Gregg Jarrett: Anti-Trump former FBI lovers Strzok and Page sound like Abbott and Costello in testimony

Transcripts of closed-door congressional interviews with disgraced former FBI employees and lovers Lisa Page and Peter Strzok – key players in a plot to unjustly frame President Trump and clear Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing – were finally released this week.

Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., made the transcripts public after nine months of government stonewalling, casting new light on the intense hatred Page and Strzok held for presidential candidate Donald Trump and their strong support for Clinton, his Democratic election opponent.

The testimony by Page and Strozk – who exchanged numerous text messages showing clearly that they wanted Clinton to be elected president and were horrified at the prospect that Trump might defeat her – was kept confidential until this week.


Page and Strozk were a stunning contrast in intellect and candor. The pair are a modern-day version of the comedy team of Abbott and Costello, popular in the 1940s and 1950s. Bud Abbott was the smart straight man. Lou Costello played the dimwitted clown.

In her closed-door testimony before the House Judiciary Committee last summer that was just released Tuesday, Page – an FBI lawyer who resigned in May – comes across as smart and reasonably forthright. With some exceptions, she answered questions directly. She’s Abbott.

FBI agent Strzok – who was fired by the bureau in August – is Costello. His clownish rejoinders are reminiscent of the hilarious Abbott and Costello comedy routine “Who’s on First?”

At every turn in his closed-door questioning by the House Judiciary Committee, the transcript released Thursday shows Strzok straining to provide answers that are evasive, incomprehensible and banal.

When he wasn’t bobbing and weaving like a spent boxer, Strzok hid behind the tired excuse that he couldn’t answer questions because he couldn’t reveal classified information.

How convenient.

Strzok simply refused to answer many probing questions – probably because the unvarnished truth would expose him as even more of a malevolent actor than his texts already revealed.

The fired FBI agent tried to be cute and clever by parsing words. President Clinton must be his hero for coming up with this incoherent answer when asked about his own extramarital affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky: “It depends upon what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

The Strzok-Page texts show such stunning hostility to Donald Trump that it’s absurd to believe the lovers could have objectively investigated the man who wound up being duly elected by the American people to be our president.

In addition to frequently using obscenities to describe Trump in their texts, Strzok and Page called him a “menace,” “awful,” “loathsome,” a “disaster,” and an “idiot.”

These toxic hate-filled rants poisoned any chance that the FBI’s investigation of Trump could ever be viewed as neutral, objective and fair. Both Page and Strzok later joined Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of partisans on his anti-Trump witch hunt, tainting that probe as well.

When confronted with these texts expressing such hostility to Trump during her congressional testimony, Page acknowledged them for what they were and shed light on their meaning.

Strzok, on the other hand, refused to admit the obvious – and in some cases, already proven – meaning of the texts. He absurdly insisted the texts were not “hateful” at all. And he dismissed the texts as nothing more than “an expression of personal belief.”

Does Strzok seriously expect anyone to believe his unbelievable claims?

Americans first caught Strzok’s clown act when he testified in public last summer. He brought the house down when he claimed “those text messages are not indicative of bias” and “I do not have bias.”

Inasmuch as bias is an inherent symptom of the human condition, Strzok must be superhuman. Get the man a costume for the next Captain America adventure.

In addition to frequently using obscenities to describe Trump in their texts, Strzok and Page called him a “menace,” “awful,” “loathsome,” a “disaster,” and an “idiot.”

Strzok’s private testimony is largely redundant of the public version he gave in an open committee session. You won’t find much real value or insight in all his self-serving and revisionist renditions of how the Clinton and Trump investigations were handled by the Justice Department under President Obama.

The newly released transcripts show House Judiciary Committee members were not fooled. Then-Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., a former prosecutor, showed his cross-examination chops when he filleted Strzok over his infamous March 2016 text that said: “God, Hillary should win 100 million to zero.”

The incriminating evidence was contained within Gowdy’s question. “You had her (Clinton) running and winning before you had concluded the investigation … before you even bothered to interview her," Gowdy told Strzok. “That’s what we’re left with.”

Strzok prattled on with a typically nonsensical and unresponsive retort. No matter. The question itself made the point – the fix was in to absolve Hillary Clinton long before the FBI went through the charade of interviewing her and 16 other key witnesses about her email scandal. Strzok and others embraced the sham. They were counting on Clinton winning the White House.

But this is where Page, unlike her paramour, provided new and damning information when she testified that “every person on the team knew no charges would be brought” against Clinton. How did they know? Here’s the key questioning by Rep. John Ratcliffe, R-Texas, a former federal prosecutor:

Ratcliffe: You’re making it sound like it was the Department (of Justice) that told you you’re not going to charge gross negligence because we’re the prosecutors and we’re telling you we’re not going to --

Page:  That’s correct.

Ratcliffe: -- bring a case based on that.

So, there it is. Obama’s Justice Department ordered the FBI not to pursue a charge against Clinton for her mishandling of classified emails when she was secretary of state under the most likely legal avenue – the “gross negligence” provision of the Espionage Act.

The erroneous excuse of the Obama administration officials was that Clinton did not have the requisite “intent” or “knowledge” under the Espionage Act. This was an absurd pretext for several reasons.

First, the “gross negligence” provision does not require intent, knowledge or willfulness. In 1948 Congress amended the Espionage Act to add a new category of crime that deliberately omitted the intent requirement. It created a lesser standard of “gross negligence” in the mishandling of classified documents.

Second, Clinton could have been charged under other provisions and statutes that do, in fact, require “intent.” Her actions in using a private computer server she owned exclusively for all of her work emails – including those dealing with classified material – were clearly intentional. Yet neither the Justice Department nor the FBI appear to have even considered these laws.

Third, how could the government even know or test Clinton’s intent until FBI agents and prosecutors questioned her? Instead, the Justice Department and FBI preordained the outcome despite compelling evidence that Clinton had violated the law with impunity.

While Page’s testimony sheds important light on the machinations in exonerating Clinton and clearing her expectant path to the presidency, it also raises questions of who is telling the truth.

Fired FBI Director James Comey has repeatedly claimed that he was the one who made the decision to absolve Clinton and never advised Attorney General Loretta Lynch or anyone else at the Justice Department. Page’s testimony belies that by asserting that the Justice Department was calling the shots to stand down on the Clinton case.


One thing is certain. The facts were twisted and the law was contorted to clear Clinton in her obvious mishandling of State Department emails. Thereafter, the Russia “collusion” hoax that was secretly financed by Clinton’s campaign and fed to solicitous collaborators at the FBI and Justice Department has managed to dominate the Trump presidency.

Somewhere, Abbott and Costello must be laughing at the lunacy.