Greek tragedy: Jake Tapper explains how Strzok’s anti-Trump bias might have cost Hillary the election

Even more damning text messages between FBI agent Peter Strzok and his mistress Lisa Page have surfaced as a result of Thursday’s release of the IG report, and in a lengthy thread, CNN’s Jake Tapper theorizes that Strzok’s bias against Trump might have been what cost Hillary the 2016 election.

Plenty have blamed former FBI director James Comey’s Oct. 28 letter to Congress revealing that the FBI was reviewing additional emails in Hillary Clinton’s case for costing her the presidency; Nate Silver called it “painfully obvious” that Comey cost her the election that day.

In a lengthy thread, CNN’s Jake Tapper posits that, just maybe, Strzok’s obvious bias against Trump actually set in motion the wheels that would propel Donald Trump to the White House. Hang in there for a minute:

DOJ IG: “found no documentary or testimonial evidence directly connecting the political views these employees expressed in their text messages and instant messages to” decisions made about the Clinton investigation through the July 2016 conclusion 1/

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

yet IG also said those political views from FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and special counsel Lisa Page expressed in text “messages cast a cloud over the FBI investigations to which these employees were assigned.”
2/

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

3/ The IG is very specific about that though — saying no evidence anything impacted the decisions through July 2016, when announcement made to not prosecute Hillary Clinton.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

4/ Of this August 2016 text, the IG is quite critical:

Lisa Page: “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Peter Strzok: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

5/ IG says that exchange “is not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects. This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI…”

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

6/ Moreover — and this is a complicated one so stay with me — the IG suggests that Strzok may have had bias that impacted a decision to not prioritize the Weiner computer issue — though how this went down may have ultimately hurt Hillary Clinton.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

Here’s the plot twist.

7/ IG says “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up on the Midyear-related investigative lead discovered on the Weiner laptop was free from bias.” (“Midyear” = Clinton email investigation)

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

8/ IG specifically mentions the “We’ll stop it” text. (p. 329) and says “Strzok might be willing to take official action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

9/ But how it played out is the exact opposite. Weiner laptop sat there from September 29 through Oct 27. IG believes the only thing that prompted FBI to finally act on Weiner laptop were “people outside of the FBI” (from US Attorney SDNY) asking about it

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

10/ IG makes it clear he doesn’t believe any of the other explanations as to why FBI acted before end of October. He calls them “unpersuasive.”

Start reading p. 328 https://t.co/cj2QD0u5TM

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

11/ IG: “The FBI had all the information it needed on September 29 to obtain the search warrant that it did not seek until more than a month later. The FBI’s neglect had potentially far-reaching consequences…” (p. 330)

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

12/ What were those “far-reaching consequences”? Comey going public with the warrant, notifying Congress and perhaps impacting the election. IG says it quite clearly.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

13/ IG: “Comey told the OIG that,
had he known about the laptop in the beginning of October and thought the email review could have been completed before the election, it may have affected his
decision to notify Congress.”

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

14/ IG: “Comey told the OIG, ‘I don’t know [if] it would have
put us in a different place, but I would have wanted to have the opportunity.'”

!!!!

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

15/ In other words, IG suspects Strzok was biased against Trump, and that may have influenced the decision to sit on the Weiner laptop for a month. Which might have ultimately set a course of events in motion that cost Clinton, his preferred candidate, the presidency.

— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) June 14, 2018

Nice … so Strzok did what he could to sit on Anthony Weiner’s laptop for as long as possible, but he could only repress the evidence until right before the election; Comey then had no choice but to announce the investigation he’d seemingly put to bed was still open, handing the Trump campaign a devastating October surprise.

It’s a Greek tragedy! https://t.co/Ck7Y4Hh68o

— Sonny Bunch (@SonnyBunch) June 14, 2018

Greek Tragedy. (ɡriːk ˈtrædʒədɪ) (in ancient Greek theatre) A drama in which the main character is brought to ruin or suffers extreme sorrow, especially as a consequence of a tragic flaw, moral weakness, or inability to cope with unfavorable circumstances. https://t.co/y6H0xRuo14

— Brian Hildreth (@ElectionsLawyer) June 14, 2018

The 2016 U.S. Presidential Election
by William Shakespeare https://t.co/OaJkh5mgII

— Jim Oleske (@JimOleske) June 14, 2018

Seems like this is the most important (and ironic) takeaway from the IG report. https://t.co/615L09IANN

— Bryan S. Myrick (@BryanMyrick) June 14, 2018

Ironies abound. https://t.co/IcRRymM7Nn

— Ed Morrissey (@EdMorrissey) June 14, 2018

Delicious. https://t.co/xfZWtWPymT

— Will Dreiling (@StLDreiling) June 14, 2018

Unintended consequences can be absolutely brutal! https://t.co/06CNdVLq4k

— Terry Fahn (@terryfahn) June 14, 2018

Poetic justice. #IGReport https://t.co/Cj1A4iz3we

— FullMetalPatriot 🇺🇸 (@FullMtlPatriot) June 14, 2018

“Doing It Wrong” hall of fame. https://t.co/XQzmDoXWse

— Brian Baresch (@Editer) June 14, 2018

“Sit on the Weiner laptop.”
Ewww. https://t.co/47PudtMhSA

— Harriet Baldwin (@HarrietBaldwin) June 14, 2018

Or was it Andrew McCabe?

Put another way, it seems like Comey went to Congress as a correction for McCabe sitting on the laptop warrant for a month, which ultimately hurt Clinton’s chances and helped Trump, which is the opposite of what McCabe was trying to do. https://t.co/q0mftwtbjS

— Gabriel Malor (@gabrielmalor) June 14, 2018

Of course, all of this assumes that it was Comey’s October letter to Congress that cost Clinton the election.

You know what also would have cost Clinton the presidency? If Strzok had conducted a proper investigation of Clinton.

Which would have ended with a recommendation for prosecution. https://t.co/tl1NNVwlTg

— David Steinberg (@DavidSPJM) June 14, 2018

I love the “If the FBI wasn’t biased against Trump and followed protocol, Clinton would have won” take. Everybody will find it frustrating and it’s difficult to neatly place in a pat political narrative. https://t.co/3ovfMPMGcs

— Travis View (@travis_view) June 14, 2018

When will these people learn that Comey “reopening” the “investigation” on Hillary was not what made her lose? She did that all on her own. https://t.co/GOdii9MHCo

— Shawn Hairston (@JetJacket) June 14, 2018


Related:

DAFUQ?! LOL! You won’t BELIEVE the Weiner knowledge that eluded super-sleuth Comey https://t.co/XH5Ix91fnz

— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) June 14, 2018

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