By his smartly dressed appearance, one would never know Peter Strzok wasn’t still a senior FBI agent. He looked to be straight out of central casting as he began his “Meet the Press” interview on Sunday with this book-promoting slander, “I think it is clear, I believed at the time in 2016, and I continue to believe, that Donald Trump is compromised by the Russians. And when I say that, I mean that they hold leverage over him that makes him incapable of placing the national interests, the national security ahead of his own.”
Nothing is more sleazy and corrupt than a current or former FBI agent implicitly claiming to have access to secret evidence of a target’s guilt when the time to produce such evidence has long since passed.
Imagine that you’ve just weathered four years of an FBI investigation during which the press consistently published character-assassinating falsehoods attributed to “people familiar with the investigation.” Your enemies, who personally hate you, launch the investigative team with unlimited manpower and money and staff it with political opponents. Federal agents entrap your allies in process crimes, coerce a plea by threatening a man’s family, repeatedly deceive a court to conduct intrusive surveillance, steal thousands of emails without a warrant, and deliberately prolong the investigation despite knowing from day one that you are innocent.
When the day finally comes for the persecutors either to put up or shut up, they do neither, publishing a slanted report full of smears without ever giving you the chance to rebut the charges in court.
For years, villains like House Intelligence Committee Chairman, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), fed by people like Strzok, have claimed to be in possession of “secret evidence” that Trump colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election. Imagine being accused in that way. The investigators tell the media that they can prove you’re guilty of treason but nobody is ever allowed to see or contest the evidence. You can’t prove yourself innocent.
Perhaps the greatest gift Donald Trump gave America is inadvertently to have spotlighted these dirty tactics that the FBI has used for years against countless Americans. There are 296 FBI cases in which the wrongfully convicted have obtained exonerations. But those are the just ones lucky enough to have exculpatory evidence materialize in the years after the FBI helped railroad them into prison.
Clint Eastwood’s recent movie, “Richard Jewell,” showed how the FBI used the media to smear Jewell with the 1996 bombing at the Atlanta Olympics—a crime he clearly didn’t commit. We can remember that shortly after September 11, 2001, the FBI harassed and falsely accused a scientist of attacking his fellow Americans with anthrax. In 1965, the FBI framed Joe Salvati to protect its Boston area “informant” (really, criminal partner). These public cases barely scratch the surface of FBI wrongdoing.
The FBI helped frame Donald Trump for colluding with the Russians. It knew from the outset that the entire smear started with the Clinton campaign hiring FusionGPS to deflect attention from Clinton’s email problems by sticking Trump with his own legal problems. By the end of the first full month of the investigation, in August 2016, the Trump-Russia collusion hoax was already falling apart as FBI spies were reporting back that George Papadopolous, Carter Page, and Oleg Deripaska all denied the truth of Fusion’s flimsy fabrications.
The investigation of the Russia collusion hoax netted one felony conviction of FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith, who doctored an email to deceive the FISA court so it would authorize spying on Trump campaign figure Carter Page. Clinesmith has claimed that he made sure everyone on the team knew he was doctoring the email. They were all in on it.
Then came the news that as many as 12 phones used by the Mueller hit squad were “accidentally” wiped clean by the agents and attorneys who ran the operation. Obviously, we’re not meant to believe these flimsy stories. They’re rubbing our noses in their lawless impunity.
Was Peter Strzok using his position in the FBI to interfere in the 2016 presidential election? Of course he was and his texts to his lover and co-conspirator, Lisa Page, plainly state his intent.
But there’s another election on its way. So once again, Strzok is attempting to leverage the credibility of the FBI to manipulate the election. He said on NBC’s “Today” show, “There is no more urgent election in our lifetime from a counterintelligence perspective . . . Without exaggeration, President Trump’s counter-intelligence vulnerabilities are exponentially greater than any president in modern history.”
Strzok went on to claim that the president is hiding his tax returns to prevent revealing evidence of Russian financial leverage. Strzok didn’t say whether he ever saw those financial records or what they would show. But the smartly dressed former G-man obviously intended the inference. More sleazy innuendo about secret evidence.
What a scumbag.
Strzok has sued the FBI for wrongful termination under the theory that he had the constitutional right to use the powers of his job to take down Trump. In a way, he has a point. In the get-Trump era, the 2016 election is considered such an affront to the privileged bureaucracy that getting Trump has become the principle that overrides all other laws. Certainly, if figures such as Andrew McCabe and James Comey can get away with apparent criminal deceptions, then why should poor Peter Strzok not have access to the “Orange Man Bad” defense?
Fortunately, the FBI has compromised its ability to interfere in the 2020 election. Had the FBI worked to punish and expel the miscreants who perpetrated the Russian collusion hoax, it might have recovered enough credibility to make another go of it. As I recently wrote, only political opportunists will choose to believe the FBI the next time it cries wolf over Trump. While some hope that Special Counsel John Durham’s probe will finally yield a full accounting of the FBI and Justice Department’s abuses of power, close observers have reasons to be skeptical.
Kevin Clinesmith appears to have been the sacrificial lamb intended to delay any comprehensive accountability long enough to determine whether a Harris Administration—excuse me, a Biden Administration will sweep it all under the rug to renew the Left’s love affair with the American KGB. The Justice Department effectively is in charge of whether their own people will be charged. Immunity from the laws they enforce is one of the perks of the job. Why would they give that up?
The larger question is whether American constitutional democracy can continue to coexist with a lawless secret police that targets innocent people. Virtually all countries have paper constitutions with unenforced liberties. Those rights only mean something when the guys with the badges and guns are held to account for trampling those principles.
The rise of the FBI as a power-center comes at the direct expense of those liberties in America. Our elected leaders fear the FBI and its power to make an innocent person seem guilty. What difference does an election make if the FBI can control the elected, regardless of party? Whatever law-enforcement benefit we derive from the FBI’s “protection,” it’s coming at a very heavy cost to our freedoms.