Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Document: Peter Strzok drafted – then approved – Trump-Russia probe


FBI agent Peter Strzok testifies before Congress July 12, 2018. (Wikimedia Commons)

An FBI document released last week didn't receive the attention it deserves, according to a former bureau agent who says it should be Exhibit A in a federal courtroom as evidence that the Obama administration's Trump-Russia probe was illegitimate.

"The prosecutor, U.S. Attorney John Durham, will rightly point out that the document that spawned three years of political misery fails to articulate a single justifiable reason for starting the 'Crossfire Hurricane' investigation, writes Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, in a column in The Hill.

Brock, an FBI special agent for 24 years, also was principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

He explains how a document unable to present any justification for a probe could pass muster.

"Essentially, it is a document created by Peter Strzok, approved by Peter Strzok, and sent from Peter Strzok to Peter Strzok," he writes.

The reference is to the now infamous lead FBI investigator whose text messages with his paramour revealed his determination to ensure Trump did not win in 2016 and his "backup plan" should Plan A fail.

"Those of us who have speculated there was insufficient cause for beginning the investigation could not have imagined the actual opening document was this feeble. It is as if it were written by someone who had no experience as an FBI agent," Brock writes.

He points out that the bureau cannot begin an investigation without a document presenting a justifiable cause.

Calling the document a "train wreck," he argues it's "invalid on its face, because an agent cannot approve his or her own case."

That, he says, would "make a mockery of the oversight designed to protect Americans."

"Yet, for this document, Peter Strzok was pitcher, catcher, batter and umpire."

Another problem was that the Crossfire Hurricane case was opened as a Foreign Agent Registration Act, or FARA, investigation, which involves a criminal violation of law.

Such cases centering on a negligent or intentional failure to register with the U.S. government after being engaged by a foreign country for assistance are rarely investigated.

Further, Brock found "no attempt by Strzok to articulate any factors that address the elements of FARA."

"He couldn't, because there are none. Instead, there was a weak attempt to allege some kind of cooperation with Russians by unknown individuals affiliated with the Trump campaign, again, with no supporting facts listed."

The document, he says, "clearly establishes is that Crossfire Hurricane was an illicit, made-up investigation lacking a shred of justifying predication, sprung from the mind of someone who despised Donald Trump, and then blessed by inexperienced leadership at the highest levels who harbored their own now well-established biases."

"Instead, the nation was left with an investigation of a presidential campaign that had no legitimate predication; that spawned a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act intercept of a U.S. citizen that had no legitimate predication; that resulted in a confrontation with a new administration’s national security adviser that had no legitimate predication; and, finally, that led to an expensive special counsel investigation that had no legitimate predication," he writes.

Brock hopes "Exhibit A" will be displayed in a federal courtroom soon.

"The rule of law, upon which the FBI rests its very purpose and being, was callously discarded by weak leaders who sought higher loyalty to their personal agendas, egos, biases and politics," he writes.

"Accountability is demanded by the American people. Let’s pray we see some."


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