On Thursday, shortly after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he would not appoint a second special counsel, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin agreed with the decision, claiming that "as far as I could tell, most of the accusations against the FBI are lunatic conspiracy theories."
That would lead one to question why Toobin didn't complain about having an inspector general and federal prosecutor John Huber look into these matters. The fact is that there is enough evidence of a conspiracy and coverup to justify some form of inquiry — and Toobin, in his heart of hearts, should know that.
Toobin appeared on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show yesterday and had the following reaction to Sessions' decision:
WOLF BLITZER: Let's bring in our political legal and national security experts. What do you think? Ever a strong case for appointing a sec special counsel?
JEFFREY TOOBIN: No, as far as I could tell, most of the accusations against the FBI are lunatic conspiracy theories. Just not grounded in anything, and I think the Attorney General did an appropriate thing here giving this to the Inspector General, which is why we have Inspector Generals, but I expect there's nothing found here, and Sessions did the right thing.
Even before Toobin made his disparaging statement, there was plenty of justification for continuing investigations in some form, given at least two things:
- The questionable use of the never-proven claims in the Steele dossier that were used in part to obtain FISA warrants to eavesdrop on Carter Page (and in effect the Trump 2016 presidential campaign).
- The alleged misconduct of others involved in the Trump-Russia investigation, starting at the top with Former FBI Director James Comey and former Assistant FBI Director Andrew McCabe, and at lower level with fanatical Trump despisers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.
At the opening of Tucker Carlson's Thursday Fox News show, The Washington Examiner's Bryon York explained a new development that has nothing to do with a "nutty conspiracy theory" and everything to do with alleged misconduct and an attempted coverup by FBI and Department of Justice officials. That misconduct related to how FBI and DOJ attempted to use the affair Strzok and Page were having to conceal potentially damaging communications and actions relating to the Trump-Russia investigation:
TUCKER CARLSON: Another set of text messages between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page of the FBI has been released.
The texts suggest that the FBI was directly briefing the Obama White House in the early stages of its investigation of the Trump campaign.
If true, this of course would prove as false the former president’s claim that he was not involved in the FBI business.
Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner and he joins us tonight. Byron, what do we learn from these?
BYRON YORK: Well first of all, it’s not really a new set of texts. That's one thing we've learned, because this is not some new batch that went over to Congress.
YORK: These texts were released earlier, and they were redacted, they were blacked out. And remember what the Justice Department said to Congress. They said, "Well, Strzok and Page are having an affair. I mean, that’s private stuff —"
YORK: "— Personal stuff. So we are going to black that out." And Congress said "Fine."
And then they started looking at what was sent over, and there were things like "Meeting tomorrow in So-and-So’s office," and the name would be blacked out. And they thought, "Well, that doesn’t sound like personal stuff." And some of these names were names like Dennis McDonough, the Chief of Staff in the Obama White House.
So, that has made a number of members of the House, House Judiciary Committee very suspicious of what they are getting from Congress — from the Justice Department — on this.
Now the bigger picture is, they have been trying to find out how far knowledge of things like the Trump dossier, the allegations in the Trump dossier, how far did that go up the chain in the Obama Administration? Remember, we first thought it was just a few people at the FBI. Then it went higher in the FBI. Then it was the State Department. And now it looks like the White House, too.
Not directly related to the Trump-Russia investigation, but certainly tying into the credibility and conduct of higher-ups in federal law enforcement, Laura Ingraham revealed on her Thursday evening Fox News show that Andrew McCabe's firing was based on the Inspector General's finding that he lied four times during the investigation into leaks to the Wall Street Journal.
Specifically, Ohio Republican Congressman Jim Jordan said:
He lied to James Comey. He lied to the Office of Professional Responsibility, and he lied twice under oath to the Inspector General.
That finding isn't associated with one of Jeffrey Toobin's undescribed "nutty conspiracy theories." It's a finding of fact by the designated Inspector General.
Toobin's contention, properly viewed, and regardless of the appropriateness of Sessions' decision not to engage a second special counsel, appears to be part of a real conspiracy — that of the establishment press to keep the truth from the American people.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.