JUNE 18, 2018
A while back, when everyone was caught up in the debate over whether President Trump should sit down for questioning from Robert Mueller, I suggested a list of questions that Mueller should be asked by Trump. Now that DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz is about to sit for questioning by congressional committees, I thought I’d be similarly helpful with a list for Congress to use. Devin Nunes surely doesn’t need my help on this, but, just for fun, here goes...
1. Soon after Peter Strzok was named head of the FBI’s Trump/Russia probe, he texted Lisa Page that Trump won’t be President and that “we will stop it.” Did you infer that he meant they’d stop Trump from getting elected, or did you think he might have meant something else, such as, “We will stop meeting for five-hour lunches”?
2. When some of the Strzok-Page texts were made public, Strzok was demoted and now works in Human Resources. He also maintains his security clearance. If his appearance of bias was so detrimental to the FBI that he had to be removed from his job, do you see any irony in the fact that he’s now in Human Resources? And what about the “appearance” of his continued security clearance?
3. How did you even get those Strzok-Page texts when the FBI told Congress they were not obtainable? Did you hire a family of Pakistani IT professionals to hack them?
4. According to the report, Hillary’s classified emails were obtained by foreign governments and intelligence entities. How many consecutive life sentences would be given to a submariner whose personal pictures on board his sub were similarly compromised?
5. Peter Strzok was in charge of the FBI’s investigation of Trump “collusion” for its first nine months. If bias is not to affect the eventual determination by the special counsel --- or the public's perception of that determination--- shouldn’t the work of the team led by Strzok be tossed out?
6. You say that there is no evidence in your report that anyone’s bias affected the conclusions reached by the FBI. Question: Have you read the report?
7. How did Peter Strzok get the job of lead investigator in the Hillary email case? Was Hillary herself not available to run it?
8. Will Strzok finally be fired from the FBI by Christopher Wray, or will he be kept on and offered the exciting new anti-bias “training”?
9. When “Agent 1” texted “Agent 5” the message “I’m with her,” did you infer that he was talking about Hillary Clinton, or did you think he might have been talking about some other female presidential candidate, such as Carly Fiorina, Geraldine Ferraro or Roseanne Barr?
10. Why was no recording or transcript made of Hillary’s FBI interview? Given the large budget for the FBI, couldn’t they have laid in a supply of pens and paper or found just one recording device? Will there be “training” for office supply managers?
11. Why was Hillary never asked about Bill’s meeting with Loretta Lynch on the tarmac five days before her interview? Were investigators simply hesitant to ask her about ANY private meeting Bill had with ANY woman?
12. If Comey was acting entirely on his own in being “insubordinate” and deciding not to charge Hillary, why was his statement to that effect passed around for editing and tweaking by numerous other FBI officials before she was interviewed? Do you see this as collusion against Trump or simply a commendable display of teamwork?
13. As you know, the DOJ and FBI have refused to give Congress key documents related to the FISA applications and spying on Trump campaign associates, even though they’ve been under subpoena for many months. We know you're looking into that now, so have they given you access to those documents?
14. If so, have you read them?
15. Um, what do they say?
16. Please, can you print us a copy?
17. If you saw Strzok’s “we’ll stop it” text a month ago, why did you keep it from Congress all this time? Were you concerned we might somehow conclude Strzok WAS trying to stop it, before we could see from your report that he really wasn’t?
18. You worked hard on this report, and it is very long. But its conclusion is so preposterous that even Trey Gowdy has come back to life. Have you thought about entering one of the healing professions?
19. Since you have condemned James Comey for “insubordination,” and we know he has lied and leaked to the media, do you think he’s a good star witness in Mueller’s case against Donald Trump, or in any case against anyone at any time?
20. You wrote, “We found no evidence that the conclusions by the prosecutors were affected by bias or other improper considerations; rather, we determined that they were based on the prosecutors’ assessment of the facts, the law, and past department practice.” May we at least conclude from that sentence that the prosecutors might want to plead insanity, as they can't tell right from wrong?
