Both Sides Embarrassed Themselves at the Peter Strzok Hearing

It was not a great moment for either party in the House of Representatives.

Yes, both sides did. I think Louis Gohmert asked a very relevant question to Strzok. Strzok's adultery does bear on his character and credibility and his potential to be blackmailed. I just wish many of the Republicans who are attacking Strzok over his adultery realized they're making a case that also undermines President Trump for the very same reasons.

Strzok handled himself poorly. He clearly lied about the context of his anti-Trump text messages. The whole Louden County stuff was dumb and he should have just apologized and moved on. But he was clearly too smarmy to do that.

The Republicans were so focused on corruption and anti-Trump biases at the FBI that they failed to seriously address a relevant issue Strzok raised. The FBI was working under assumptions that the Russians wanted to help the Trump campaign and there was evidence to that effect beyond the Chis Steele dossier. But, considering even Strzok thought nothing would come of the Mueller investigation, it seems even he was prepared to move on by the end of 2016 from that angle. October 2016, however, was a different matter.

Concurrently, there were other avenues by which the Russians wanted to affect the election. Strzok was involved in investigating those as well and the GOP missed an opportunity to pursue relevant lines of questioning.

The Democrats flubbed the hearing too. They seemed so interested in protecting Strzok that they became willing to defend the FBI against some serious allegations. They outright dismissed the allegations and covered for the FBI. But the Inspector General's record shows the FBI handled itself poorly and Strzok, in particular, had a series of text messages that did so bias against both Donald Trump and his voters.

It is somewhat ironic that, in the Age of Trump, Republicans are ignoring Russia to focus on the FBI and Democrats are ignoring the FBI to focus on Russia.

It was not a fine day for Congress and is another in a growing number of reasons why cameras should be taken out of congressional hearings. The congress critters were more interested in grandstanding and the witness did himself no favors by smirking and preening the whole time as Democrats sought to protect him.

Comments
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cynicalnerd
cynicalnerd

The Republicans in the house did screw up to an extent by allowing the Dims to hijack the event and turn it into a raging dumpster fire. They allowed their frustration at the stonewalling of Rosenstein and others in their attempt to investigate a scandal to boil over when they finally got the chance to confront one of the principal hacks behind the shenanigans. Neither did Strzok do himself any favors regarding his 'testimony' and I hope the Meadows gets that Contempt of Congress citation to stick (And make it a multiple count charging document to boot). As for Strzok, the moment his colleagues discovered he was having an affair it should have been the moment his security clearance was revoked as that sort of misbehavior gives foreign agents a major advantage in suborning one of ours (The fact that didn't happen is a black eye for the FBI). But the insults sent Strzok's way I regret only in the sense that there was much better material to smash Smirk over the head with and in doing so cut to the heart of the matter. *"One act of obvious perjury during the hearing was Strzok’s claim — which he presented as incontrovertible proof of his apolitical professionalism — that he “never” spoke to reporters about the investigation before election day. Strzok didn’t even bother to coordinate this lie with his defense attorney, who has previously admitted that Strzok talked to reporters about the investigation. Strzok’s attorney wrote an Op-Ed in USA Today saying that “Peter and others” at the FBI “actively ensured that news reports didn’t overplay the seriousness of the investigation.” How did he do that without talking to them?

According to the New York Times, Strzok’s team had been chatting with its reporters about the investigation for six weeks or so before election day. In the paper’s pre-election article on the FBI’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russian collusion, it stated: “Intelligence officials have said in interviews over the last six weeks that apparent connections between some of Mr. Trump’s aides and Moscow originally compelled them to open a broad investigation into possible links between the Russian government and the Republican presidential candidate.”

So Strzok was talking to reporters, but he didn’t have anything damning to give them, owing to the baselessness and fruitlessness of his investigation. He is now trying to turn that into a virtue. But it wasn’t. He had started an improper investigation and was desperately trying to entrap Trump campaign members in an attempt to justify it. Had he found something, Strzok would have surely leaked it to the press before election day. "*

Ben_Smith
Ben_Smith

Here's a great video showing just how far down the rat hole Republicans have gone in order to defend Trump at all costs:

Ben_Smith
Ben_Smith

Only Putin trolls would willfully overlook the biggest attack on our country since 9/11.

gunner305
gunner305

@ekay, hacking into state’s voter roll and stealing voters data is less bad than MSM giving Trump $billions in media coverage, is that your position? Only Putin trolls would say yes, what say he?

ekay
ekay

Why focus on Russia trying to interfere in our election when the MSM most likely did far more to interfere with our elections by giving Trump almost two BILLION dollars worth of free publicity during the primaries compared to a measly thirteen million to his closest competitor. If that isn't trying to rig the election system I don't know what is.

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