One can imagine the unspoken question hanging in the darkness during the January 2017 ride back to the airport. A small gaggle1 of FBI agents had just concluded their long-overdue interview with Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source. The silence must have been deafening. Steele had tried to conceal2 his source from the FBI. But the FBI knew his identity and set up an interview behind Steele’s back, and the interview contradicted several Steele assertions. The downcast agents waited for somebody to ask the question on all of their minds: “Now what?”

The right answer would have been to admit to the court that Steele was an unreliable source who exaggerates and lies and put an end to spying on Americans in pursuit of the mirage of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia.

When presented one last opportunity to do the right thing, the FBI instead pushed harder for their now-discredited hypothesis justifying the investigation. Peter Strzok had promised his lover, Lisa Page, he would “save” the country from Donald Trump. Given a choice between bringing the FBI back into the light of the Constitution or the darkness of blind hatred of Donald Trump, the conspirators choose darkness. It was at this precise moment that the FBI left behind any plausible deniability of “mistake” or “sloppiness.”