We waited quite a while to get the smug, hubris-addled deep-stater known as Peter Strzok on the stand. We wanted to hear his explanations for the outrageous — if not unhinged — texts, over 50,000 total; texts in which he did everything but spell out the message, “I am using my position as a high-ranking counterintelligence agent to combat the Trump presidency.”
Unfortunately, this hearing didn’t have a great deal to offer in the way of new information, which is hardly surprising given the all-hands-on-deck stonewalling effort conducted by the DOJ and FBI over the last year. But thanks to the magic of logical inference, there were notable takeaways from the circus yesterday known as the Strzok hearing, and thus I do believe that I can make this read worth your time.
As always, I’ll list off the things that demand our attention. Items will range from outrageous moments to general observations to information that could aid our analysis going forward.
Let’s get started.
1) Strzok’s strategy became clear from the start.
He’s clearly been handed the Dim/Deep State sheet of music and is playing right on key.
That strategy, much like the sham Russia investigation for whose launch he was integral, can be most simply described as hide-the-ball with Putin as the cup. It’s obvious that the comically overblown “Russian threat” is being used to its full potential in serving as a deflection from whatever the hell happened at the FBI in 2016 and prior.
Let me be clear: I am not a Putin apologist, nor do I dismiss the threat he poses. I am very clear-eyed in terms of the nature of the Putin regime. But that means I see the whole picture, not just the narrative that’s been pushed for the last two years as part of a political agenda.
Strzok is not naive to Russia, either. He’s worked counterintel against them for quite a while now. As such, he knows that “election interference” is nothing new. In fact, Russian intelligence have been up to their shenanigans since the end of WWII. It’s not something we can ignore or take lightly, but anyone with a smidge of intellectual honesty knows Russian shenanigans to be as inevitable as death and taxes. The Dims’ sudden hair-on-fire concern regarding all things Russia is nothing more than a justification to launch an all out assault on Trump and his inner circle. It’s a battering ram against the Trump presidency; nothing more or less.
And now, it serves as cover for the shady conduct of a very high ranking CI agent who played instrumental roles in both the Clinton and Trump investigations. It allows Strzok to pick and choose which questions he’d like to answer, as any question that seeks to get at the truth of the investigation’s genesis are met with claims of confidentiality due to the existence of an “ongoing investigation.” That ongoing investigation, you’ll note, is over a year old now and has produced nothing but indictments for process crimes that have nothing whatsoever to do with Russia or election interference, #ButTheseAreMinorDetails.
Strzok isn’t stupid. He knows who his allies are and who will go to bat to protect him no matter how badly he behaves, and he understands the methods by which they seek to accomplish that end.
This is a counterintelligence professional linking up with the media to conduct a disinformation campaign designed to cover the government’s ass. And he’s joined in seamlessly.
That seamless transition from shadowy deep state actor to covert media parrot isn’t a testament to Strzok’s chameleon-like powers. It’s evidence of a relationship that has existed for quite some time now.
Frankly, that’s scary.
2) Dims reach a new low.
.When they weren’t giving out sacred military honors to crooked cops, Dims attempted to shut down the hearing altogether. When that failed, they resorted to near-constant parliamentary inquiries and objections. At one point they actually cheered and applauded Strzok, again as if he were some type of hero.
The bottom line was made excruciatingly clear yesterday. Any earnest attempts to get at the truth will be met with #Resistance from the Dim party at every turn, even if it means turning every congressional hearing into an embarrassing clown show.
And not a single mainstream journalist will call them on it. Absolutely shameful.
3) Gohmert went there.
4) We learned a bombshell regarding Hillary’s illegal server.
I can’t believe I didn’t know this already, but I didn’t. And I can’t believe that it hasn’t garnered more headlines, even among the right-wing media.
Yesterday, we learned that nearly all of Hillary’s emails were sent to a “foreign entity” and that the FBI didn’t follow-up on that finding.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Gohmert said.
“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia,” he added.
Gohmert said the ICIG investigator, Frank Rucker, presented the findings to Strzok, but that the FBI official did not do anything with the information. Absolutely unbelievable. Strzok acknowledged meeting with Rucker, but said he did not recall the “specific content.”
HOW THE HELL DO YOU NOT RECALL FINDING OUT THAT THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICIAL BUSINESS WAS BEING SECRETLY SENT TO SOMEONE NOT ON THE DISTRO LIST? HOW DOES A COUNTERINTELLIGENCE INVESTIGATOR NOT FIND THAT INTERESTING ENOUGH TO REMEMBER?
