Presidential elections have big effects. When they result in election of a strongman – Father Coughlin, Huey Long, and Soapy Smith rolled into one – you remember them, or want to remember them. Yet our overloaded information channels have not done justice to the extraordinary election of 2016. While we try to send our strongman back to Mar-a-Lago, to stay, we do not know why FBI officials thought their agency should participate in the election that placed him in the White House.
I told Holman Jenkins, author of the article below, that he should tell the story of this election in a book, but a book is a big project. Jenkins or someone else should collect research and writing on the subject, to relate both the large picture and connecting threads, where we can read the story between two covers. We have heard the FBI’s point of view; let us hear the other side. We will not hear it from politicians.
Andrew McCabe wrote The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump. He may have chosen a different title, if he knew how people would react to his interviews. Before McCabe, James Comey wrote A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership. When he testified before Congress, he tried to look truthful. Special Agent Peter Strzok tells his story of anguish and love via text messages. He has a GoFundMe page, with a balance of nearly half a million dollars and counting.
Meantime, many want to hear what actually happened in 2016. When you read that story, you will not dismiss the term Deep State – or its minions – any longer. Interestingly, the underground, invisible state has gradually become more visible. FBI’s mucking around in 2016 was so blatant, the detritus floated to the surface of Washington’s sludge pools. So far, the garbage lists with Washington’s latest hopes and political developments, such as release of Mueller’s report. People familiar with the FBI’s actions during 2016 should write this history, to rescue this story from the sludge.