21. (Bonus question) When you wrote that sentence, were you high?
MAY 2, 2018
So, the New York Times has published a list of 49 questions purported to be the ones special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Trump. Here is a completely hypothetical response to Mueller that I would dearly love to see from Trump. Here, New York Times:
Dear Mr. Mueller:
I have just seen the long list of questions in the New York Times that are alleged to be from you. Since the Times has occasionally been known to print leaked material that turns out to be incorrect, I don’t know if these really are the questions you intend for me or not. But in case they are, I have to say that they are ridiculously open-ended (Witch Hunt!!) and would take many hours to answer fully, and I kind of have a lot on my plate right now, what with working to end the Korean War, secure the border against an incoming hoard and figure out what to do about those lyin’ Iranians who clearly are on the path to nuclear bombs. I hear you don’t care about this and may want to subpoena me. Before you take that step, though, I have a request: answer this list of just 10 similarly open-ended questions I have for YOU.
1. Do you agree with James Comey’s remark in his interview with George Stephanopoulos that he still doesn’t know if the Steele “dossier” is true?
2. Since the facts in the dossier are “salacious and unverified,” as Comey directly admitted to me, do you think it was right for the FBI to use it before a FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on campaign associates of mine?
3. When Peter Strzok was on your team, did you ever have conversations with him about me? Detail everything you ever discussed with him before, during and after he was on your team, including any mention of the election outcome, texting or insurance policies.
4. Why did you put Andrew Weissmann on your team of lawyers, knowing full well that he has a storied history of withholding exculpatory evidence, even to the point of having a conviction he'd overseen being unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court? Did that make you more or less likely to want him investigating me?
5. What was going through your mind when two of the four innocent men you helped to wrongly incarcerate in Boston died behind bars?
6. Do you agree with the FBI’s decision to interview Hillary Clinton about mishandling classified material without swearing her in or even making a transcript and then letting the “matter” drop, and is that how you intend to handle my case?
7. If you found out that I had deleted about 33,000 emails that you had subpoenaed, would you charge me with obstruction of justice, or would you and your staff work together to craft a memo exonerating me weeks before you had even interviewed me?
8. I realize that lawyers as a group tend to “lean left,” but could you not find any Republicans to put on your team? How hard did you look to find even one person who was just fine with the way the 2016 election turned out?
9. You went to law school --- do you understand that, as President, I have the constitutional authority to fire at will the director of the FBI (which both Republicans and Democrats cited ample reason to do) or the attorney general (which I have refrained from doing, despite the fact that Jeff Sessions is MIA) or the deputy attorney general (who is also still employed, despite raging conflicts of interest that should have prohibited him from appointing you) or even you (which I haven’t done simply because it might be wrongly interpreted as obstruction)?
10. Since the FBI was running a counterintelligence, rather than a criminal, investigation on Russia, do you ever wonder why a special counsel was appointed in the first place? That’s supposed to be for investigating crimes, and there was never any specific crime being investigated, so did you ever stop to think that maybe your job isn’t necessary, appropriate or even legal?
11. (Bonus question) Former FBI Director Comey said this on Monday, after telling an interviewer he thought he’d still be director of the FBI if Hillary had won: “Secretary Clinton is someone deeply enmeshed in the rule of law, respect for institutions, a lawyer, and so given that background, I’m reasonably confident that even though she was unhappy with the decisions the FBI had made, she would not fire the FBI director as a result.” What went through your mind when you heard this, and, if you were taking a drink of coffee, did you do a spit-take?”
There, Mr. Mueller. I realize you’re very busy trying to find obstruction of justice on my part –- even though there’s no justice for me to obstruct, since there’s no underlying crime –- so that’s why I left it at just 10 questions (plus the bonus) for you. Believe me, I can easily come up with more (we hardly even covered Rod Rosenstein), but we can start with these. I look forward to hearing from you.
President Donald J. Trump