With Peter Strzok in the news again, I thought it would be helpful for me to pull together my commentaries directly relating to him and Lisa Page.
- Mike Huckabee
JUNE 18, 2018
Peter Strzok, the FBI agent whose opposition to Trump and support for Hillary were revealed in his text messages to his like-minded mistress, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, pulled a surprise move over the weekend. His attorney sent a letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, saying that Strzok is willing to testify without immunity or invoking the Fifth Amendment and answer any questions. The attorney writes, “Pete is central to this story. We should let the American people see who he really is.” (I think the text messages gave us a pretty good idea of who he is, as did the transparent attempts to hide them for so long.) Continuing: “He thinks that his position, character and actions have all been misrepresented and caricatured, and he wants an opportunity to remedy that.”
I assume we will hear more of the claim that those texts represented his personal, private political views and never influenced his professional decisions in any way. We might also hear another excuse that’s been floated: that the anti-Trump texts were merely cover for the affair, so if his wife saw them, it would appear that he and Page were just talking politics. Or that he was just saying those things to comfort his distraught girlfriend. In other words, despite the obvious bend-over-backwards-to-exonerate-Hillary investigation and the bend-any-rule-to-ensnare-Trump investigation, we can believe that he was a completely honest professional of good character because the evidence that he wasn’t was a lie concocted either to cover up the affair he was having behind his wife’s back or to keep his mistress in a good mood. That may require more bending than even the most flexible minds can handle without snapping.
JUNE 16, 2018
Inspector General Michael Horowitz may have declined to confirm the cause-and-effect relationship between stunning anti-Trump bias at the FBI and the outcome of Hillary’s email case, but all the evidence of vicious partisanship is there in his report. He’s included what we already knew or suspected, but there’s much more. The FBI in 2016 was infected with bias. We can connect the incredibly obvious dots ourselves and come to our own conclusions about the motivation behind the FBI’s investigation of Trump and even the special counsel probe..
Of course, most major media will focus on the report’s mystifying conclusion without delving much deeper into its 568 pages. That’s because the deeper one goes, the more horrifyingly biased the culture of the FBI is shown to be.
If you thought the Strzok-Page texts provided evidence of bias, wait until you see the texts between another pair of FBI agents who were romantically involved (they’re now married). They’re identified in the report only as “Agent 1” and “Agent 5,” but we know they were directly involved in the Hillary investigation. Anyone looking at their texts and not concluding that “the fix was in” for Hillary is just refusing to accept the obvious.
“Agent 1” was one of just four agents assigned to the Hillary email case, and he, for one, did not want to interview her at all, thinking it was a “continued waste of resources and time and focus..” “I’m actually starting to have embarrassment sprinkled on my disappointment,” he instant-messaged to “Agent 5.” “Ever been forced to do something you adamantly opposed.”
Like Lisa Page, “Agent 1” believed that Hillary’s election was a foregone conclusion. After completing the interview with Clinton, “Agent 1” messaged “Agent 5” that he was “done interviewing the President.”
He also made it clear to “Agent 5” that he was “with her.” As in, “I’m With Her.”
When “Agent 5” complained to “Agent 1” about the “MYE” (Mid-Year Exam, the Hillary case) work she was having to do, “Agent 1” wrote back in a way that confirms what the political environment was like at the FBI. He referred to the Hillary investigation as “a case that doesn’t matter and is predestined.” He went on to say, “The DOJ comes in every once in a while and takes a wishy-washy, political, cowardice stance. “
“This is the environment love,” he tells her. “Can’t sugar coat it.” He advised her to just do the best she could.
When asked later by investigators about the case being “predestined,” he said he had no information about that.
“Agent 1” also interviewed Hillary’s personal IT assistant. You’ll want to read the whole exchange, but when another FBI employee asked him how the interview went, “Agent 1” said, “Awesome. Lied his a-- off.”
The employee replied that “it would be funny if he was the only guy charged in this deal.”
And in a testament to the way anti-Trumpers view Trump supporters, “Agent 5” texted “Agent 1” to say the ones in Ohio were “retarded.” She also wrote to him that if Hillary should lose, “I’m gonna be walking around with both of my guns...and likely quitting on the spot.”
In his report, Michael Horowitz admonished the FBI employees who had shown bias, saying that their conduct “had cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation and sowed doubt about the FBI’s work on, and its handling of, the Midyear investigation. The damage caused by these employees’ actions extends far beyond the scope of the Midyear investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI’s reputation for neutral factfinding and political independence.”
In other words, where do they go to get their reputation back? But the damage goes far beyond the FBI’s reputation. We know that the Hillary investigation was deliberately botched. This goes to the nature of the whole American system of justice –- the old-fashioned idea that Lady Justice is wearing a blindfold, not an “I’m With Her” button.
MAY 16, 2018
For all the time Obama’s FBI (and later the special counsel) was investigating Russia-Trump “collusion” in the 2016 campaign, top-level officials were doing a high-wire act to keep information about what they were doing out of the hands of Congress and those with FOIA requests. As Andrew C. McCarthy points out, they didn’t brief the bipartisan leadership of either the House or Senate or their intelligence committees. They ignored requests for documents or slow-walked them like a colony of inebriated three-toed sloths. And documents they did finally turn over were redacted like crazy.
