FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok points down the hallway as he arrives for a House Committees on the Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform joint hearing, Thursday, July 12, 2018, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
This is a “sources say” piece, so take it with the grain of salt it’s due, but it’s interesting nonetheless.
Sara Carter is reporting that multiple sources have told her that Peter Strzok, who led the initial Trump campaign investigation, could face “serious charges” in the future.
Former FBI Agent Peter Strzok could face ‘serious’ charges for his involvement and actions in the bureau’s probe of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server to send classified emails, as well as the FBI’s investigation into President Trump’s campaign, multiple sources with knowledge of Strzok’s actions told SaraACarter.com.
The question is exactly what he’d be charged with. Though his animus toward Donald Trump wasn’t in question, FBI officials have such wide latitude (too much) that they could seemingly steer investigations in a biased manner and still not technically break any laws.
We get some hints at what that might be, although Carter’s sources are vague.
“There are a number of individuals who are looking at Peter Strzok’s actions and inactions and how those actions affected both of the investigations he was involved in,” said a U.S. official, with knowledge. “Further evaluation of what Peter Strzok did or did not do needs to be evaluated thoroughly.”
The official did not reveal what Strzok’s “actions or inactions” may have been but said “obstruction, is a serious concern.”
Strzok “is in hot water,” said another government official, with knowledge. “I’m certain he’s not the only one.”
I think that’s going to be the real issue that’s tackled. Did Strzok purposely sandbag the Hillary investigation and does it rise to the level of obstruction of justice?
The public evidence says it’s pretty clear he did. Their handling of the case made no sense at all. It was like Kim Foxx was running the FBI. They gave out nonsensical immunity deals to people with no leverage, allowed the destruction of evidence, let Hillary lie to the FBI about classified markings without prosecution, and allowed Clinton to use co-conspirators as attorneys in her interview. Furthermore, the decision to let her off was made months before the end of the investigation.
Andrew McCarthy has a great breakdown of all the abnormal things that occurred here.
Carter goes on to report that the coming report from IG Horowitz on the 2016 Trump campaign investigation is going to be bad news for some people.
Further, sources contend that the nearly year long investigation by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, will reveal explosive information and shed light on alleged malfeasance by FBI and DOJ officials directly involved in the Russia investigation. The Inspector General’s report may be completed as early as May or June, according to testimony provided this week by Attorney General William Barr.
Strzok who has already been investigated by Horowitz for his role in the FBI’s Clinton investigation is also expected to be named in the IG’s upcoming report on how the Russia investigation was handled by the FBI. He was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in 2017 and then fired from the FBI in August, 2018. He was fired by the FBI after an extensive review by Horowitz’s office into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton investigation and was removed from Mueller’s team after the IG discovered his anti-Trump text messages to his paramour former FBI Attorney Lisa Page.
That could make for an eventful summer if it’s out that soon.
The rebuttal to all this will obviously be…”But they are the FBI! They have the power to handle investigations as they see fit!”
Now, hang on a minute. We’ve been hearing for two years that it doesn’t matter if the President has statutory authority over an investigation, he can still obstruct it. In fact, that’s now become the Democrat’s primary hope to somehow impeach Trump. In this case, the sticking point will be whether the DOJ can prove Strzok took material steps to obstruct the Hillary investigation and guide it to a preferred outcome.
There’s also the issue of his behavior with the Trump investigation. We know it’s almost certain that FBI protocol was broken in terms of the unverified dossier being given to the FISA court and their use of other means of surveillance. Whether any of that rises to the level of a criminal offense is the open question. Of course, this could all be as simple as Strzok lying to the FBI like McCabe did, in which case he could be charged.
The IG report should shed some light on a lot of this. It will undoubtedly lead to more criminal referrals and at that point, we’ll be able to look at exactly what was done. None of that relieves the need for AG Barr himself to keep investigating what went on here, as the IG does not have prosecutorial authority or subpoena power.
The real concern at this point is whether all of this will be adjudicated by January 2021. If Donald Trump loses the election, you can bet that any Democrat-led DOJ will immediately move to end these investigations and drop any charges against people like McCabe or Strzok. This will, of course, not become a three-year scandal with breathless media coverage asserting the President obstructed justice because we’ll be under “new rules” at that point.
It’s vital that Barr get the IG report soon and that he then move quickly to charge all those that need to be charged. Dragging this out will only let these people off the hook.
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