“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”
He also said that someone alerted Inspector General Horowitz to the issue.
“Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said.
What the hell is going on here?
The ICIG previously caught problems regarding Hillary’s server that the FBI ‘missed.’ The bureau didn’t notice that some emails were openly marked classified with a “(C)” when they were sent.
Texts between Strzok and Page show that the ICIG spotted the oversight after the FBI missed it:
“Holy cow,” Strzok wrote, “if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”
You reckon they were concerned, Pete? Do you reckon more was warranted to be done about that situation than a “Holy Cow” text message to the whore you were banging? Does it bother you that even the most basic of violations were ‘missed’ by FBI investigators? Did you confront your higher-ups?
In late 2017, ICIG Chuck McCullough — who was appointed by Obama, by the way — took the extraordinary step of coming forward publicly to say that he perceived pushback after he began raising the alarm about issues with Clinton’s servers to then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.
He said he found it “maddening” that Dims, including Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, were underselling the amount of classified information on the server.
McCullough said he “expected to be embraced and protected,” but was instead “chided” by someone on Capitol Hill for failing to consider the “political consequences” of his investigative findings, Fox News reported.
The ICIG has not publicly disclosed the findings Gohmert described in the meeting between Rucker and Strzok, but Gohmert says the IG can document them.
Here is yesterday’s exchange:
Gohmert: You said earlier in this hearing you were concerned about a hostile foreign power affecting the election. Do you recall the former Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough having an investigation into an anomaly found on Hillary Clinton’s emails?
Let me refresh your memory. The Intelligence Community Inspector General Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Rucker along with an IGIC attorney Janette McMillan to brief you and Dean Chapelle and two other FBI personnel who I won’t name at this time, about an anomaly they had found on Hillary Clinton’s emails that were going to the private unauthorized server that you were supposed to be investigating?
Strzok: I remember meeting Mr. Rucker on either one or two occasions. I do not recall the specific content or discussions.
Gohmert: Mr. Rucker reported to those of you, the four of you there, in the presence of the ICIG attorney, that they had found this anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list. It was a compartmentalized bit of information that was sending it to an unauthorized source. Do you recall that?
Strozk: Sir, I don’t.
Gohmert: He went on the explain it. And you didn’t say anything, you thanked him, you shook his hand. The problem is it was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia and from what you’ve said here, you did nothing more than nod and shake the man’s hand when you didn’t seem to be all that concerned about our national integrity of our election when it was involving Hillary Clinton. So the forensic examination was done by the ICIG — and they can document that — but you were given that information and you did nothing with it. And one of the things I found most egregious with Mr. Horowitz’s testimony, and — by the way Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call.
In one sense, it’s actually a shame that Strzok’s smirk caused Gohmert to lose his temper and make the wife comment, because it has overshadowed what could’ve arguably been the biggest headline from the hearing.
For the life of me I can’t figure out why more attention isn’t being paid to this.
And now, when we know we had a Pakistani spy ring operating within Congress (the Awans) under Clinton lackey Debbie Whythehellisshenotinjailyet Schultz, it’s pretty damn imperative to learn exactly where those emails were going to.
Way back when I first learned of Hillary’s actions with the private server, my intuition was that she was using it to sell information to our enemies, much in the same way someone would “leave” something in a restaurant booth for someone else to pick up. A transfer of information via “hacking” that was really just a way of handing off info while feigning burglary.
I believe that hypothesis now more than ever.
5) Strzok’s explanations leave much to be desired.
April 1, 2016:
Page: “So look, you say we text on that phone when we talk about hillary because it can’t be traced, you were just venting bc you feel bad that you’re gone so much but it can’t be helped right now.”
Strzok claims this was being used as an excuse to explain to his wife why he was exchanging text messages with Page on his personal phone. This explanation is actually quite plausible, but man, does it make him look like a scumbag.
July 24, 2016:
Page: “Rudy is on the [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court]! Did you know that? Just appointed two months ago. …”
Strzok: “I did. We talked about it before and after. I need to get together with him.”
The “Rudy” here is U.S. District Court Judge Rudy Contreras. Contreras presided over former national security adviser Mike Flynn’s plea deal earlier this year. As a member of the FISC, he was uniquely positioned to grant Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants, like the one granted in October 2016 against wannabe Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
“At no time,” Strzok told investigators, “did I ever with Judge Contreras think of or in actuality reach out for the purpose of discussing any case or trying to get any decision, provide any information, or otherwise influence him with regard to any investigative matter that I or others were involved with.”
