There is a pretty clear bias in Peter Strzok’s text messages, as revealed by the Inspector General’s report made public yesterday.
It is not the bias you think it is. While it is true that Stzok clearly did not want Trump to win – as evidenced by his “We’ll stop him” text – there is something else that is flying under the radar a bit and requires a bit more thought.
Let’s look at this story from CNN back in February:
Strzok, who co-wrote what appears to be the first draft that formed the basis of the letter Comey sent to Congress, also supported reopening the Clinton investigation once the emails were discovered on disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner’s laptop, according to a source familiar with Strzok’s thinking. The day after Strzok sent his draft to his colleagues, Comey released the letter to Congress, reigniting the email controversy in the final days of the campaign.
And then this one from one month prior:
In one February 2016 exchange, FBI lawyer Lisa Page calls it “unbelievable” that the 2016 presidential race would come down to Clinton versus Trump. Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of the Clinton email server as the No. 2 official in the FBI’s counterintelligence division, responds, “Now the pressure really starts to finish MYE . . . ,” an apparent reference to “Midyear Exam” — the FBI’s internal case name for the Clinton investigation.
It is impossible to deny that Strzok had an anti-Trump bias. Past revelations and yesterday’s new details prove that, but it seems pretty clear that he wasn’t necessarily a fan of Hillary Clinton’s email antics. He pursued that case, and wrote the letter saying it should be re-opened. And it was. However, he knew that there would be pressure to take it easy on Clinton. And the FBI did.
What does that tell you? It tells me that there is something deeply wrong with our justice system, and it’s not that they don’t like Trump. It’s that they don’t respect you, me, and millions of Americans.
The Inspector General’s report shows us several things. It shows us that Strzok and his mistress, Lisa Page, acted in an incredibly unethical manner. It shows that many agents received gifts from journalists in exchange for information. It shows James Comey disregarded chain of command and acted unprofessionally and unethically in his job, assuming responsibilities he did not have.
They abandoned their proper duties and pursued their own agendas at the expense of truth and justice. They assumed a role they never had, as judge and jury in their pursuit of whatever they believed was the proper justice at the time.
The Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, met with Bill Clinton on a runway. Soon after, the case against Hillary Clinton was dropped. Despite Comey re-opening the investigation later, it mattered little. Clinton was never going to get into real trouble over the email scandal. The IG report all but proves that. It paints a very clear picture of a greater problem within the United States – namely, if you have money, power, connections, or any combination of the three, you will never in your life face the consequences the real world does.
Or, as Erick Erickson puts it:
David is right, here. The DOJ/FBI clearly had partisans making decisions. The IG cannot wave it all away. You can't read this report and not think there are two Americas — one for the politically privileged and one for everyone else. https://t.co/KTTi8t4xkv
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) June 14, 2018
It would be tempting to chalk this up to a deep state conspiracy, one in which the entire intelligence community is out to get Donald Trump. But, the less convenient explanation is the correct one: The system favors, and is therefore filled with, petty dictators and unprincipled bureaucrats.
It is a “swamp”, to keep with Trump verbiage. And one that we as Republicans have been warned of and warded against for decades, and that we’ve known all along occurs naturally when you grant too much power to government agencies.
Even a guy like Scott Pruitt, an anti-regulation reformer at the Environmental Protection Agency, when given the power to run a federal agency, let it get to its head to the point where the Weekly Standard and National Review agree it’s time for him to go. He was given the power, and the power corrupted.
Like in the case of Clinton and the FBI, the power twisted Pruitt’s logic and his sense of responsibility.
But, on a more personal level, we’ve seen this same thing with local stories. Police acting with excessive force against people they have prejudices against and showing excessive restraint for people they don’t see as being that big a problem.
The justice system in the United States is deeply flawed, from the top all the way down. There is too much power given to law enforcement agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, and they are given free reign to use them as they see fit.
If they don’t like you or have a prejudice against you because of who you are or the color of your skin, they will come after you with unlimited resources, taking your property, your family, or even your life. But, if you’re connected, wealthy, powerful, and white, the chances you will be abused in such a fashion are significantly reduced.
This is naturally what happens when you grant too much power to government agencies, and yes, law enforcement counts. You give the state power, and you let it grow until it can be weaponized against you… Unless, of course, you can grease the right palms or just find the right sympathizers. It results in an imbalance of power. We give power to the government, but as we do, our own power continues to dwindle. We are creating a behemoth that acknowledges only power, and if you can’t feed the beast, it will consume you instead.
I agree with Erickson. There are two Americas, and one of them does not have the justice and freedom both were promised. If you want to fix the Justice Department and go all the way down to the local level, you should start by working to eliminate that injustice. Justice should be equal, but it is not, and if the IG report shows us anything, it’s that.