#1 The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok by ThirstyMan 09.12.2017 17:52


The timing was remarkable. Just after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s plea deal with former National-Security Adviser Michael Flynn, The Wall Street Journal reported that Peter Strzok, a top FBI agent assigned to Mueller’s team, had been reassigned over the summer after the discovery of text messages he wrote criticizing then-candidate Donald Trump.

“Mr. Strzok, who is considered one of the FBI’s most experienced counterintelligence agents, was reassigned to a supervisory job in the bureau’s human resources division after Mr. Mueller learned about the inquiry into the text messages,” the Journal reported.

For Trump, the news was a boon—a small piece of information he would brandish before his base as evidence that Mueller’s investigation was a witchhunt, as he’d said all along. Conversely, it complicated Mueller’s already politically precarious task. But much about Strzok’s story remains unknown, and it’s hard to draw useful conclusions about Mueller’s probe. Based on what is known, the more strident reactions—calling for the dissolution of the special counsel’s team—are completely unwarranted, and in the broader scope, they may weaken the justice system.

During the 2016 election, the Journal reported, Strzok exchanged texts in which he made fun of Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, with Lisa Page, a fellow FBI employee with whom he was romantically involved. (She also briefly worked on the Mueller team, leaving this summer.) Stzrok was also involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

The immediate reaction among Trump and his defenders was noisy. The president tweeted the story, adding that the FBI’s “reputation is in Tatters.” (That drew a rebuttal from Director Chris Wray, whom Trump appointed in June.) Tom Fitton, president of the conservative group Judicial Watch, called for Mueller’s probe to be shut down entirely. On Sean Hannity’s show, Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said Mueller was using the FBI as a political tool “just like the old KGB” (an either cleverly or poorly chosen analogy); Hannity replied, “This is not hyperbole.”


If the FBI is a strange place for the right to see pernicious leftist influence, the thrust of the current attack—on expertise in the name of political correctness—closely mirrors the shape of attacks on academia and the press, where conservatives have lodged similar demands that members be entirely free of political views they find objectionable.

The answer in the case of the FBI, as on campus and in the media, is not an unrealistic expectation that people be blank slates, but protocols and codes of conduct designed to make sure that, whatever their personal beliefs, their work is being done fairly and without favor—and that there are procedures for disciplining them if they fall short of that. In the case of Strzok, that system seems to be working fine.


So it's "protocols" and "codes of conduct" that are responsible for keeping the "work being done fairly and without favor"? I'd say there is little question that in today's weaponized political climate the remedies from yesterday for being a swamp creature are clearly not working. TM

#2 RE: The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok by Cincinnatus 09.12.2017 18:28


Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said Mueller was using the FBI as a political tool “just like the old KGB” (an either cleverly or poorly chosen analogy).

Neither. It is derived from a famous statement Secret Police head Lavrentia Beria once made to Stalin: "Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.” The Mueller investigation is operating from that premise.

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