For several months we’ve looked at several pages of inanimate text messages and still photos of their makers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, both FBI upper-level officers.
We know about as much about Peter Strzok’s affair with Lisa Page as Frank Burn’s wife knew about his with Maj Margaret Houlihan, so let’s keep it simple.
Don’t ask me why I chose that couple, versus say, Bart Simpson, for Strzok certainly did adopt one of Bart’s “You can’t prove it” tones in a couple of instances, as many non-lawyers often do when they think they’ve outsmarted people in a roomful of lawyers in the end, when in fact they haven’t. There was something in his eyes that tells me he likes the self-satisfaction in saying something that was clever in his own eyes, thinking everyone else in the room missed it.
While Strzok may play well on late night TV, on the sincerity, honesty and humility scale, Strzok will never be able to convince any jury of things he said about himself during this hearing. Of course, Strzok would insist the government could never seat a “jury of his peers”, a motion his attorneys would never make.
The House is a turf war with the DOJ and FBI about which, on the purest reading of the law, the DOJ in fact can tell Congress “no” to their demands. The GOP House especially doesn’t want to admit this, partly due to theatre, but the arrows in Congress’ quiver to compel compliance are fewer than most Americans know. Our friend Larry Schweikart, of Patriot’s History of the United States” confirmed this for the vast conservative Twitter audience in June:
“Grudgingly now, the conservative media beginning to realize that Congress has no power to compel DOJ to do anything, claiming “only Ryan or Trump” can free up the documents.”
….going on to conclude that only President Trump can compel the DOJ-FBI to comply.
So far Trump has stood back from the fight, perhaps to allow people such as Strzok to hang themselves, which he may well have done if a jury trial were in his future (As a trial lawyer, I would never let him take the stand after the June 12 display. A jury would hate him.)
I won’t comment on the substance of the testimony, for there is much still to be revealed and plots and sub-plots observers can only speculate about. In one sense, his performance reminded me of Harold Ickes, Jr, one of Hillary’s aides, when he testified before Fred Thompson’s committee during the White House investigation into Filegate. Rather than act penitent and play defense Ickes doubled-down, and if it were sword play, won the day. (That has been a Democratic defense ploy, “attack”, ever since). Strzok was combative, in command of his wits and his language, rarely pausing to say “uh”, snapping off answers at machine-gun rate, And he was clearly very proud of himself.
with enough smirks and self-pats on the back to fill a high school annual.
But there was something amateurish about Strzok, again sort of like Frank Burns with Hot Lips, promising anything for the continued romance, but never risking anything.
So I have to ask, who actually initiated the romance? Without having seen or heard Miss Page, who is a lawyer (Strzok isn’t) today I’m inclined to think she did.
You can take it from there.
She’s managed to avoid public testimony, and will now testify behind closed doors, today (Fri, 7/13, omen-alert, omen-alert) so for awhile the public will not be able to see how she comports herself.
Food for thought. But for my take, I’d say too clever by half.