And there’s the first problem with Trump’s whole “treason” narrative. If we were “deep state” Clinton loyalists bent on stopping him, why would we keep it secret? Why wouldn’t the much-maligned FBI supervisor Peter Strzok — the alleged kingpin of the “treasonous” plot to stop Trump — tell anyone? He was one of the very few people who knew what we were investigating.
We investigated. We didn’t gather information about the campaign’s strategy. We didn’t “spy” on anyone’s campaign. We investigated to see whether it was true that Americans associated with the campaign had taken the Russians up on any offer of help. By late October, the investigators thought they had probable cause to get a federal court order to conduct electronic surveillance of a former Trump campaign adviser named Carter Page. Page was no longer with the campaign, but there was reason to believe he was acting as an agent of the Russian government. We asked a federal judge for permission to surveil him and then we did it, all without revealing our work, despite the fact that it was late October and a leak would have been very harmful to candidate Trump. Worst deep-state conspiracy ever.
But wait, the conspiracy idea gets dumber. On Oct. 28, after agonizing deliberation over two terrible options, I concluded I had no choice but to inform Congress that we had reopened the Clinton email investigation. I judged that hiding that fact — after having told Congress repeatedly and under oath that the case was finished — would be worse than telling Congress the truth. It was a decision William Barr praised and Hillary Clinton blamed for her loss 11 days later. Strzok, alleged architect of the treasonous plot to stop Trump, drafted the letter I sent Congress.