News & Politics

Congress Is Completely Ignoring the Blatant Bias in the FBI Against Hillary Clinton that Likely Swung the 2016 Election

Republicans' conspiracy theories about the FBI go in completely the wrong direction.

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Republican lawmakers berated FBI agent Peter Strzok Thursday over his professed dislike of Trump during the 2016 campaign, when he worked on both the Russia investigation and the Clinton email probe, but they completely ignored the real evidence that hatred for a candidate influenced the outcome of the election.

The idea that Strzok or others in the FBI were so biased against Trump that they worked to undermine his election laughable because the bureau kept its investigation into Trump's campaign and ties to Russia a secret. Had Strzok or others in the bureau wanted to torpedo Trump's electoral chances, they could have just made that information public. And though Strzok clearly despised Trump, a recent thorough report from the Justice Department inspector general found no evidence that this bias affected any investigation or the election (and, of course, Trump won).

But the IG report did find evidence that FBI agents were seriously biased against Clinton, and one section of the report, highlighted by the pseudonymous Twitter lawyer "southpaw," suggests that the bias drove an investigatory process that threw the election to Trump.

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This evidence is in the form of testimony from Attorney General Loretta Lynch, recounting a conversation she had with former FBI Director James Comey. She explains that he believed senior officials at the FBI's New York office had a "deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton" and that this spurred his decision to reopen the email investigation:

.... he said it’s clear to me that there is a cadre of senior people in New York who have a deep and visceral hatred of Secretary Clinton. And he said it is, it is deep. It’s, and he said, he said it was surprising to him or stunning to him.

You know, I didn’t get the impression he was agreeing with it at all, by the way. But he was saying it did exist, and it was hard to manage because these were agents that were very, very senior, or had even had timed out and were staying on, and therefore did not really feel under pressure from headquarters or anything to that effect. And I said, you know, I’m aware of that.... I said, I wasn’t aware it was to this level and this depth that you’re talking about, but I said I’m sad to say that that does not surprise me.

And he made a comment about, you know, you understand that. A lot of people don’t understand that. You, you get that issue. I said, I get that issue. I said I’m, I’m just troubled that this issue, meaning the, the New York agent issue and leaks, I am just troubled that this issue has put us where we are today with respect to this laptop.

"This laptop" refers to the computer of Anthony Weiner, which contained emails from Hillary Clinton. When Comey discovered the laptop was in the possession of the FBI, he reopened the email investigation and alerted Congress about his decision — a fact that immediately became public with a little over a week before the election.

Credible analysis from the poll-watchers at FiveThirtyEight found that Comey's reopening of the investigation likely cost Clinton the election.

So in short: The IG report found that top officials at the FBI believe bias at the New York office put the bureau in the situation that led to an investigatory action that likely changed the result of the election.

Instead of probing this matter, however, the GOP-led Congress is fulminating over a transparently absurd theory about the non-existent impact of anti-Trump bias in the agency.

It's a disgraceful display, but it's what we've come to expect the current Republican Party.

Cody Fenwick is a reporter and editor. Follow him on Twitter @codytfenwick.