- - Sunday, January 28, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Two lovebirds and others at the FBI need to be investigated on charges of plotting to influence a presidential election and later cripple a presidential administration.

From July 2015 to July 2017, Peter Strzok, an FBI counterintelligence official who assisted in the Hillary Clinton email probe, exchanged more than 50,000 text messages with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom he was reportedly having an affair. Some of them are quite damning.

Mr. Strzok also officially launched the FBI’s investigation into the alleged Russia-Trump collusion that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is directing. Mr. Strzok was removed from that probe last summer after messages to Ms. Page surfaced in which Mr. Strzok denounced Mr. Trump as an “enormous douche” and an “idiot.” Mr. Mueller reasoned that this just might raise doubts about the inquiry team’s objectivity.

Now we find out that on the day after the election, Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page spoke about a “secret society” within the FBI that would resist the new administration at every turn. And we wonder why Americans outside the Beltway are paranoid about the Deep State.

On Aug. 15, 2016, three months before the presidential election, Mr. Strzok references a meeting believed to have been held in Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe’s office:

“I want to believe that there’s no way he gets elected. But I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before die before you’re 40 We have to do something about it.”

In another text, as reported by PJ Media, Ms. Page says to Mr. Strzok: “maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.”

As for Mr. McCabe, he remained on the Trump-Russia probe until a week before the election. And worth noting is that his wife Jill McCabe’s unsuccessful political campaign in 2015 against Republican Virginia State Sen. Richard Black received more than half a million dollars from cronies of Democrat Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Clintons’ former bag man. For some reason, Mr. McCabe is still Deputy FBI Director.

Curiously, the FBI somehow “lost” thousands of messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Page for the five months from Dec. 14, 2016, to May 17, 2017. After a public firestorm, they finally turned up on Thursday, according to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

“This period coincides with the height of the FBI’s investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion, on which Mr. Strzok was a lead investigator,” The Wall Street Journal notes.

Compared to the 18-minute “gap” in the White House tape during the Watergate scandal, this is the Grand Canyon. So what does the Bureau have to say about it? They blamed it on “misconfiguration issues related to rollouts, provisioning, and software upgrades.”

Someone at the FBI actually wrote that. Maybe it’s true.

The pattern of alarming behavior at the FBI and the Justice Department deserves a recap:

On June 27, 2016, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch held a private meeting with Bill Clinton in a jet at the Phoenix airport, even though the FBI, a branch of the Justice Department, was investigating Mr. Clinton’s wife’s conduct as Secretary of State. A more glaring conflict of interest is hard to imagine.

A week later, on July 5, then-FBI Director James Comey released a report exonerating Mrs. Clinton. He criticized her misuse of emails, but described her violation of national security protocols as “extremely careless” instead of the criminally indictable “grossly negligent” in the original draft. The ever nimble Mr. Strzok has been credited with that edit.

Mr. Strzok also revealed in a text that the FBI team had removed a reference to President Obama as having received a text from Mrs. Clinton when one of them was “on the territory of sophisticated adversaries.” Was it Russia? Alabama?

To downplay the severity of the breach, the FBI report editors cleverly demoted Mr. Obama from president into just “another senior government official,” according to The Journal. The very next day after Mr. Comey’s press conference and release of the report, Ms. Lynch announced that no charges would be filed against Mrs. Clinton, to no great surprise.

Mr. Comey also drafted a statement closing the Clinton email investigation before the FBI even interviewed Mrs. Clinton or her staff.

And, Mr. Comey leaked his own memo to a reporter about a conversation with President Trump in order to trigger the Mueller investigation.

This all adds up to a disturbingly convincing scenario in which partisan FBI officials bent the law to protect Hillary Clinton, sully Donald Trump before the election, and destabilize his presidency afterward.

If something here isn’t a federal crime, I really don’t know what is.

Robert Knight is an author and a Washington Times contributor.


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