Page wondered whether Strzok’s relationship with Contreras would necessitate that Contreras recuse himself from decisions brought by Strzok.
“All of this discussion is a consideration of doing the right, appropriate, ethical thing,” Strzok said to investigators. “It is the polar opposite of what is being suggested by some. This is, this is the flip side of that saying we want to make sure we’re absolutely doing the right thing.”
So essentially, Strzok wants us to believe that despite page upon page of he and his mistress expressing contempt for the would-be POTUS and an unnerving willingness to use their positions within the FBI to somehow affect his candidacy (which the IG report even cites, don’t take my word for it), that suddenly he and Page are texting back and forth to ensure that all ethical guidelines are being followed to the tee. Because if we know anything about Strzok and Page text sessions, it’s that they’re all about upholding the finest traditions of the FBI.
Sorry, not buying it.
When the #2 CI guy is talking to his mistress about his need to “get together” with a judge who could be critical to having surveillance orders approved, that’s a problem. A big one. What could he possibly need to “get together” about regarding the FISA court? A private pow-wow about the FISC (FISA court) is unethical and highly problematic in itself.
July 26, 2016, during the Dim convention:
Page: “Yeah, it is pretty cool. [Clinton] just has to win now. I’m not going to lie, I got a flash of nervousness yesterday about trump. The sandernistas have the potential to make a very big mistake here …”
Strzok: “I’m not worried about them. I’m worried about the anarchist Assanges who will take fed information and disclose it to disrupt. We’ve gotta get the memo and brief and case filing done.”
Strzok said that the memo he described was the one summarizing the findings of the Clinton email server investigation, called a letterhead memorandum or LHM.
When asked if his text message meant that the LHM needed to be completed because he was worried about Trump and wanted Clinton to win,” the report reads, Strzok said, “No, not at all.”
Not at all? Really? Dude, you’re literally discussing what could hurt Hillary the worst and what needed to be done on your end to mitigate the threat.
This is actually insulting.
July 31, 2016, on the opening of the investigation into possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia:
Strzok: “And damn this feels momentous. Because this matters. The other one did, too, but that was to ensure we didn’t F something up. This matters because this MATTERS. So super glad to be on this voyage with you.”
“The other one” here referred to the Hillzdawg investigation, Strzok said. The Russia investigation was more important, he says, because “if there is criminal activity [in the Clinton investigation], it is comparatively limited, versus allegations which are of the most extraordinarily, potentially grave conduct.”
Page: “This is not to take away from the unfairness of it all, but we are both deeply fortunate people. … And maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.”
Strzok: “Thanks. It’s absolutely true that we’re both very fortunate. And of course I’ll try and approach it that way. I just know it will be tough at times. I can protect our country at many levels, not sure if that helps….”
Strzok said that the menace wasn’t a reference to Trump.
“I take, I take the menace as, again, I view any foreign interference with our electoral process to be a threat, to be a violation of law,” he said. “So when I see menace, I, you know, is that Trump, is that Russian interference, is it the combination of the two?”
Yeah, suddenly you were referring to a different ‘menace’ than the one you’d been groaning about for 50K texts.
Aug. 8, 2016:
Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”
Strzok: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”
This one is #ARealBeauty.
First, Strzok said he didn’t remember the message at all. Yet, miraculously, he was able to give deep insight into his mindset at the time it was sent. Maybe he really is a superhero! He can read his own mind!
He says that “he believed that it was intended to reassure Page that Trump would not be elected, not to suggest that he would do something to impact the investigation.”
The IG report certainly had a different take on things, as it pointed to this exchange as “indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
Did you hear that? The same IG report that Strzok repeatedly pointed to as having “not found bias” says in plain language that not only was Strzok biased, but that he exhibited a willingness to use his position within the FBI to put that bias in action.
But sure, he was talking about those glorious American people to whom he’s shown so much reverence in the past.
The bad part is, this explanation might be plausible had it been isolated. But it’s not. It’s part of a much larger pattern of behavior and thus anyone giving him the benefit of the doubt on this is simply seeking willful ignorance.
Aug. 15, 2016:
Strzok: “I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — 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 you’re 40.”
I couldn’t find anywhere in yesterday’s hearing where this was explicitly asked about, which drives me bonkers. However, we do have information from the IG report, scant as it may be.
Strzok explained that the message probably dealt with a conversation about handling allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Part of that discussion, he said, centered on whether “it made sense to compromise sensitive sources and methods to ‘bring things to some sort of precipitative conclusion and understanding,’ ” given the likelihood that Hillary would win.
