Last week nobody knew who Peter Strzok was. He’s certainly not anonymous anymore.
Very quietly this summer, Strzok was reassigned from Trump-Russia collusion probe special counsel Robert Mueller’s team after it was discovered that he’d sent anti-Trump text messages to a woman with whom he was having extramarital sexual congress (who also was a member of that team). That information didn’t reach the public eye until this weekend, and developments since offer a pretty damn good explanation why.
Peter Strzok is everything, as it turns out. Strzok looks like the man at the center of what can best be described as the complete collapse of the FBI and Justice Department’s trustworthiness and credibility, a collapse which is triggering a crisis in the public confidence in the federal government as an institution we consent to have power over us.
Strzok didn’t just serve as an investigator on the Trump-collusion probe, which has degenerated into, as Andrew McCarthy ably laid out at National Review on Monday, an “obstruction investigation” — for the unwashed among us that means it’s essentially a bug hunt for as many Scooter Libbys as Mueller and his team can smoke out. Oh, no. Strzok was involved in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Heavily involved, in fact — so much so that it’s said it was Strzok who changed the language in then-FBI director James Comey’s exoneration speech to reflect “extreme carelessness” rather than “gross negligence” to describe Clinton’s behavior in running her government emails through that illegal bathroom closet server.
That’s a distinction with a difference, by the way, because it fueled the narrative that Clinton’s patently illegal behavior wasn’t punishable under a statute she clearly violated because an element of “intent” not necessary in that statute wasn’t met.
We’re just finding out about Strzok. It’s a great bet we’ll uncover a whole lot more about him — including, there are rumors, that it may have been Strzok who weaponized the Fusion GPS Pee Pee Dossier into the “collusion” investigation in the first place. Someone at the FBI apparently did that, and someone took that dossier to a FISA court in pursuit of warrants to surveil the Trump campaign in an effort by the Obama administration to spy on the political opposition during a presidential election. It might well have been him.
We’re also finding out about another hopelessly compromised member of the Mueller investigative team — namely, Andrew Weissmann. And what we’re finding out isn’t all that good. It turns out that Weissmann is the federal prosecutor who took down Enron, Arthur Anderson, and Merrill Lynch in separate cases, all of which resulted in convictions which were overturned all or in part due to prosecutorial misconduct. Weissmann was reportedly the genius behind the government’s armed pre-dawn raid at the home of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, in order to push an investigation resulting in charges of — essentially — consulting for a foreign political party and “laundering” money which was not illegal.
There are other questionable characters in Mueller’s cabal of Democrat partisans out for blood; to describe each would involve making this column into a book.
To summarize, the Mueller probe is rotten to the core. It’s been nearly a full year in existence and is no closer to finding evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians than he was when he started, and to date all he’s managed is a pair of guilty pleas based purely out of conduct during the investigation, with Flynn’s the most significant.
Understand that there was absolutely no underlying wrongdoing associated with Flynn’s guilty plea. As a member of the Trump transition team it was right and proper for him to communicate with his counterparts in foreign countries — whether Russian or otherwise. He was being spied upon by the intelligence community thanks to a FISA warrant issued, we assume, thanks to that Fusion GPS dossier being weaponized against Trump, and he was asked about things he said the FBI already had transcripts of. A perjury trap was set for Flynn and he fell into it. Just as Libby did when a different partisan Democrat prosecutor went fishing for process crimes after finding no underlying illegality.
This isn’t a banana republic, at least not yet. But it’ll become one on Trump’s watch if the president doesn’t act to put a stop to the runaway corruption in the Justice Department.
Here’s how to do that. First, Trump should pardon Flynn for the lie he admitted to the FBI, immediately. Only that, though — Flynn shouldn’t get a free pass for other things he’s done, like for example his Turkish escapades which might well bear further investigation.
Next, Trump should see to it that Strzok and Weissmann, and a number of others on Mueller’s team who are clearly compromised — they’d be disqualified as jurors on any case involving the president as having conflicts, much less as investigators — are fired. Not tomorrow. Today. This minute.
And Trump should tell Mueller he has until Christmas to bring an indictment against someone for collusion with the Russians, or else he’s fired and his probe gets disbanded. This investigation can’t be open-ended, and it also can’t be allowed to be a perpetual motion impeachment machine — not because it’s bad for Trump, but because it is poisonous to American democracy that this witch hunt might go on while the same people involved in it were actively at work exonerating Clinton.
Trump should also fire assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and assistant FBI director Andrew McCabe, both of whom are hopelessly compromised as well, and conduct a top-down review of FBI and DOJ personnel to rid those agencies of the partisan political corruption that clearly pervades them.
There can now be no mistake about the legitimacy of the Deep State coup against Trump his supporters have claimed. It’s real. The question now is what the president is going to do about it. The Democrats will use the 2018 midterm elections as a public referendum on whether they’re to be given the political power to impeach the president, and Mueller’s probe is nothing more than an effort to legitimize that naked grasp at the brass ring. Trump may have been practicing a bit of a rope-a-dope to smoke out just how empty this “collusion” narrative has been, but we’re past that now. Now it’s time to end the circus and turn out the clowns.
Enough already. Get rid of these people.