By Michael Goodwin
New York Post
During the financial crisis, the federal government bailed out banks it declared “too big to fail.” Fearing their bankruptcy might trigger economic Armageddon, the feds propped them up with taxpayer cash.
Something similar is happening now at the FBI, with the Washington wagons circling the agency to protect it from charges of corruption. This time, the appropriate tag line is “too big to believe.”
Yet each day brings credible reports suggesting there is a massive scandal involving the top ranks of America’s premier law enforcement agency. The reports, which feature talk among agents of a “secret society” and suddenly missing text messages, point to the existence both of a cabal dedicated to defeating Donald Trump in 2016 and of a plan to let Hillary Clinton skate free in the classified email probe.
If either one is true — and I believe both probably are — it would mean FBI leaders betrayed the nation by abusing their powers in a bid to pick the president.
More support for this view involves the FBI’s use of the Russian dossier on Trump that was paid for by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. It is almost certain that the FBI used the dossier to get FISA court warrants to spy on Trump associates, meaning it used the opposition research of the party in power to convince a court to let it spy on the candidate of the other party — likely without telling the court of the dossier’s political link.
Even worse, there is growing reason to believe someone in President Barack Obama’s administration turned over classified information about Trump to the Clinton campaign.
As one former federal prosecutor put it, “It doesn’t get worse than that.” That prosecutor, Joseph diGenova, believes Trump was correct when he claimed Obama aides wiretapped his phones at Trump Tower.
These and other elements combine to make a toxic brew that smells to high heaven, but most Americans don’t know much about it. Mainstream media coverage has been sparse and dismissive and there’s a blackout from the same Democrats obsessed with Russia, Russia, Russia.
Partisan motives aside, it’s as if a scandal of this magnitude is more than America can bear — so let’s pretend there’s nothing to see and move along.
But, thankfully, the disgraceful episode won’t be washed away, thanks to a handful of congressional Republicans, led by California Rep. Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. After he accused the FBI of stonewalling in turning over records, the bureau relented, at least partially.
The result was clear evidence of bias against Trump by officials charged with investigating him and Clinton. Those same agents appear to have acted on that bias to tilt the election to Clinton.
In one text message, an agent suggests that Attorney General Loretta Lynch knew while the investigation was still going on that the FBI would not recommend charges against Clinton.
How could she know unless the fix was in?
All roads in the explosive developments lead to James Comey, whose Boy Scout image belied a sinister belief that he, like his infamous predecessor J. Edgar Hoover, was above the law.
It is why I named him J. Edgar Comey last year and wrote that he was “adept at using innuendo and leaks” to let everybody in Washington know they could be the next to be investigated.
It was in the office of Comey’s top deputy, Andrew McCabe, where agents discussed an “insurance policy” in the event that Trump won. Reports indicated that the Russia collusion probe was that insurance policy.
The text was from Peter Strzok, the top investigator on the Trump case, and was sent to Lisa Page, an FBI lawyer and also his mistress.
“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office — that there’s no way he gets elected — but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk. It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40 . . .,” Strzok wrote.
It is frightening that Strzok, who called Trump “an idiot,” was the lead investigator on both the Clinton and Trump cases.
After these messages surfaced, special counsel Robert Mueller removed Strzok and Page from his probe, though both still work at the FBI.
Strzok, despite his talk of an “insurance policy” in 2016, wrote in May 2017 that he was skeptical that Mueller’s probe would find anything on Trump because “there’s no big there there.”
Talk about irony. While Dems and the left-wing media already found Trump guilty of collusion before Mueller was appointed, the real scandal might be the conduct of the probers themselves.
Suspicions are hardly allayed by the fact that the FBI says it can’t find five months of messages between Strzok and Page, who exchanged an estimated 50,000 messages overall. The missing period — Dec. 14, 2016, through May 17, 2017 — was a crucial time in Washington.
There were numerous leaks of classified material just before and after Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20.
And the president fired Comey last May 9, provoking an intense lobbying effort for a special counsel, which led to Mueller’s appointment on May 19.
Jeff Sessions, the attorney general, has emerged from his hidey hole to notice that the FBI has run amok, and said Monday he would “leave no stone unturned” to find the five months of missing texts.
Fine, but the House is racing ahead of him. Nunes has prepared a four-page memo, based on classified material that purportedly lays out what the FBI and others did to corrupt the election.
A movement to release the memo is gaining steam, but Congress says it might take weeks. Why wait? Americans can handle the truth, no matter how big it is.