Peter Strzok, the man of a thousand sneers, reacted to the release of the Durham report by screenshotting the report’s footnote of his own book and recommending people buy it.
Despite being fired from the FBI, the disgraced former agent got a book deal, “Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump” as well as co-hosting a podcast with ‘Mueller, She Wrote’s Allison Gill and scoring an adjunct professorship at Georgetown University.
The Russiagate investigation has been discredited, but the Russiagate grift is alive and well. And none of the participants have any regrets or expect there to be any consequences.
Strzok and fellow agent Lisa Page, with whom he had an affair, are suing for wrongful termination from the FBI, and they’ve been fighting to depose former President Trump.
Their former boss, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe secured a settlement for his benefits including back pay from the Biden Justice Department. There’s little doubt that Attorney General Merrick Garland will eventually arrange for a settlement as a reward for Strzok and Page.
McCabe, who received a gig as a CNN analyst, went on his own news network to dismiss the Durham report. Even though the report clearly demonstrated that the FBI had violated its own rules in opening the investigation, the former FBI boss bragged that “I stand by the investigative decisions that we made to open the investigation first on the Trump campaign “ and insisted that, “the Russians did, in fact, influence the campaign”.
The disgraced FBI bigwig shows up all the time on CNN to bash Trump and to claim that this time the walls are closing in. Like Strzok, his former boss also has an academic gig as a distinguished visiting professor at George Mason University.
If Strzok works hard enough, maybe Georgetown will make him a “distinguished” academic too.
Lisa Page appears to have taught a class at Yale on Cybersecurity Law and Policy and was hired by NBC News and MSNBC as a legal analyst, but hasn’t been all that visible otherwise.
Bruce Ohr, a DOJ official whose wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS, left a day before he was fired. The Durham report reveals that Nellie Ohr may have produced some of the key Russiagate material even before Steele. Bruce Ohr aggressively pitched his wife’s Fusion GPS smears and promoted an investigation.
Like McCabe, Ohr is also teaching at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government. His class is on “transnational crime and corruption”. Nellie Ohr works as an intelligence analyst dealing with Russia for Accenture: the world’s largest consulting firm.
Strzok, Page, McCabe and Ohr are “academics” now and the consequences are academic.
The parallel career tracks, media contracts, book deals and academic gigs, are no coincidence. Some of the key FBI figures in Russiagate are being rewarded and financed by the same media and academic government establishment that fed this monster. Strzok, Page and McCabe have lucrative careers doing what they were doing at the FBI: attacking political opponents. They’ll just be doing it outside the anonymity and without the power of their government positions.
But there will be plenty of others to take their place. And for any FBI or DOJ personnel worried about breaking the rules to go after Republicans, the book deals, academic gigs, podcasts and general celebrity for Strzok, McCabe and Page reassure them that they don’t have to worry.
Justice will not be served.
Kevin E. Clinesmith, the former FBI lawyer who pleaded guilty to faking an email used for a FISA warrant, was the only figure in the Durham investigation to face any criminal consequences. He got probation and served no time. His license was only suspended and afterward he can go on practicing law.
Durham’s charges against Michael Sussmann and Igor Danchenko never got past a D.C. jury.
After his acquittal, Sussmann became a partner at Fenwick & West focusing on “privacy and cybersecurity”. Fenwick & West may need some help in that area considering its FTX role.
Sussmann’s new firm has been hit with a class action lawsuit accusing it of covering up Sam Bankman-Fried’s abuses. One lawsuit alleges that, “Fenwick & West created fake entities that Bankman-Fried and FTX employed as fronts through which to launder customer funds and helped FTX to dodge regulatory scrutiny while maintaining a veneer of full compliance.”
Clearly the right place for a former Clinton campaign lawyer.
Igor Danchenko, perhaps not being quite as much of an inside man, hasn’t been as lucky and posted a message, “I am looking for a new role and would appreciate your support. Thank you in advance for any connections, advice, or opportunities you can offer.”
He does not seem to have found any takers.
Charles Dolan Jr, Durham’s likely next target, had the Sussman and Danchenko cases succeeded, no longer seems to be listed with any of the firms he was working for, but apparently still sits on the board of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems and on the advisory board of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Christopher Steele, of the infamous eponymous dossier, continues to head up Orbis Business Intelligence and another consultancy calling itself Magic Strand. In his interviews, he has expressed no regret over his actions.
Michael Isikoff, who used Yahoo News to launder the Steele dossier’s smears and whose reports were abused as a basis for FISA warrants, continues in his role as Chief Investigative Correspondent. David Corn, the Washington D.C. bureau chief for Mother Jones, who played a similar role, only briefly got in trouble over reports of rape jokes and inappropriately touching female staffers, before going back to work.
Ben Smith, BuzzFeed News‘ former editor-in-chief, has written pieces titled, “I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier” and “I Would Publish the Steele Dossier Again”. While BuzzFeed News was shut down due to unprofitability, Smith got a job at the New York Times and became the co-founder of a new media site: Semafor.
The New York Times and the Washington Post received Pulitzers for pushing the Russiagate hoax. Last year, the Pulitzers insisted that, “The separate reviews converged in their conclusions: that no passages or headlines, contentions or assertions in any of the winning submissions were discredited by facts that emerged subsequent to the conferral of the prizes.”
The Pulitzers have also refused to revoke the 1932 award of New York Times correspondent Walter Duranty for serving as a Stalinist propagandist and lying about genocide in the Soviet Union. The leftist organization falsely claimed that “there was not clear and convincing evidence of deliberate deception”. If mass murder can’t get the Pultizers to revoke a lefty media liar’s award, the Durham report certainly won’t.
And so they got away with it.
The media made hundreds of millions of dollars pushing Russiagate. Publishers, editors and journalists made names for themselves, won awards and got book contracts for their lies. Lawyers, experts and consultants faced some discomfort, but emerged on the other side. Some FBI and DOJ officials lost their jobs, but are likely to come away with full benefits and are building careers as media analysts and Beltway law school academics. The only Russiagate figure who still doesn’t have a job is Igor Danchenko.
The Durham report’s account of abuses is devastating, but has been brushed aside by the media, former government officials and the rest of the Russiagate network. Unable to get D.C. juries to convict the accused, the investigation stalled and has dissolved into little more than an accounting on the various players but without the connective tissue of the network behind them.
Nobody went to jail, hardly anyone even suffered lasting career consequences and the Washington D.C. network they were part of stepped in to protect and reward the Russiagaters.
The lack of any meaningful consequences means that Russiagate will happen again.