Hillary Clinton and her supporters have been riding on a float of strange and hilarious narratives for the last year, but one of the biggest has been that there are forces in the FBI – from Director James Comey on down – that were solidly in Donald Trump’s corner while the election was in progress. These officials were so dead-set against a Clinton presidency that they were willing to ignore precedent, chase conspiracy theories, and do everything possible to make a case against her that would cripple – if not destroy her candidacy for president.
This narrative has never been anything less than absurd, but it really turned sour this week when news came out of Peter Strzok, a verified anti-Trump partisan, who was an integral part of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email debacle – AND a member of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation into the Trump/Russia matter.
News hit on Friday that Mueller removed Strzok from his team this summer when he became aware of anti-Trump text messages the FBI agent had sent. Fearful that Strzok’s evident bias would undermine the credibility of the investigation, Mueller kicked him off the team and into the FBI’s department of Human Resources…but was the damage already done?
That’s what the Justice Department independent watchdog office wants to know. According to Fox News, the Office of the Inspector General has launched an inquiry into Strzok’s role in Hillary Clinton investigation:
A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok’s roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by “very early next year.”
The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok’s consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI’s fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.
As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.
Perhaps more damning than Strzok’s involvement in the Hillary Clinton case, however, is his involvement in the Trump/Russia investigation. Though he was removed in August, Strzok’s role in that inquiry remains a sticking point – particularly for the House Intelligence Committee, which is accusing the FBI and the Department of Justice of shielding the agent from congressional testimony. Early this year, the committee was told by an informant that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was deliberately trying to block House investigators from learning everything there was to know about the infamous Trump dossier.
“We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said in a statement. He is calling on FBI Director Christopher Wray to explain, with documents and testimony, what role Strzok had in pushing the dossier theory on investigators.
Just as the Democrats are trying to make it look like Mueller is “closing in” on Trump, we’re finding out more and more about the shaky ground upon which this entire house of cards has been built.