabe–Strzok’s assertion is as laughable as it is deceptive.
Questioned about his dismissal from the Mueller investigation, Strzok said he was not dismissed because of his bias, but because of “appearance” or “perception.” One of the reasons I seldom watch congressional hearings, apart from the clown show atmosphere and grotesque political posturing, is virtually no member of Congress has any idea how to conduct competent questioning, and few, if any ever ask intelligent, obvious follow up questions. In this case, the obvious follow up question, which was apparently not asked, would be: “Appearance or perception of what?” The only honest answer would be: “bias.”
Democrats did everything they could to obstruct, continually raising parliamentary points, making demands and motions and calling for votes. Their tactics appeared to catch the Republican majority by surprise–The Stupid Party; they never learn–and substantially disrupted the hearings, particularly whenever a Republican made a rare, telling point:
An already raucous hours-long Congressional hearing into FBI agent Peter Strzok’s apparent anti-Trump bias boiled over on Thursday afternoon, as a top Republican asked the ‘smirking’ Strzok whether he was lying under oath the same way he ‘lied’ to his wife while he carried on an affair with now-former FBI lawyer Lisa Page.
‘The disgrace is what this man has done to our justice system,’ Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, shouted over objections by Democrats. ‘I can’t help but wonder, when I see you looking there with a little smirk, how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page?’
Democrats immediately erupted into more objections, with one yelling, ‘Mr. Chairman, this is intolerable harassment of the witness’ and another calling out, ‘You need your medication.
Democrats have now publicly defended adultery by a man particularly in danger of being compromised to the detriment of America’s national security. That is, of course, no surprise. They’ve been defending such things for years. Strzok continually lied. He knew he was lying, and everyone present knew he was lying. The Spectator observed:
One act of obvious perjury during the hearing was Strzok’s claim — which he presented as incontrovertible proof of his apolitical professionalism — that he ‘never’ spoke to reporters about the investigation before election day. Strzok didn’t even bother to coordinate this lie with his defense attorney, who has previously admitted that Strzok talked to reporters about the investigation. Strzok’s attorney wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today saying that ‘Peter and others’ at the FBI ‘actively ensured that news reports didn’t overplay the seriousness of the investigation.’ How did he do that without talking to them?
According to the New York Times, Strzok’s team had been chatting with its reporters about the investigation for six weeks or so before election day. In the paper’s pre-election article on the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russian collusion, it stated: ‘Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate.
And in a related development, the Department of Justice has, once again, made a number of political indictments of people they know will never be arrested or tried. Fox News reports:
A federal grand jury has indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for allegedly hacking emails from the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic Party during the 2016 election, the Justice Department announced Friday.
‘The internet allows foreign adversaries to attack America in new and unexpected ways,’ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference.
All 12 defendants are members of GRU, the Russian intelligence agency.
The case stems from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. It comes as President Trump plans to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki on Monday.
This couldn’t possibly be an attempt to divert attention away from Strzok’s disastrous testimony, could it? I’m sure readers recall Robert Mueller’s recent and previous indictment of several Russians. When at least one of the defendant’s attorneys appeared in court to answer the charges, Mueller’s lackeys panicked. Their indictments were entirely political-public relations. They never expected to have to prosecute anyone, and surely have no evidence to prove any crime. I suspect that’s the case with Rosenstein’s latest PR prosecution.
Despite the general fecklessness of Republicans and the predictable and juvenile obstructionism of Democrats, there were at least a few lessons. Bruce Ohr, former top DOJ official that worked closely with the DOJ’s #2 Rod Rosenstein, gave the FBI the Steele dossier. We now know the FBI obtained at least three separate versions of that dossier, which was paid for by the Clinton Campaign and the DNC. The DOJ and FBI knew this–Ohr’s wife Nellie worked for Fusion GPS, the company that prepared the dossier–and knew it was entirely unverified, but used it to obtain FISA warrants against people associated with the Trump Campaign.
Strzok’s behavior, his violations of FBI and DOJ rules, and his obvious lies, should have been sufficient to end his FBI career, and long ago. In the not too distant past, involvement in an affair was sufficient grounds, particularly for any agent involved in counter intelligence, because of the very real threat of compromise. The IG’s report noted that Strzok was not credible (I addressed that report here, here and here). Yet Strzok continues to be employed, and is even provided FBI lawyers. It is not unreasonable to think Strzok’s despicable behavior is a result of his obvious belief he is untouchable. He surely knows where a great many skeletons and closets are.
All of this reveals, yet again, the continuing corruption at the highest levels of the DOJ and FBI. Both agencies continue to stonewall Congress.–all Americans. Rod Rosenstein is involved in every scandal of the last several years, and likely longer, up to his eyeballs, but continues to be the #2 man in the DOJ. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ photo should be on milk cartons under “have you seen this man?” captions. FBI Director Christopher Wray, like Rosenstein, has promised to conduct “training” for everyone in his agency. Apparently FBI agents and DOJ prosecutors have to be trained to be truthful, ethical, not to conduct illegal surveillance on American citizens, not to lie to the courts, and not to break the law in general. Oh yes, and the value of avoiding participating in coups. Fun facts to know and tell.
It is also no coincidence that Lisa Page managed to stall her behind- closed-doors appearance before Congress until Friday, July 13. All she had to do was make sure her testimony tracked with that of Strzok and she’s home free.
All of this could be resolved, and quickly, if Jess Sessions simply ordered his underlings to completely cooperate with Congress, and appointed an independent counsel–not a swamp dweller–to handle the obvious crimes of the Democrat operatives of the DOJ and FBI. The same is true of FBI Director Wray. And failing that, Mr. Trump has the power to do all of this, and more, fire both if they will not enforce the law, and see that high-ranking criminals are prosecuted.
Absent this, the FBI and DOJ will have no credibility, just political utility for the Democrat Party. Democrats are entirely comfortable with that. If our Republic is to survive, America cannot be. A good place to start, moving from there above and below, is Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
UPDATE, 07-13-18, 2110 CST: Take this link, provided by my favorite Bookworm, and view the video. I’ll let it speak for itself.