'Huckabee' writer/researcher Laura Ainsworth has spent a lot of time delving into the issues brought up by this reader, so she asked to respond...
From William T:
To say that the Steele dossier should not be believed because it included far-fetched stories is not reasonable because we know from payments to Stormy Daniels by Trump and to, at least, one other woman that Mr. Trump is not beyond doing something ‘far-fetched.
I also think that you should note that the ‘insurance policy’ has another explanation and it could also be true, and that is the investigation into Russia activities around the Trump 2016 campaign was proceeding slowly, as an ‘insurance policy,’ because it was expected that Hillary Clinton would win. The assumption, I think, was IF Mr. Trump won, the investigation could be completed and IF collusion was found then it could be addressed.
I also think you should consider again that if ex-FBI director James Comey had been determined to ensure Hillary Clinton would win, he would not have ‘re-opened’ the ‘Hillary Clinton email investigation’ just weeks before the election and announced it to the public....right?
Thanks for your kind consideration of my thoughts on this.
Thanks from the Gov. and the Huckabee team for your rational letter. We don’t get many such letters from our readers on the left, let me tell you. They typically contain extremely hateful and vile language and little in the way of cohesive thought. (We don’t publish the hateful ones, on the principle that our “gentle readers” deserve better than such trash. If we got more dissenting opinions that actually made some sense and didn’t get nasty and abusive, we’d publish more of them and answer them as well!) You, on the other hand, seem like a reasonable person. But reasonable people can disagree, so I’ll try to explain to you why we’ve reached different conclusions from yours.
Let’s take your points one by one. First, payments made to women like Stormy Daniels aren’t farfetched by any means. They happen frequently. The threat of such demands comes with the territory for high-profile showbiz billionaires, whether said billionaires actually did anything untoward or not and whether they’re in politics or not. (They also wouldn’t necessarily be seen as campaign expenditures, as there are huge personal reasons for wanting to make women like ‘Stormy’ go away, whether said billionaire is running for office or not.)
In contrast, the story about the prostitutes in Moscow IS, we think, quite farfetched, precisely for the reason stated in the commentary; namely, that while in Moscow, Trump had to be aware his every move was being watched by the Kremlin. He knew his hotel was almost certainly bugged and equipped with cameras. Trump is not an idiot, no matter how hard people on the left try to paint him as one, nor are the people who were there as his entourage. And people who know Trump personally can cite other solid reasons why he would NEVER do this. (It’s like, hypothetically, if someone came up with a story that Trump drinks –- people who are close to him and familiar with his story KNOW that couldn’t possibly be true.) This prostitutes-in-Moscow story seemed crazy on its face even to members of the anti-Trump media who saw it in the summer of 2016 when Steele was shopping his “dossier” around.
Next, you are right that the “insurance policy” reference could possibly have another meaning. If all we had were this one text from Strzok to Page, it wouldn’t be enough to make his intentions clear. (Although I believe Lisa Page testified to Congress that his texts meant just what they appeared to mean.) But I’m going to borrow a term from James Comey and say that Strzok’s “insurance policy” email is part of a “mosaic.” The people heading up the “Trump/Russia” investigation hated Trump and desperately didn’t want him to be President, and evidence is mounting that they knew perfectly well they were phony-ing up evidence to get a FISA warrant. They were knowingly working with a source who also desperately didn’t want him to be President.
I’m sure they DID expect Hillary to win, but that certainly doesn’t excuse what they were doing in the summer and fall of 2016 (and possibly before). In a way, it helps explain their activities, as they likely figured that once Hillary was in office, no one would ever find out. (Of course, today we have 20/20 hindsight, in that Trump did NOT lose and “collusion” [conspiracy] between his campaign and Russia was NOT found.) We still don’t know what evidence they had in the first place that warranted spying, as the “evidence” they presented to the FISA court was bogus and they knew it. Adam Schiff claimed for a long time that he personally had it, so where is it? William Barr would surely love to see it.
Finally, we’ve also looked closely at Comey’s re-opening of the Hillary email case just before the election. This action is being used by his defenders to suggest that he was objective in his handling of her case (even though we’ve seen tons of other evidence that her case received highly unusual treatment and that “the fix was in”). However, it makes sense to me that in their own special way, the top people at the FBI were using this timing to try to HELP Hillary by minimizing the damage of the Weiner laptop debacle. Comey himself admits to political calculations during that time in his memoir, A HIGHER LOYALTY. His decisions were driven by the assumption that Hillary would become President.
At the time Comey announced the re-opening of the “Mid-Year Exam,” the FBI had already known for A MONTH about the emails on Weiner’s laptop. Obviously, they had a serious dilemma on their hands. (Just think how much grief this country could have been spared if Hillary had just followed the law in the first place and used the government server like everybody else! I digress.) If they waited till after the election to bring it up, that would have been correctly seen as a blatantly political move. Talk about a constitutional crisis! No, they’d HAVE to go public before the election, much as they might hate to.
It had been discovered there were nearly 700,000 emails on the laptop belonging to Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin’s disgraced then-husband, that needed to be checked for classified material. With the last-minute timing of his decision to re-open, only 3,077 were actually viewed, in a marathon 12-hour session, though at the time Comey maintained the whole job had miraculously been completed, thanks to “the wizardry of our technology.” (Ha, remember that?) Then Comey said that Clinton should not be recommended for criminal charges after all, clearing the way for the election in just days.
To quote the excellent August 23, 2018, report by Paul Sperry in Real Clear Investigations, “Many Clinton supporters believe the 11th-hour re-opening of a case that shadowed her campaign was a form of sabotage that cost her the election. But the evidence shows Comey and his inner circle acted only after worried agents and prosecutors in New York forced their hand. At the prodding of Attorney General Loretta Lynch, they then worked to reduce and rush through, rather than carefully examine, potentially damaging new evidence.”
Hilary has used the re-opening of her case so close to the election as one of her many, many excuses for losing. But her supporters at the FBI were apparently just trying to make the best of a bad situation that she herself had created.
Thanks again for writing, William, and I hope I’ve addressed your concerns. Of course, many questions remain; William Barr is working to get the answers and put everything possible out in the open, where it needs to be. Those who have much to lose will pull out all the stops to try to discredit him, but I think they’re wasting their time. This guy is a straight shooter, and he seems to be one of those rare gems in Washington who can put two and two together and actually get four.