Tapper: The Real Consequence of Strzok’s Bias Gave Us President Trump

With the Justice Department's Inspector General rocking Washington, D.C. on Thursday with a damning report exposing the anti-Trump bias of senior FBI investigators, many in the liberal media were desperate to spin the findings to fit their narrative. During CNN's The Lead, host Jake Tapper took one of the greatest leaps and suggested that the consequence of biased FBI members was the election of President Trump.

Tapper’s assertion came after former FBI agent-turned-CNN law enforcement analyst Josh Campbell opined about how “the bottom line” for him was that the report said the outcome of the Clinton investigation wasn’t tainted by biased. “I'm not sure that's right, Josh,” Tapper said. What followed next was a contrived explanation of how anti-Trump FBI agent Peter Strzok influenced the outcome of the election against Hillary Clinton:

So here's what happened. Peter Strzok, according to the Inspector General, sat on the laptop, they find no persuasive evidence as to why they didn't immediately go into the Weiner laptop when they got it at the end of September. I want to get you to play in this. Jeff. The only reason they look into it is because people at the U.S.'s attorney's office for the Southern District of New York start asking about it, that's what the Inspector General says. Then they do the warrant, then Comey notifies Congress, then history perhaps is changed.

So Strzok, if you read between the lines of this report, may have actually-- his bias for Hillary might have cost Hillary the election,” Tapper declared as fact. But in order for Tapper’s argument to be feasible, one needed to buy into Clinton campaign talking points that former FBI Director James Comey stole the election from her. Yet there was no evidence of that.

 

 

Anti-Trumper and senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was in complete agreement with Tapper’s wild story. He argued that “if [Strzok] had simply come forward at the beginning as soon as he found out about this laptop and said, ‘Let’s look into this, let’s get it done,’ they could have gotten rid of the whole issue before-- with a reasonable amount of time before the election so that Comey wouldn't have had to go to Congress.”

“As you point out, this is one of the incredible ironies and it certainly was news to me in reading the report that Strzok actually wound up helping Trump even though he said these now notorious things in these texts,” Toobin continued. The real irony from the I.G. report was that it totally vindicated President Trump’s firing of Comey, which Toobin lost his mind over when it happened.

Tapper then turned to Campbell and probed him on whether or not he thought the hypothesis was correct. “We can't change the past but wonder had that laptop been investigated, had that search warrant been obtained, Hillary Clinton might have been – probably would have been president,” Campbell declared with no evidence.

Beyond the fact that it only worked if you buy into Clinton talking points about the outcome of the election, Tapper’s conspiracy theory falls apart when you look into what Strzok was doing while not looking into the laptop. As NBC Justice correspondent Pete Williams noted in his report on NBC Nightly News on Thursday, the anti-Trump FBI agent was spending more time on the Russia probe.

For a news outlet that claims to be the purveyor of all things truth, they spent an inordinate amount of time pushing a conspiracy theory.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

 

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CNN's The Lead
June 14, 2018
4:09:36 PM Eastern

(…)

JOSH CAMPBELL: So it looks terrible, it’s something they need to continue to investigate to determine whether there was influence. The bottom line, for me, in reading this report is the Inspector General says there wasn't political influence that impacted the investigation but again it's not a good look for the FBI.

JAKE TAPPER: I'm not sure that's right, Josh. Let me tell you why. The Inspector General is very specific about he doesn't think there's evidence political bias played a role in everything in Chapter 5. Chapter 5 has to do with the Hillary Clinton investigation up to the decision to announce in July, 2016, that it's over. But he does say that he suspects Strzok did have a bias or at least bias played a role when it came to the decision to sit on the Weiner laptop:

“Comey told the office of the inspector general had he known about the laptop in the beginning of October and thought the e-mail review could have been completed before the election, it may have affected his decision to notify Congress.”

So here's what happened. Peter Strzok, according to the Inspector General, sat on the laptop, they find no persuasive evidence as to why they didn't immediately go into the Weiner laptop when they got it at the end of September. I want to get you to play in this. Jeff. The only reason they look into it is because people at the U.S.'s attorney's office for the Southern District of New York start asking about it, that's what the Inspector General says. Then they do the warrant, then Comey notifies Congress, then history perhaps is changed.

So Strzok, if you read between the lines of this report, may have actually-- his bias for Hillary might have cost Hillary the election.

JEFFREY TOOBIN: That's why -- I mean, you know, real life is so complicated. Is that he could have -- if he had simply come forward at the beginning as soon has he found out about this laptop and said, “Let’s look into this, let’s get it done,” they could have gotten rid of the whole issue before-- with a reasonable amount of time before the election so that Comey wouldn't have had to go to Congress.

As you point out, this is one of the incredible ironies and it certainly was news to me in reading the report that Strzok actually wound up helping Trump even though he said these now notorious things in these texts, his behavior actually contributed to Comey's still frankly, to me, unbelievable and clearly criticized here decision to make that announcement ten days before the election.

TAPPER: Josh, you were there. Let me just ask you and then obviously whatever you want to say. Do you find it plausible that if Comey had found out about the laptop, the warrant had been executed when they found it at the end of September, that he would not have felt the need to go to Congress and notify them?

CAMPBELL: That's a good question. I think, what his mind-set was, and he said this publicly, is he told Congress before the investigation was closed and now he felt compelled to tell them that's no longer the truth because we have reopened this investigation. I'm the first one to look at what transpired and try to look, obviously, with hindsight. We can't change the past but wonder had that laptop been investigated, had that search warrant been obtained, Hillary Clinton might have been – probably would have been president. Because if you look at what happened investigatively, the FBI in a matter of days was able to look at those e-mails and determine that they were duplicates and that they were no longer applicable to the investigation. Let me say one last thing to what you just said, because Jake your question was did Peter Strzok's political motivation cost Hillary Clinton the election?

TAPPER: Ironically and inadvertently but that's the suggestion being made.

CAMPBELL: I still believe. I still believe there is no single point of failure in the FBI. I think there's a lot of incompetence here that we need to look into. Obviously, we're going to hear from Chris Wray about what he’s doing to right these wrongs and ensure this never happens again. But again, I look at these people and think this is probably more incompetence than politics playing a role in their decisions.

(…)


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CyberAlerts FBI Bias by Omission Conspiracy Theories Political Scandals Trump-Russia probe Cable Television CNN The Lead Video Jake Tapper Jeffrey Toobin Donald Trump Peter Strzok