Show me the application, dude — that was the underlying demand from Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to FBI director Chris Wray during a House Judiciary hearing to determine a little bit more about Peter Strozk, the just-fired Robert Mueller attack dog.
Er, make that unbiased special counsel team investigator — right?
Hold the phone on that one. The water’s getting deep and murky. Jordan’s got the goods on that. Or at least, a theory that’s rocking, to say the least.
OK, just to bring up to speed — Strzok was the former deputy head of intelligence at the FBI, who ultimately changed the criminal term of “gross negligence” in director James Comey’s letter of findings on Clinton’s email server to the softer, less legally consequential “extreme carelessness.” Strzok’s also the guy who was hired to work with Mueller to uncover shreds of evidence that could tie President Donald Trump’s team to collusion with Russia. And, most recently, he’s also the guy who was just fired by Mueller after it was discovered he sent a text message or two that seemed to show an affinity for Hillary Clinton and simultaneous distaste for Trump.
Not exactly a background you’d want in a supposed unbiased investigator, right?
Well anyway, so off Strzok goes, into the good night, fired.
But as Jordan pointed out at Thursday’s hearing, and quite rightly so, the vast majority of Mueller’s hand-picked Trump take-down teammates — er, make that unbiased investigators — are Democratic donors. So why Strzok?
Why was Strzok — after all the leftist leanings he exhibited before being hired for Mueller’s team — why was he the one picked from all the bunches upon bunches of Democrat-loving Clinton and Barack Obama supporters working on this Russia collusion hunt to be the fall-guy for bias?
For a text message no less?
“Well here’s what I’m not getting. Peter Strozk is selected to be on Mueller’s team — after all this history, put on Mueller’s team — and then he’s removed for some pro-Clinton text messages,” Jordan said. “I mean there are all kinds of people on Mueller’s team who are pro-Clinton.”
Hmm. Good point, Mr. Jordan. Go on.
“If you kicked everybody off on Mueller’s team who was anti-Trump, I don’t think there’d be anybody left,” he said.
Right. And now for his main point: “It can’t just be some text messages … there’s got to be something more. And I’m trying to figure out what it is. But my hunch is, it has something to do with the dossier.”
Thud. This is where it gets really interesting.
And Jordan’s question to Wray went like this: “Director, did Peter Strozk help produce and present the application to the FISA court to secure a warrant to spy on Americans associated with the Trump campaign?”
Wray was not “prepared” to discuss applications tied to the FISA court, of course. But Jordan kept up the pressure — and then gave his own conclusion.
“Let’s remember a couple of things about the dossier,” he said. “The Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign, which we now know were one and the same, paid the law firm who paid Fusion GPS who paid Christopher Steele who then paid Russians to put together a report that we call a dossier full of all kinds of fake news, National Enquirer garbage and it’s been reported that this dossier was all dressed up by the FBI, taken to the FISA court and presented as a legitimate intelligence document — that it became the basis for a warrant to spy on Americans.”
Wow. That’s one heck of a theory. But it’s worth a look.
“The easiest way to clear it up is tell us what’s in that application and who took it there,” Jordan said.
Jordan finished with this: “Here’s what I think — I think Peter Strozk … Mr. Super Agent at the FBI, I think he’s the guy who took the application to the FISA court and if that happened, if this happened, if you have the FBI working with a campaign, the Democrats’ campaign, taking opposition research, dressing it all up and turning it into an intelligence document so they can take it to the FISA court so they can spy on the other campaign, if that happened, that is as wrong as it gets.”
Jordan told Wray a simple look-see at the application that was sent to the court could clarify whether this occurred — whether Strozk was implicated and involved in such a manner.
But Wray dodged.
And it’s a significant dodge. The application’s not classified. It has nothing to do with the inner filings to the FISA court — the hush-hush details of an individual FISA fling.
It’s like a cover letter to a fax — nothing especially secret or privileged about it.
Show the application, Wray. Jordan’s request is simple and reasonable. And it would go far toward shedding some truth on a months-long situation that’s been truly masked in deception, confusion and partisan politicking.