The usual justification for blacking out line after line, page after page, is that they do it “to protect sources and methods,” and, yes, these truly are an essential part of intelligence gathering. But in this case, considering the particular sources and methods we’re slowly finding out about, it’s easy to see why they wanted to keep a lid on them. Sources like Christopher Steele and Hillary-connected diplomats and methods like deceiving judges and utilizing “moles” inside a political opponent’s presidential campaign are things the FBI most assuredly wanted to protect.
Now that former FBI Director James Comey is doing book interviews, the question arises as to whether he’s being protected as well. It’s possible that Robert Mueller has given him immunity on the sly, and the more Comey talks and contradicts himself, the more likely that seems. The FBI passed out immunity like candy at Christmas to associates of Hillary during their ridiculous “Mid-Year Exam” (MYE) investigation of Hillary, before Comey announced there would be no indictment of her. In effect, they gave her immunity, too.
In McCarthy’s column in National Review, he shows that some of the answers we seek are right there for all to see, in the thousands of Peter Strzok-Lisa Page texts. (And thanks to the Inspector General Michael Horowitz for somehow getting hold of them, when the FBI said they were unretrievable.) All that texting provides a “day-to-day narrative” to go with the emerging timeline of events for both the Hillary and the Russia-Trump investigations. As two people who are “singularly well informed,” Strzok and Page reference not only what is going on but why –- which is no doubt why large portions of their texts were heavily redacted before they saw the light of day. The names of Justice Department, White House, intelligence and other government officials have been blacked out. But after reading through hundreds of texts (so we don’t have to!), McCarthy claims that they are still a “gold mine.”
Apparently, Strzok and Page were inspired to solidify the Trump-Russia connection while reading a Josh Marshall “Talking Points” post called “Trump & Putin. Yes, it’s really a Thing,” which outlined numerous business associations Trump had with Russian financiers. After reading it, they spend the next 50 minutes exchanging 13 lengthy texts that the Justice Department has entirely blacked out. “Sources and methods,” ya think?
The investigation comes together with amazing speed. They talk about various DOJ people who will be involved (most names redacted, but mentions of “Andy” [McCabe] and “Bill” [Priestap] remaining), and then, weirdly, Strzok immediately leaves for London. This is the trip that seems to have paved the way for getting George Papadopoulos into that London bar with information to share about the Russians hacking Hillary’s emails.
They’re being sneaky about Strzok’s London trip. Page, a lawyer who is McCabe’s legal assistant, reminds him to be careful of what he signs in England so he can “lawfully protect the information” (“protect,” as in “conceal”). She writes, “Just thinking about Congress, foia (Freedom Of Information Act), etc.” He texts her from London about the “guy we’re about to interview,” but everything after that reference is redacted.
Strzok gets back from London and they set up meetings about the exciting new case. Strzok texts Page: And hi. Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote: “the White House is running this.” My answer, “well, maybe for you they are.”
Okay, the White House? These are extremely significant conversations, and there is no national security reason for blacking them out so extensively. But at this point, we all know it isn’t about national security. We’re not fools; this is legal cover for the FBI, Justice Department and most likely the White House. We also know President Trump has the authority to declassify anything he wants. He might want to start by opening up this gold mine and giving those political operatives the shaft.
JANUARY 23, 2018
The FBI “lost” presumably thousands of text messages from FBI agent Peter Strzok and girlfriend/legal assistant to Andrew McCabe Lisa Page –- from a key stretch of time in the Russia investigation –- but right now they must both be wishing even more had been “unretrievable.” As hundreds of other texts slowly see the light of day, they confirm what we were already learning about outrageous bias within the FBI. And now, one particular text from Strzok jumps out to suggest we were right to suspect there was nothing to the charge that Trump had collaborated with Russia to win the Presidency.
As much as President Trump tweets, it's these two "professionals" who need their phones taken away; they're seriously addicted to texting. One has to wonder how they got any official work done. On the bright side, we have plenty of texting to provide context for the remark in question; it’s obvious this is from the time Strzok was asked to join Mueller’s special counsel investigation. (Stunningly, this very pro-Hillary government agent had been the lead FBI investigator in charge of both the Hillary email “matter” and the charges of Russian collusion leveled at Trump.)
Incidentally, just the fact that Mueller asked this guy to join his team is an eyebrow-raiser. Did Mueller not know how virulently anti-Trump he was, and how having someone like that on his team might compromise his investigation? If a second special counsel is ever appointed to look into the Justice Department’s handling of these cases, let’s hope they get to the bottom of some stunningly bad hiring decisions.
Anyway, here’s the text from Strzok to Page: “You and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely, I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern that there’s no big there there.”
There’s a big “there there” in this text. Strzok is apparently acknowledging that both he and Lisa Page know the investigation almost certainly isn’t going to find anything. Importantly, the Mueller investigation had started just two days before he sent this; he was mulling over whether or not to get on board. The day Mueller was appointed marks the end of the months-long period for which Strzok/Page texts are conveeeeeeeeeeniently missing.
Page didn't see what she could contribute, but Strzok was still torn, as he texted that this was “a case that will be in the history books.” And after working on the Clinton email case: “...I personally have a sense of unfinished business.”I unleashed it with (the Hillary case). Now I need to fix it and finish it.”
Take a look at the whole series of texts. Seems to me that by the time he joined Mueller’s team, he’d already “fixed” enough.