July 17, 2018


Trump vs. Strzok: It's the embattled FBI agent, not the president, who models American values. (WILLIAM SALETAN, JULY 16, 2018, Slate)

[A]nyone who watched Strzok (the name is pronounced struck) testify saw just the opposite: an honest law enforcement officer standing up to a corrupt president. And that's why Trump attacked him. Trump doesn't want Americans to get ideas or inspiration from Strzok. He doesn't want them to see what backbone looks like. I'll tell you what it looks like: Republicans tried to put Strzok on trial, and Strzok put Trump on trial instead.

The hearing focused on the now-infamous texts Strzok exchanged in 2016 and 2017 with his then-paramour, FBI attorney Lisa Page. Strzok apologized for the circumstances: for cheating on his wife, for snarking about some Trump supporters, and for exchanging the texts on FBI work phones, which led to a controversy that has damaged the credibility of the FBI and the Russia inquiry. But Strzok destroyed the central charge against him: that he skewed the investigations.

Strzok acknowledged that like most people, he has political opinions. He argued that cops, like jurors, are simply obliged to set aside those opinions when assessing evidence. He challenged lawmakers to show that his opinions had affected any investigative decisions. They couldn't. Strzok cited the Justice Department inspector general's report on the Clinton investigation, which found no evidence that he had done anything to favor Clinton or hurt Trump. He noted that immediately after learning that some of Clinton's emails were on a laptop belonging to former Rep. Anthony Weiner, he assigned agents to check it out. And despite having known before the election about the investigation into the Trump campaign, he hadn't leaked it.

Posted by at July 17, 2018 4:32 AM