“Strzok said the reference in his text message to an ‘insurance policy’ reflected his conclusion that the FBI should investigate the allegations thoroughly right away, as if Trump were going to win,” the report reads.
Okay, so let’s keep score here. Strzok is saying that the ‘insurance policy’ just meant that they should investigate thoroughly in the minuscule chance that Trump actually won the presidency. Yet, when explaining why the Trump probe took precedent over the emails found on Spanky Weiner’s laptop, Strzok described a startling fear at the time of what Russia was up to within our borders.
So which is it? Was the FBI in a panic about Putin and rushing to combat his efforts, or was everyone in McCabe’s office debating on whether the case merited their full attention? Pick one, Mr. Strzok.
Can’t have it both ways.
Sept. 2, 2016:
Page: “potus wants to know everything we are doing”
Here is another case of the ever-flexible pronoun, “we.” In this case, it’s stretched to mean the entire intelligence community!
Both Strzok and Page claim that the request from then-President Soetoro to be informed about an investigation centered on Russian interference, where “we” referred broadly to the intelligence community.
First off, this explanation makes absolutely zero sense to anyone who knows the first thing about the intel community. Intelligence is compartmentalized, meaning each mission is known only to those working it, so as it minimize leakage. The POTUS shouldn’t be hearing from the “entire intel community” on any damn thing, much less an investigation of this stature.
Secondly, it doesn’t pass basic logic. If these standing orders existed for the broad intel community, why would it need to be reiterated in a private text? Would the FBI’s #2 CI guy need to be reminded of an order of this magnitude?
This explanation doesn’t make sense on any level.
May 18, 2017, shortly after the appointment of King Bob:
Strzok: “For me, and this case, I personally have a sense of unfinished business. I unleashed it with [the Clinton investigation]. Now I need to fix it and finish it.”
Strzok was added to the King Bob crew (shocker, I know) where he served until the text messages with Page came to light. The messages on this day center on whether joining that team was the proper decision.
About the message above, Strzok told investigators that he wasn’t saying that he hoped to make up for having “unleashed” Trump via the election-influencing Clinton email investigation by “fixing” the problem via the Russia investigation.
“It wasn’t so much the investigation about [Clinton],” he said, “but then how it played into, how it was being portrayed in the political environment, how it was being leveraged by the government of Russia and all the social media disseminations.” What he wanted to fix, he said, was the misperception that Russia hadn’t tried to influence the election.
Ahhhh, I see. So Strzok simply wanted the American people to know the truth. That’s all. One problem, though: Page doesn’t seem to agree.
She suggested that the “unfinished business” was “a reflection of our Director having been fired” — a reference to the firing of James B. Comey, whose termination as FBI director by Trump led to Mueller’s appointment.
So what does that mean, exactly? Was Strzok planning to avenge Comey’s firing? They realize that’s not exactly good, right? Given the insulation they’ve clearly become accustomed to, I’m sad to say that I can’t rule out that she’s completely oblivious to how problematic that would be.
Strzok: “you and I both know the odds are nothing. If I thought it was likely I’d be there no question. I hesitate in part because of my gut sense and concern there’s no big there there.”
In this text, Strzok seems to acknowledge that there is no actual evidence linking Trump to Russia.
“As we looked at the various actors,” Strzok said,, “the question [was,] … was that part of a broad, coordinated effort, or was that simply a bunch of opportunists seeking to advance their own or individual agendas … which of that is it?”
During this exchange, Strzok also seemingly weighed become assistant director against “an investigation leading to impeachment.”
Page “said she interpreted Strzok’s reference to impeachment to mean he wanted to be involved in the Russia investigation because it was so important ‘it might lead to impeachment,’ not because ‘it will lead to impeachment,” according to the IG report.
Now perhaps you see what I meant yesterday when I said that Page was merely trying to wait to see what Strzok tells Congress before she testifies for herself. There can’t be any daylight between their accounts or the game is up. Unfortunately for them, daylight has already been discovered and any notion of credibility was lost long ago, at least in the eyes of any thinking person.
6) THE BIG PICTURE:
Despite the sound and fury, the big questions remain unanswered.
We’ve talked a lot about obstruction by the FBI and DOJ, so let’s be clear about exactly what is being hidden. There is a particular part of this investigation that the gubmint is fighting tooth and nail to keep under wraps: its beginning.
