Republican lawmakers are determined to use cherry-picked private text messages by FBI agent Peter Strzok to ‘prove’ the Mueller investigation is biased, and after months and months of analysing the texts on Fox News, he finally had the chance to speak for himself in front of the American people yesterday.
Clip by CNN in YouTube on Thursday, July 12, 2018
GOP Congressman Chris Collins : “Peter Strzok and Lisa Page…are a stain on the FBI…”
[Cuomo goes to his whiteboard and demonstrated there is no evidence of Strzok ever acting on this perceived bias]
Collins : “…the bias speaks for itself, again, he and Lisa Page are a stain on the FBI’s reputation…”
Forget Love Island or the Kardashians…THIS was what I call ‘Reality Television” in that it was entertaining, it was actually happening and most importantly, it actually mattered.
“In the Majority (Republican)’s view, the text messages exchanged between Mr. Strzok and Lisa Page are a higher priority for us than President Trump’s request that James Comey end the investigation into Michael Flynn, or his decision to fire Director Comey “because of that Russia thing with Trump and Russia,” or his repeated attempts to fire Special Counsel Mueller directly.”
Congressman Jerrod Nadler, ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, lays out his party’s position very well in his opening statement at yesterday’s hearing. And while I don’t always agree with the Democrat position, in this matter. namely the witch hunt on Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, they are doing a great job of laying bare the blatant misinformation and bullying tactics being used by their political opponents.
I only got to see the first hour of the hearing as it happened but even then it was most enlightening, and what is so significant about the proceedings is that it is the first time the agent has actually been able to publicly put forward his own defence of his text messages.
Looking at this with a rational eye, the conclusion is simple. He is entitled to his viewpoint, he was stupid to express it on an FBI device but even given that, there is no evidence that he was anything but impartial in carrying out his duty, though just to be absolutely sure, Mueller took him off the investigation the second he learned about the messages. So why are we still here engaging in this political theatre months later?
There are a ton of clips from the actual hearing I could comment on but they are too numerous to mention. From an entertainment standpoint, one of the best moments was when Democrat congresswomen Bonnie Watson from New Jersey asked Republican Louie Gohmert from Texas if he had “taken his medication” after he repeatedly called Strzok a liar and brought up the subject of the agent’s extra-marital affair [because as we all know, the president the GOP are so desperate to defend would never do such a thing].
Or from a misinformation standpoint, I could highlight Strzok’s response to ranking Republican Trey Gowdy who attacked him as if all the evidence of his mindset is contained in a specific series of tweets, which he proceeded to literally examine word for word. The FBI’s agent answer (when the congressman finally stopped interrupting him) got a round of applause in the chamber, albeit from the Democrats.
But for me, the most telling soundbite comes from Congressman Chris Collins (R-New York) who appeared on Chris Cuomo’s Prime Time show on CNN. Cuomo seems to want to make the whiteboard his trademark, and to be fair he uses it well in this clip, and as you can see from the quote chosen above, when he uses it to press Collins, all he can do is go back to the talking point he was obviously given when he plugged himself into the GOP/Fox News ‘Matrix’ prior to the interview.
Of course Trump supporters (the select few who don’t simply go by his tweets and rallies that is) won’t have been watching Cuomo’s show – instead gorging themselves on the Fox News spin like they always do. Still, for those of us who crave as much real information as possible, yesterday’s hearing offered us plenty. I’d even go as far to say it was more entertaining than the World Cup, and for me, that’s saying something. JLP