- - Tuesday, December 26, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

President Trump’s tweeting provides great sport for the media and for Democratic politicians, most recently for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, New York Democrat, who accused Mr. Trump of a sexist smear when he tweeted that Ms. Gillibrand would “do anything” for a campaign contribution. Is that what Oliver had in mind when he sang to Nancy, “I’d do anything anything for you?”

Mr. Trump’s tweet may have been unwise but probably not as unwise as the texts former Robert Mueller investigator Peter Strzok sent to his mistress, Lisa Page. (Once upon a time, having a mistress was a security risk. Not anymore. CBS News referred to Ms. Page only as Mr. Strzok’s “colleague.”)

Ordinarily, even FBI employees can have catty opinions, but not if they are working on sensitive investigations like the Trump — Russia probe, so Special Counsel Robert Mueller, quite properly, removed Mr. Strzok from his team.

End of story? Not even close. It may be the end of only a chapter in the story as it affects the Trump — Russia — Collusion investigation.

But it is an amazing development in a different story: the Hillary Clinton private email server scandal.

The problem with Mr. Strzok is that it was he who led the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of her private email server. When James Comey announced on July 5, 2016, that he was recommending that Mrs. Clinton not be prosecuted, Mr. Comey said that she had, nevertheless, been “extremely careless.” He did not say that she had been “grossly negligent.” It’s true that those are just words and that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between them — except that the relevant statute happens to use “gross negligence” rather than “extreme carelessness” in criminalizing the conduct.

It now appears that “grossly negligent” was the wording in a previous draft of Mr. Comey’s statement. And it may have been Strzok who changed the wording to the non-criminal “extremely careless.” Although Mr. Comey’s announcement was damaging — it may have cost Hillary the election — it was not as damaging as “grossly negligent” would have been. That would have raised the question: Why isn’t the FBI recommending prosecution? Then Bernie Sanders might have been nominated, and then Mr. Trump probably would have won the popular vote that he said he did win.

A reason has been advanced for the change in wording: Mr. Comey had concluded that Mrs. Clinton had done nothing illegal and needed to have his statement reflect his decision.

But there’s a problem with that explanation: Mr. Comey’s original statement exonerating Mrs. Clinton was drafted two months before she was even interviewed by the FBI. Which, among many other indicia, makes it look as if the fix was in from the beginning: the highly partisan Obama Democrats in the FBI had no intention of prosecuting Mrs. Clinton.

That raises the question, Why did Mr. Comey make his damaging announcement about Mrs. Clinton on July 5 which, even though it stated that she would not be prosecuted, may have cost her the election? The answer, probably, is that it wasn’t at that time conceivable to a single one of the pro-Clinton FBI Democrats that Clinton could lose the election.

In retrospect, however, it does seem extremely careless of the FBI’s partisan Democrats to have left the paper trail that has now been discovered.

What is now publicly known about the FBI’s Clinton investigation begs for congressional investigation.

But these revelations should also lead the FBI, now under the guidance of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, to reopen the investigation of Mrs. Clinton’s use of her private email server. The Democrats would cry foul, of course, and claim that only banana republics investigate people who lose elections. But unlike banana republics, America is a country that believes in the rule of law, and believes that it should apply even to people who (or whose charitable foundations) can afford to buy whole banana companies.

What the president should do is instruct Mr. Sessions to reopen the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server scandal, and the Uranium One scandal as well (and ask him why he hasn’t already done so). If Mr. Sessions interprets his recusal from the Russia investigation so broadly as to limit his power to investigate other matters, then Mr. Trump should replace him because Mr. Sessions would be admitting that he is not able to see that the laws are faithfully executed.

Meanwhile you can almost hear Bill and Hillary back in Chappaqua singing “I’d do anything, anything for you.” And, pace Kirsten Gillibrand, it would not be obvious that the song of the nation’s most corrupt couple, who raked in millions in dodgy contributions to their family foundation, was laced with sexual overtones.

Daniel Oliver is chairman of the board of the Education and Research Institute and a director of Citizens for the Republic.

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