Through the oversight process that Rosenstein and co. have been fighting every step of the way, Americans learned that the infamous pee-pee dossier was secretly bought by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It was used to secure surveillance warrants against Trump associates, not to mention the other surveillance methods that were used, such as human informants.
The dossier was fed to both the FBI and State Department. Top intelligence officials were leaking about the Russia investigation to Fake News CNN and other fake outlets continuously. A top DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, had a wife working for the firm that Hillary hired to run the “Russia” operation. That firm fed their opposition research to the FBI through him.
The Senate Judiciary and House Intelligence Committees, along with the Senate Homeland Security committee, House Oversight, and House Government Reform committees, have worked fought to reveal these details while facing fierce opposition at every turn. Requests for documents are met with stonewalling, delays, redactions, leak campaigns, and outright refusals. Threats of subpoenas are routinely made to for even the smallest of favors.
But despite talking to this jackass literally all day yesterday, congressional overseers were able to elicit almost no substantive answers to the questions they asked. Strzok claimed he was not answering questions because the Department of Justice told him not to answer questions. No matter the question, Strzok refused to answer any question about his role in the Russia probe, with almost no exceptions.
America got to see the obstruction that Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes and others have been dealing with since early last year.
The FBI and DOJ frequently instructed Strzok not to answer substantive questions from Republicans. One line of inquiry pursued by Rep. Jordan was regarding communication between the FBI and Fusion GPS, the group that concocted the pee-pee dossier and messaging plan on behalf of Hillary and the DNC. Strzok gave them next to nothing regarding that topic.
But he did admit that Bruce Ohr, husband of Fusion GPS operative Nellie Ohr, funneled documents to the FBI related to the Russia case, though he refused to say what those documents were. As a result, Sen. Grassley asked DOJ to declassify the dozen reports summarizing Ohr’s 12 information-sharing meetings with the FBI. PDT can declassify them anytime he wants. Perhaps he will soon.
The FBI used Fusion GPS-hired Christopher Steele until the end of October 2016, when he was terminated for lying about his leaks to the media. Ironic to say the least. But wouldn’t you know it — Fusion and Steele were able to continue funnelling information to the FBI using Nellie Ohr and her husband Bruce Ohr, a top DOJ official who worked closely with Fraud Rosenstein.
When the Russia story first broke, Americans didn’t realize that the dossier was a secret Clinton/DNC operation, or that the unverified opposition research was sent to various Obama officials in multiple agencies. Americans didn’t know that a top DOJ official was married to an employee of the group that created the dossier, or that he was used to get information into the government.
And so the most important question remains unanswered — how did this investigation start?
Strzok said he didn’t see the dossier until mid-September. His electronic communication that started the probe didn’t include official intelligence. Given the politically explosive nature of the investigation, the FBI and DOJ have failed to explain what they were thinking in starting a probe of the Trump campaign.
So what justification was used to launch a damn counterintelligence probe against a candidate for the presidency?
How was Strzok not aware of how the dossier was being fed to the bureau through Bruce Ohr? He frequently met “in Andy’s office,” which (was) literally 2 doors down from Ohr’s office. Does anyone really believe that Strzok had no clue about how this dossier was being relayed and for what purpose?
What role did Cooter McCain play? We know that he approached the bureau with the dossier. Does he have a personal relationship with Strzok? Did their hatred of Trump bring them together to work a mission “for the good of the nation”?
The FBI doesn’t want us to know how this whole thing got started, which means that’s the exact time period we should be focused on.
I’ll go ahead and give you the answer if you like.
Everyone on the 7th floor — Comey, McCabe, Ohr, Strzok, everyone — knew that they had no solid justification to launch a CI probe against the Trump campaign. They took tabloid garbage and attached a British spy’s name to it (Christopher Steele) in order to give it credibility as an intelligence product so they could get the FISA warrant approved.
Once they had their “legit” investigation in place, they could use the tools of the federal government for two tasks: 1) conduct a fishing expedition for whatever dirt they could find, and 2) entrap members of the Trump team in whatever they could.
If those “human informants” had learned about dirt that had zilch to do with Russia, do you think they would have kept it to themselves? Or do you think there would have been leaks to the media on the same day?
That’s a rhetorical question, of course.
Do you think that Russian lawyer who met with Don Jr. at Trump Tower was given a special entrance visa to our country by the Lynch DOJ for legit purposes? Or was she there to establish the “collusion” that would be later used to bring Trump down?
Stay tuned, Trumpers.
There it is, homeskillet. You know the drill: questions, comments, concerns, memes, insults, compliments, stickers, jokes, emojis and, if we have time, complaints.
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