For weeks, Republicans have been obsessed with FBI agent Peter Strzok, suggesting that he was part of a cabal inside the agency who sought to rig the 2016 presidential election for Hillary Clinton. To support this theory, the GOP has seized upon texts between Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page that were sometimes critical of Trump. (Strzok and Page were having an affair.)
Last week, Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) suggested that Strzok and Page formed a “secret society” to undermine the Trump campaign. “What this is all about is further evidence of corruption — more than bias — but corruption of the highest levels of the FBI… There is so much smoke here,” Johnson said.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump accused Strzok of “treason.” If you watch Fox News, the supposed anti-Trump bias of Strzok is discussed daily, if not hourly.
But on Wednesday, CNN reported that Strzok supported reopening the Hillary Clinton email investigation days before the election — and wrote the first draft of the letter from former FBI Director James Comey that made the decision public.
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.
The letter drafted by Strzok played a key role in swinging momentum back to Trump in the closing days of the campaign. Political analyst Nate Silver wrote that the was a decisive factor in the outcome.
Hillary Clinton would probably be president if FBI Director James Comey had not sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28. The letter, which said the FBI had “learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” into the private email server that Clinton used as secretary of state, upended the news cycle and soon halved Clinton’s lead in the polls, imperiling her position in the Electoral College.
The text cited by Silver was actually written by Strzok. In other words, if Strzok was part of an FBI conspiracy to deliver the election to Clinton, he did a very poor job.
It appears Trump not only owes Strzok an apology but a thank you card.