We know of Peter Strzok’s firing because his lawyer, Aitan Goelman, has been kicking up a fuss in the media since Monday. There certainly didn’t seem to be a press conference by the FBI announcing the decision on Friday when Deputy Director David Bowdich handed down the decision. Was there even a press release somewhere maybe late Friday night? Do people in general even realize that Bowdich – more tough law-enforcement cop than ambitious Ivy League prosecutor – was appointed the new Deputy Director back in April?

The fact that for most of us, the answers are “no …” seems to suit the FBI just fine. This was a dismissal that seems to have more to do with desperately trying to rescue the agency’s tarnished reputation, something Director Christopher Wray clearly views as a priority. A quiet dismissal on a Friday in August, like a stealth drone hoping to avoid detection.

Good luck with that in DC, Bowdich and Wray.

So, the news is out and now the question is: does it change how Congressional Committees might view Strzok or how he might himself provide testimony at some point in the future? What will Strzok do, in other words? Remember, he’s the guy no one in the top brass at the FBI (of which he was arguably a part of, or just down the hall from) or the DOJ wanted the public to find out too much about. A guy who was key to every major event in the Trump probe up until he was demoted.

Consider his infamous text messages, especially the notorious “we’ll stop it” one that was a response to his ex-lover former FBI attorney Lisa Page. As Byron York mentioned in a column at the Washington Examiner back in late June, why did it take so long for those text messages to get revealed?

Perhaps one could ask: had the DOJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the FBI’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s servers and emails not included that one notorious reply – which is how we found out about it – would we have ever found out about it? Is it any wonder that Devin Nunes is desperately trying to get President Trump himself to authorize the release of as much documentation as possible regarding the Mueller and FBI probes before the mid-term elections in November? What else is there, and how might it tie together various actors in what might be the real collusion and conspiracy here?

I suspect Nunes is right to ask President Trump to authorize the release of the documentation. So far, no luck. One wonders who is whispering in Trump’s ear that that would harm national security because it would expose FBI methods to the bad guys (including sultry Soviet – oops Russian – spies, of course) and must be avoided at all costs.

But unless we have clarity on the swirling mess of accusations and counter-accusations and competing conspiracies and possible collusions, we will drift in a fog of suggestion and innuendo where any narrative might be true. And the result is that the FBI’s reputation has indeed been damaged.

But you wouldn’t know that from a significant part of the media. They stick with the obstruction-of-justice narrative where any criticism of Mueller or FBI agents or the DOJ or anyone else in government is seen as an evil conspiracy to shut down the truth.

There are a few cracks in their united front. John Solomon’s persistent investigative reporting on the contradictions and conflicts in the DOJ, FBI, and Fusion GPS’s official stories in The Hill, for example. The Daily Beast has even admitted there was zero evidence of collusion, but always then returned to suggesting that now, finally, oh-boy-here’s-that-smoking-gun-we’ve-found-it- … almost!

Unfortunately, The Hill now has a story on how a GoFundMe campaign is approaching mid- six-figures to help Strzok defray legal costs and to cover lost income from his demotion and then firing. Does contributing to the GoFundMe campaign give you dibs on Strzok’s royalties from his upcoming book? No?

So what else is out there, and what will Strzok decide to tell, do, and pubish? It’s instructive to go back and read Byron York’s column from last June. Horowitz’s investigation found the notorious text message by discovering that Strzok’s phone had a database on it (some special chip perhaps) that was collecting text messages that the FBI itself didn’t even seem to know about. This was after running the phone through a series of tests suggested by the frickin’ Defense Department! Please tell me that Stzrok’s phone wasn’t a Huawei.

In other words, it took a multi-agency-supported probe of a single cell phone to extract some very damaging text messages that were it not for Horowitz’s single-minded focus, would have remained undiscovered. And the question of whether the DOJ knew of that damning text message and left it out of documentation they provided to Congress is still unanswered.

Horowitz is the guy who got Strzok fired, in other words.

So, what else haven’t they had the time or the budget or sufficient luck to find?

Comments