“Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” wrote Sir Walter Scott in the poem Marmion. He could’ve been writing about the effort currently underway by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBI to uncover evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government while covering FBI missteps. Even though there is no law against collusion, the law is now secondary to the more important goal of bringing down President Trump. A massive effort is underway to achieve that end.
The latest bit of news being reported out of Washington is an FBI agent who was involved in numerous aspects of the Mueller investigation previously investigating the Clinton emails, and was demoted for badmouthing Trump in texts to an FBI attorney with whom he was romantically linked. Here are some of the details regarding this agent, Peter Strzok, and the various points where he was in key locations at just the right moment:
Strzok was the lead FBI agent in charge of the 2015-16 investigation of Hillary Clinton’s misuse of a private email account to avoid leaving traces of her activities on government computers.
He interviewed Hillary Clinton (not under oath) for the FBI, and also interviewed Clinton’s top advisors Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills after granting them immunity from prosecution. Notes of the latter interviews show that Abedin and Mills both denied knowing Clinton had a private server, although both were involved in setting it up and regularly communicated on it. A lie of less significance got General Flynn arrested and charged with lying to the FBI. Mills and Abedin are still walking free.
It appears Strzok was instrumental in the decision not to subpoena a laptop computer which Mills and Abedin used, and which likely included improperly stored classified documents. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn he was also the person who told the Democratic National Committee the FBI didn’t need to look at its hacked servers: that would certainly be his style.
It has now been discovered Strzok rewrote the statement Director James Comey made before the election regarding the Clinton emails, replacing Comey’s words “grossly negligent” with “extremely careless.” A finding of gross negligence would have made it impossible for Comey to claim, as he later did, “no reasonable prosecutor would charge her” with security violations.
Strzok was also the counterintelligence investigator for the 2016 “vast Russian conspiracy” narrative, was the FBI contact person who received the Russian Dossier that was eventually leaked to the press, and interviewed Christopher Steele, the author of that dossier.
Mueller then hired Strzok to lead the FBI investigation into what’s now known as the “Russian Election Collusion Conspiracy,” (prejudging the outcome of the investigation by the title alone). In that capacity he interviewed Michael Flynn, trapped him in a less serious lie than the Mills/Abedin lies regarding use of a private server, charged him with lying to the FBI, and convinced him to cooperate with the investigation.
Strzok was then discovered to have been exchanging anti-Trump emails with an FBI lawyer — also working on the Mueller team — with whom he was romantically involved, resulting in his being reassigned to the Human Resources Office.
It strains credibility to think coincidence explains how one person keeps appearing in crucial places at key times. Such coincidence surely includes some malign intent, particularly given all the Democratic-leaning members of the Mueller team. In any case, it makes the FBI look bad and raises serious questions about the investigation’s integrity. Sir Walter Scott was ahead of his time when he wrote that poem in 1808.
Fred LaSor lives in the Carson Valley.