"Democracy Dies In Darkness"
I hope that headline grabbed your attention because we are facing some very dark days. After Donald Trump won the 2016 election, the left-wing Washington Post adopted that slogan as its motto.
Of course, the reporters at the Post thought they were the ones who were going to bring sunlight and transparency to the "darkness" they see in the Trump Administration. But after yesterday's report by Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, Donald Trump's mission to drain the swamp is more urgent than ever.
We spent a lot of time last night poring through the report and talking to knowledgeable people on Capitol Hill and elsewhere. As we write, new details are still emerging. But we wanted to give you an update as early as possible on some of the most salient points.
Here's my summary, in case you don't have time to read anything else.
Two Huge Things
Two huge things happened in the 2016 election. First, as one would expect from an enemy, Russia tried to interfere in the election and sow division. There have been multiple investigations of this, including the ongoing Mueller investigation.
The other huge event, one I believe to be much more dangerous, was that multiple powerful people within the FBI demonstrated a "'willingness to take official action' to prevent Donald Trump from becoming president."
Other than this report from Inspector General Michael Horowitz, no one is seriously investigating that. I know Senator Grassley and Rep. Nunes are trying, but their efforts are being blocked at every turn by deep state bureaucrats. Yet the implications are chilling for the future of the American republic.
This report totally destroys whatever credibility James Comey had left. He was "insubordinate," exercised "poor judgment" and was occasionally clueless.
For example, the report reveals that he had his own private Gmail account on which he conducted official business while he was investigating Hillary Clinton for using a private server. No wonder he didn't prosecute her.
We also discovered that Comey had no idea Anthony Weiner was married to Huma Abedin. Sorry, but I'm not buying it.
Donald Trump, who was roundly condemned at the time, was absolutely right to have fired Comey.
Some analysts today are conceding that the exposure of Comey in this report taints the entire Robert Mueller investigation. Mueller mentored Comey when he served as FBI director. Comey intentionally leaked FBI information to the media in a plot to get Mueller appointed as a special counsel to investigate Trump.
Is this the "insurance policy" that Strzok and Page referred to? (See next item.)
I want to revisit something that we reported yesterday. FBI Agent Peter Strzok and his lover, FBI attorney Lisa Page, had this text exchange:
PAGE: [Trump's] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!
STRZOK: "No. No he's not. We'll stop it."
Why did we only see this yesterday? Even now FBI officials are still hiding things from the public, and not for the national security reasons they claim. They are trying to cover up their own scandal.
Just to be clear, Strzok was not some low-level investigator. He was the Deputy Assistant Director of the Counterintelligence Division. He was the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump/Russia investigations. And he was clearly biased in favor of Hillary and against Donald Trump.
And who is the "we" he refers to when he said "We'll stop it"? Is "we" the counterintelligence division at the FBI? Is "we" the Justice Department?
Shortly after this message, Strzok and Page had the infamous exchange about needing an "insurance policy" in case all else fails.
No Bias? Not Exactly
The media are claiming that Inspector General Horowitz did not find any evidence of political bias. That is a gross distortion. Horowitz found widespread political bias, but he simply could not prove how it impacted the individual decisions that were made.
Think about this: If someone was being tried in a federal courtroom and jurors were found to have exchanged messages before the trial similar to those exchanged by Strzok and Page, any judge would declare a mistrial.
Moreover, the inspector general had serious questions as to why Strzok chose to prioritize the Russia investigation over the Clinton emails discovered on Anthony Weiner's laptop. Horowitz wrote, "We did not have confidence that Strzok's decision . . . was free from bias."
Here's something else we did not know before yesterday: Another FBI agent was kicked off the Mueller team just a few months ago due to . . . anti-Trump bias. In a message to one of his colleagues he wrote: "Viva le Resistance."
In fact, five FBI agents have been referred for additional investigation and/or disciplinary measures due to their bias. The Horowitz report declares:
"We found that the conduct of these five FBI employees brought discredit to themselves, sowed doubt about the FBI's handling of the [Clinton] investigation, and impacted the reputation of the FBI. Moreover, the damage caused by their actions extends far beyond the scope of the [Clinton] investigation and goes to the heart of the FBI's reputation for neutral fact-finding and political independence."
The inspector general discovered that numerous FBI officials were regularly accepting gifts (bribes) from liberal reporters. Members of Congress who did this would (ironically) be investigated by the FBI.
But it makes sense. Liberals in the media were footing the bill for liberals in the FBI to obtain leaks embarrassing to the Trump Administration.
"A Dark Day"
Rep. Trey Gowdy was on Fox News last night. As you know, he has rushed to defend the FBI in recent days. But last night he was apoplectic.
"Once [Trump] won, [Strzok] got on the Mueller probe and wanted to impeach him," Gowdy said. "What a dark day it is for the FBI and for the DOJ."
But the key question he raised, and one we have been asking for months, was this: How do you remove the taint of such animus? How do we restore the American people's confidence in one of our most important law enforcement agencies?
I believe it is far worse than Rep. Gowdy suggests. We are still on a path with the Mueller investigation that may lead to punishing the victims of the FBI's bad actions rather than the perpetrators of these bad actions.
There will be more congressional hearings next week featuring Inspector General Horowitz. Presumably people implicated in the report will be required to testify at some point.
Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the IG's report on the FBI's handling of the Trump/Russia investigation. And over the horizon is the Mueller report being written by another group of liberals, many of whom without a doubt are dreaming of going down in history as part of the resistance that destroyed the Trump presidency.