To most Americans who know the name, Peter Strzok is a disgraced FBI agent.
He’s a man who engaged in an adulterous affair with an anti-Trump FBI lawyer and let his political sympathies interfere with the duties entrusted to him by the American people.
And he’s a guy who got fired for it.
But to Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, Strzok is something more than all of that.
To Nadler, Strzok represents the “highest tradition” of Americans in government service.
Nadler made the comment Tuesday, according to The Daily Caller, after Judiciary Committee member Rep. Steve Chabot, an Ohio Republican, said, “People like Peter Strzok and others, I think very much damaged – it’s unfair to the rest of the organization because the FBI is truly a great organization, one of the best in this nation.”
Nadler didn’t think so at all.
“Let me just say for the record that I think Peter Strzok acted in the highest traditions of government workers,” he said.
Nadler: “Let me just say, for the record, that I think Peter Strzok acted in the highest traditions of government workers.”
Mr. Chairman, why don’t we ask if the DOJ Inspector General agrees?
Wait, he already did, saying Strzok’s actions go against DOJ and FBI’s “core values.” pic.twitter.com/pDFxezDKX6
— Rep. Doug Collins (@RepDougCollins) October 22, 2019
Nadler is talking about the same Peter Strzok whose text messages from the summer of 2016 with his FBI lover showed an undeniable hostility toward then-candidate Donald Trump – and utter contempt for Trump’s supporters.
In one particular text from August 2016, Strzok’s lover, Lisa Page, asked if Trump would become president and Strzok’s response was categorical (if completely erroneous).
“No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it,” Strzok wrote.
As The Daily Caller noted, a Justice Department Inspector General’s report released in 2018 found that text “not only indicative of a biased state of mind but, even more seriously, implies a willingness to take official action to impact the presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.”
“This is antithetical to the core values of the FBI and the Department of Justice,” the report said.
“Antithetical to the core values of the FBI” maybe, but to the man who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, Strzok was right as rain.
Nadler’s comment raises an important question: How is it that a man who heads the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives can make a statement like that and expect it to be accepted?
Even Democrats who don’t like Trump have to understand that what Strzok was doing – using his power as a government official to substitute his own judgment for the yet-to-be-rendered will of the American voters — is the essence of a police state.
Even a politician as ruthlessly ambitious as Nadler should understand that – and it’s all too likely that Nadler understands it perfectly.
The thuggish, unethical behavior Nadler was praising might not have been in the “highest traditions” of government service as the term is understood by Americans who admire and genuinely respect the constitutional republic established by the Founding Fathers.
But for a Democrat of the modern era, where pursuit of power trumps the niceties of democratic rule of law, Strzok’s secret police behavior fit in perfectly.
The use of law enforcement agencies to skew election outcomes is “antithetical” to American government now, but for the likes of Nadler and his party, it’s the future they’re trying to bring.