The indictments handed down involve lying to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and the FBI. Last year, Kevin Clinesmith, the FBI attorney who falsified a document that was then presented to that court, received a mere slap on the wrist. What punishment will Michael Sussmann and Igor Danchenko receive? Considering the turmoil this hoax put our nation through in the last five years, the criminal penalties should be severe. But will they be?
Former FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe was rightfully fired and stripped of his pension because he “lacked candor” to his own internal investigators. He left in disgrace but was never indicted.
Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has now restored his pension, reimbursed $500,000 of his legal fees, and ensured McCabe will receive his retirement cufflinks and service plaque. How can this not be viewed as a reward for his participation in the FBI’s involvement in the attempted coup against a duly elected president?
In contrast, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s national security adviser, saw his reputation ruined when the FBI targeted him in an effort to hurt Trump. Fueled by a “get Trump” attitude, the FBI investigation and then the Special Counsel Robert Mueller probe dragged on for two years into Trump’s presidency — despite the fact the FBI knew as early as October 2016 that its primary piece of evidence, the Steele dossier, was tainted by Russian influence and disinformation.
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report began to peel back the layers of deception but also raised more questions about the FBI’s and Justice’s representations of the Christopher Steele dossier. The report included former FBI Assistant Director Bill Priestap’s statement that the FBI had no knowledge of Russian influence on the Steele dossier
Information contained in the report’s footnotes directly contradicted Priestap’s statement, but those footnotes were conveniently redacted, hidden from public view. My staff uncovered those redacted footnotes, but it still took more than two months to have them declassified and made public. Once they were revealed, the media yawned, ignoring the stunning revelation.
I recently asked Horowitz in a Senate hearing who made the decision to classify and redact those footnotes. He testified that “FBI and Justice Department leadership” ultimately made that decision. I would blame “deep state” actors. To this day, documents President Trump declassified in his final days of office and that should have been immediately turned over to Congress and made public remain hidden within the deep state.
Based on texts from former FBI agent Peter Strzok, we know that deep state actors, specifically in the intelligence community, were working against the Trump administration. In December 2016, Strzok observed that FBI’s sister agencies had “begun leaking like mad” and that, “scorned and worried and political, they’re kicking into overdrive.” To what extent is Durham investigating the intelligence community’s involvement in these partisan actions and internal coup?
The perpetrators of these crimes count on the fact that the public and media lose interest over time, and the complexity of uncovering the truth in bits and pieces will keep the full story hidden for years, if not forever. But the importance of getting to the bottom of this political dirty trick cannot be overstated.
This deep-state and political corruption has had a profound impact on our body politic. Although it’s ignored by Democrats and the media, President Trump’s supporters are well aware of what has transpired. We may not yet have all the specifics, but we have a general sense of the depth of the deception and the grotesque inequity regarding federal investigations and the administration of justice.
The disparity in how federal authorities are investigating and prosecuting the 2020 summer rioters versus those who simply attended the Jan. 6 Capitol protest without engaging in violence is noticed. The mainstream media’s obsession with Jan. 6 while sweeping the more than 570 summer riots under the rug reduces their credibility and deepens the political divide. The lack of any media apologies for their award-winning but false reporting of the Russia hoax is shocking but not surprising.
The only way to begin restoring faith is with full transparency and accountability that includes severe penalties. Unfortunately, people can initiate and participate in political dirty tricks without committing a crime. That is why, at a minimum, Durham must provide a complete report on all he has learned, and Attorney General Merrick Garland must make his full report public. The cover-up must end. ✪