Finley: Fire Strzok, suspend Congress
At the end of a 10-hour spectacle in the nation's Capitol, we knew nothing more than when it started: the FBI's Peter Strzok is a smarmy narcissist and Congress is the most dysfunctional committee on the face of the earth.
I don't know what more the House Republicans who staged the circus hoped to glean from their marathon grilling/roasting of Strzok.
They already had 50,000 pages of text messages between the married Strzok and his lover, fellow FBI official Lisa Page. The correspondence establishes the pair despised Donald Trump, whose campaign the bureau was investigating.
The anti-Trump bias is undeniable, despite Strzok's lame attempts to define it as a mere "appearance" of slant. It might be better characterized as an obsession, given the angst the paramours expressed about the prospect of a Trump presidency.
But in the end, the FBI's respected Inspector General couldn't find evidence Strzok's personal feelings influenced the outcome of the investigation.
Still, Oversight Chair Trey Gowdy and crew were hell-bent on wringing a confession from Strzok that he actively attempted to sabotage the election. Instead, they got a lot of defiant mouthing from the self-righteous agent.
In the process, they opened a wide window into the appallingly juvenile way in which Congress conducts business. If the hearing was aimed at restoring trust in America's institutions, it failed miserably. Anyone who tuned into the mess couldn't have kept their faith in our nation's leadership.
Strzok should not have been sitting in that witness chair. He should be in line at the unemployment office.
Whether he was partial in the Trump probe is immaterial. He was a senior official in the bureau who had an illicit affair with a colleague.
Add to that the ego-driven stupidity of putting in writing, on bureau devices, his fantasy that he would be the one who'd save the world from Trump. In doing so, he fouled two investigations and severely damaged the FBI's credibility. That alone would get him fired in most private enterprises.
Strzok should be pink slipped.
And Congress should be suspended for the summer. Pack them up and send them home for the summer, before we witness members wrestling on the chamber floor.
That was plain awful Thursday. The hearing alternated between Republicans pummeling Strzok with the same questions over and over and over.
Then Democrats, not at all interested in finding out whether the FBI is tainted by politics, cheered Strzok, defended his low character and read long passages from their Trump is the Devil script.
And then they fought with each other, becoming angrier and more confrontational with each passing hour. They need a time out.
It would do them good to go back to their districts, where, if there are any sane voters left they might remind their representatives they didn't send them to Washington to join a partisan army. Don't let them back inside the Capitol until they agree to play nice.
As for the FBI, we don't need more grandstanding to figure out if there's something rotten in the bureau. There is, as represented by Strzok and others identified by the IG as resistance sympathizers.
Send them home, too. For good.
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