FILE – In this file July 7, 2016, photo then-FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Oversight Committee to discuss Hillary Clinton’s email investigation, at the Capitol in Washington.
Our media’s valiant efforts to distract us notwithstanding, information continues to seep out that underscores how badly a housecleaning is needed in Washington, D.C.
Last week saw the release of the applications used to obtain warrants from the FISA court to spy on Carter Page, an adviser to the Trump presidential campaign. Obtained by Judicial Watch, the 400-plus pages of (heavily redacted) documents support the conclusions earlier drawn by the House Intelligence Committee (and denounced by Democrats as hysteria): the FISA warrants were obtained through obfuscation and deceit.
As various commentators predicted would be proven, the bulk of the information that formed the basis for the FISA warrant applications was the “dossier” of allegations about Donald Trump’s activities in Russia. This dossier was provided to the FBI by British spy Christopher Steele. Steele was hired during the 2016 presidential campaign by opposition research firm Fusion GPS, who was paid by Hillary Clinton’s law firm Perkins Coie, who was paid by the Clinton campaign and the DNC. The allegations were scandalous and completely unverified, in violation of federal statutes and FISA court rules.
In other words, the FBI used oppo research paid for by the Democrats as justification for government spying on a political opponent and other Americans.
But there’s more. In another incredible coincidence, Fusion GPS had hired scholar and professor Nellie Ohr as a “paid Russian expert.” Nellie Ohr happens to be married to Bruce Ohr, deputy attorney general in the Justice Department. Bruce Ohr is alleged to have passed his wife’s anti-Trump research to the FBI. He was demoted for failing to disclose not only his wife’s employment with Fusion GPS, but also his own meetings with Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson.
The FISA court was never told any of that. They were never supposed to know. None of us was ever supposed to know.
When thousands of DNC emails were leaked to the public through Julian Assange’s organization WikiLeaks, we learned that Hillary Clinton had abused the primary process, nearly bankrupted the DNC and effectively stole the nomination from Bernie Sanders. We also learned the press played favorites with Clinton, getting her approval before running stories and forwarding debate questions to Clinton in advance. (The official line is Russians hacked the DNC computers and gave the emails to WikiLeaks. Assange and former U.S. and U.K. intelligence officials vehemently deny this, and maintain it was an inside “leak,” not a hack. The DNC refused to turn over their servers to the FBI for inspection.)
And then there is Hillary Clinton’s misuse of a personal email server to handle classified State Department information. We now know that then-FBI director James Comey decided not to prosecute Clinton before the investigation was even concluded. We also know that FBI attorney Peter Strzok rewrote Comey’s initial report to change Comey’s description of Clinton’s conduct from “grossly negligent” — which was a violation of the applicable federal statute — to “extremely careless.”
This is the same Peter Strzok who expressed his loathing for Donald Trump in many of the tens of thousands of texts he exchanged with his lover and fellow FBI attorney Lisa Page. Strzok infamously assured Page that they had an “insurance policy” and that they “would stop” Trump from becoming president. At a congressional hearing two weeks ago, Strzok arrogantly insisted that his bias did not affect his job performance.
He must think we’re all idiots.
But then, we were never supposed to know any of this.
Hillary Clinton was supposed to win. No one would know the FBI “investigation” into her violations of federal statutes was a foregone conclusion that would exonerate her. No one would know that members of the FBI and the DOJ were using their government powers to attack and discredit the man who wasn’t “supposed” to win, but did.
Trump’s unorthodox presidency has been a great gift. It has exposed the corruption in our government, and the betrayal of the American public by so much of the press.
Laura Hollis is a syndicated columnist.