- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2018

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

When President Trump first tweeted about Trump Tower wiretaps, imagine if James Comey had told us the full truth at that time. If we knew then everything we have learned in the past several months, things might have been very, very different. Read part one, here.  

It’s March 6, 2017, and FBI Director James Comey is giving a full briefing to the media about the actions of the FBI in relation to the 2016 presidential election. 

“You all have your coffee? Great! Hey there, Laura Jarrett! Tell your mom, Valerie I said ‘Hi!’  Boy do we at the Justice Department miss her!

“OK. Let’s recap. I just finished addressing President Trump’s tweet regarding surveillance activity on people connected to his campaign in 2016. 

“We had several FISA warrants on people from the Trump camp. One of them, against Carter Page, was justified by using the unverified, Clinton-financed opposition research known as the ‘Steele Dossier.’ We also had a confidential human source (you might call him a spy) secretly trying to get more Trump people to reveal things to us about their connections with Russia. 

“So spying, electronic surveillance, use of Clinton-financed Russian campaign propaganda… everyone up to speed? OK. Now, in the spirit of full transparency, there’s more you need to know. 

“One more thing you need to know about the investigation into the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russia: The FISA surveillance and the confidential human source and all the investigating we were doing… well, we kept it all from Congress.

“Yeah, you see usually we would tell the ‘Gang of Eight’ (the Speaker of the House, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority and Minority Leaders plus the Chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees) every couple of months about these things. It’s called ‘constitutional oversight.’ We are supposed to tell these folks about activities like this so the FBI and DOJ don’t abuse the powers we have. You don’t want us to go off and spy on Americans for political purposes, do you? 

“Well, the fact is we didn’t tell them anything about any of this for about nine months. 

“Also, I’d like you to meet Peter Strzok. Don’t be shy Peter, step forward. Peter is a very important figure in our Counterintelligence Division. He was in charge of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of an unauthorized, unsecured email server (remember that?) and he also headed up the investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. 

“Now here’s something you need to know about Peter: He hates Donald Trump. I mean, he hates him. And he’s not shy about it. You should see the stuff he texts about him. And he is always texting. The guy is like one of my teenagers with the texting. Always on the phone texting. You’d think he had a girlfriend or something. 

“Anyways, Peter hates Trump, loves Hillary and he was in charge of the Hillary email investigation. He even interviewed Hillary. Peter has been so helpful in this whole thing. He advised me early on to change my assessment of the use of this unsecured server from ‘gross negligence’ to ‘extremely careless.’ That may seem small, but it was huge. Kept me from recommending criminal charges against Hillary right in the middle of the campaign.  Huge. 

“Peter then shifted from the email thing to setting up those FISA taps on Carter Page and setting up those folks to spy on the Trump people… er.. not a spy (sorry, easy mistake to make.) I mean, those confidential human sources.  You know… potato/poTAHto. 

“Peter’s a super overachiever though. He also interviewed Michael Flynn in the first couple days of Trumps’ presidency. You know that interview that was instrumental in Flynn stepping down from the NSC? There may be more headlines coming out of that interview… don’t want to spoil it now. Stay tuned. 

“Back in 2016 when Peter was overseeing all this important stuff (Hillary emails, Trump Russia, etc.) he was talking about ‘stopping’ Trump from being elected. He talked about having an ‘insurance policy’ in case he did get elected. He worried about being too tough on Hillary when he interviewed her because, after all, she was going to be the president. 

“In retrospect, knowing all the anti-Trump, pro-Hillary stuff he was saying, maybe he shouldn’t have been in charge of these investigations, but come on, you reporters all hate Trump and that doesn’t affect how you do your job, right?

“Peter worked with my number two guy, Andrew McCabe. Say ‘Hi’ Andy. Andy’s wife ran for office last year and got about half a million bucks from Gov. Terry McAuliffe (an old friend of Hillary‘s) for her campaign. She got that money while Andy was overseeing the email investigation. You know all this already because Andy leaked it all to you, right? I think that may have been against the rules for him to leak that though. I hope if he’s ever asked about it, he tells the truth. 

“So, where are we… Peter hates Trump, loves Hillary. Andy’s wife running on the Hillary party ticket in Virginia and getting tons of cash from Hillary World. What else? Well, let’s just say, most of us up here on the seventh floor hate Trump

“Lisa Page, she works with Andy, she’s also a really, really, really, really, really close friend of Peter’s. She hates Trump. A bunch of others here hate him. Heck, I’ll admit it: I hate Trump too. 

“In fact, check this out, from the first meeting I ever had with Trump, I’ve been writing memos about what happened in those encounters. Someday I might leak these memos (I mean if Andy can leak, why can’t I?) but only if Trump fires me. Hold that thought, ok? 

“Now, I can tell by your faces that some of you are kind of shocked by all this. (To be honest, only those who we haven’t been talking too on background over the past year are shocked, still…)  But you really shouldn’t be shocked. This is just how business gets done in DC.

If you look at the big picture on this, it’s not that bad: 

  • People in major decision-making power at the FBI and DOJ openly hate Trump and love Hillary
  • We worked together to soften our assessment of Hillary’s illegal use of an unsecured email server with confidential information on it
  • We used Clinton-financed, unverified opposition research from anonymous Russians to obtain a FISA warrant on an American citizen connected to the Trump campaign
  • Some of us texted each other thousands and thousands of times about our hate of Trump and about insurance policies and stopping Trump from winning the election, while all this was going on
  • We hired a guy to fly one of the Trump advisors to London and pay him thousands of dollars under false pretenses so we could secretly obtain information about the campaign’s dealings with Russians (you may call that spying but why quibble over words?)
  • My second in command leaked stuff to the media (he claims I approved it, I say I didn’t, someone is lying)
  • I kept notes on all my meetings with Trump so I could either trap him in a lie or inspire a special counsel investigation on him which could lead to impeachment (I never liked Trump, did I mention that?)

“All of that has been happening here at the FBI over the past year.

“But we did NOT ‘wiretap Trump Tower‘ as President Trump suggested in his tweet this weekend. 

Now, are there any questions?” 

Of course, James Comey never gave this press conference and never revealed all of the things that were going on at the FBI under his watch. Instead, he preened and played the victim and wrapped himself in the mantle of unassailable integrity. 

In March 2017, Comey was called on to be fully transparent about any investigation into President Trump and his campaign and he refused to do so. If he had been, we would have learned all of these things. 

Had he instead chosen to be transparent and reveal all of the things we have learned since then, do you think the media narrative in the early months of the Trump presidency might have been different? Do you think the Trump Administration and Congress would have acted differently? Do you think we ever would have had a special counsel named? 



 

 


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