THE WEEKLY STANDARD:
Criticism of James Comey is nothing new—it’s one of the few things that both Republicans and Democrats can agree on. Which made the headline takeaway of the Department of Justice Inspector General’s report—that Comey deviated from FBI norms—something less than a surprise. But the Comey story isn’t even close to being the most interesting or instructive finding by the IG.
Perhaps the most shocking information in the IG’s report is the revelation that Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were not the only amorous agents with a habit of texting. There were also “Agent 1” and “Agent 5,” who were involved in the Clinton investigation and, according to the IG’s report “were in a relationship at the time and are now married.” Their communications make for a searing indictment of the culture of the FBI and paint a portrait of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email practices as fiasco.
Agent 1 was one of the key players in the investigation—one of just four “case agents” on the probe—and he not only expressed his political support for Clinton, he advocated against subjecting Hillary to an FBI interview. A few days before the Clinton confab, he sent an instant-message in which he complained about how many agents and attorneys were prepping for the questioning: “… very aggravating making this flow with 20+ voices for disparate information anyway.” Fair enough. But then, as the message goes on he suggests that he has a certain lack of enthusiasm for the whole affair. “We have nothing—shouldn’t even be interviewing”
Just in case his girlfriend didn’t savvy the full extent of his disgruntlement at the prospect of interviewing Hillary Clinton, Agent 1 added “My god … I’m actually starting to have embarrassment sprinkled on my disappointment. … Ever been forced to do something you adamantly opposed.”
Asked by the IG about these comments, Agent 1 insisted he hadn’t meant his message: “I don’t want to make it sound like there was no reason to interview her.” As for explaining his “adamantly opposed” comments, Agent 1’s memory seemed to give out.
There are reasons to think that Agent 1 was dissatisfied because the organization was phoning in a politically determined investigation. But there are also reasons to think his unhappiness flowed from an admiration for Hillary.
Take his message to Agent 5 after completing the questioning of Clinton: “done interviewing the President.”
And then there’s this heartfelt string of missives from Agent 1 to Agent 5 on November 8, 2016—election day: “You should know; … that I’m … with her.” (The IG helpfully adds in a footnote that “’I’m with her’ was one of the Clinton campaign slogans.”)