A Congressman Disturbed by the Possibility His Side Is Wrong


As Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline (a Democrat) forges a path decrying the FBI’s firing of an employee who is easily one of the top 10 agents to have brought public disrepute to the bureau, Sharyl Attkisson’s question is worth pondering: “What would the intelligence community’s ‘insurance policy’ against Trump look like?

Assume, for the sake of argument, that powerful, connected people in the intelligence community and in politics worried that a wildcard Trump presidency, unlike another Clinton or Bush, might expose a decade-plus of questionable practices. Disrupt long-established money channels. Reveal secret machinations that could arguably land some people in prison.

Please consider a voluntary, tax-deductible subscription to keep the Current growing and free.

What exactly might an “insurance policy” against Donald Trump look like?

The “insurance policy” phrase comes from one of the tweets that have gotten agent Peter Strozk in trouble for the disturbing partisanship they reveal from somebody investigating a political subject.  Anonymous sources have whispered context to reporters that they insist shows Strozk was simply using the phrase as an example of taking care of something before an unlikely event makes it too late.  Attkisson’s hypothetical treats it as less accidental — that is, as reference to a program agents were putting in place in case Trump was elected.

As with everything else in our divided country, we face two plausible realities:

  1. Partisan bureaucrats used their positions to stack the deck against a much-hated political figure (who happened to be the candidate of the party they despised) and allowed themselves to overstep to a previously inconceivable degree in part because they were so sure that their candidate would ultimately win and nobody would ever be the wiser.
  2. A long-shot candidate, with decades in the public eye as a sleazy businessman and reality show star, looked for help anywhere he could get it, even with a hostile government, and worked with foreign agents to manipulate the American public and possibly even cheat directly in an election.

Let me correct my phrase above:  These two possibilities are both implausible realities in the sense that, whichever one you pick, the other seems like an unprecedented danger to our society that nobody would have thought possible in the United States.

My view is that the currently available evidence leans strongly in favor of option 1, but picking one or the other isn’t my purpose, here.  Rather, my point is that reasonable people can go in completely incompatible directions in their understanding of this controversy, and it doesn’t help us bring our country closer to either the truth or a reconciliation when a congressman is so clearly invested in the division.

  • BasicCaruso

    “My view is that the currently available evidence leans strongly in favor of option 1″

    What a surprise! JustinBot is convinced. For folks with nothing to hide, they oddly keep lying about it.

    Mueller was appointed special counsel on 17 May 2017. In that time he has indicted 22 criminal defendants and garnered five guilty pleas, including from Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser; Richard Gates III, a former deputy to campaign chairman Paul Manafort; and George Papadopoulos, a former Trump foreign policy aide…

    Here’s what Mueller has charged so far:

    Guilty pleas
    Michael Flynn, former national security adviser – making false statements to investigators. Flynn is cooperating with prosecutors.

    Richard Gates III, former campaign and White House aide – conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false statements. Gates is cooperating with prosecutors.

    George Papadopoulos, former campaign aide – making false statements to investigators. Papadopoulos is cooperating with investigators.

    Alex van der Zwaan, Dutch lawyer – making false statements to investigators about his work with Gates. He was deported last week after serving a 30-day sentence on his conviction.

    Richard Pinedo of California – identity fraud for selling dummy bank accounts to Russians agents.

    Paul Manafort, former campaign chairman – obstruction of justice, money laundering, tax fraud, failure to register as a foreign agent and making false statements.

    • guest

      “who happened to be the candidate of the party they despised”…I’m not sure Justin understands that Robert Mueller is a republican.

  • Mike678

    The biased see what they want to see in their post-truth world…BC and “guest” are shining examples. Strozk was fired…more will follow. Good riddance.

    • Merle The Monster

      So you are ok with folks fired for their interpersonal expressions of their political ideas. Interesting! First Amendment be damned say you. Government employees must conform or else

      • Mike678

        Nice try, Merle. No–fired for his actions–he was a disgrace to the FBI. I’m also not OK with people having affairs. Perhaps you can donate to his go fund me page? LoL….

        • Merle The Monster

          Former FBI agent Andrew McCabe was fired hours before his retirement. The removal of security clearances to punish critics of the President . Non disclosure agreements being used to silence underlings. So I guess you are right when you write “more will follow “.
          But the question is will you continue to follow this President given your assertion that you” are not ok with people having affairs “
          And yes I will donate to a go fuckyourself page though

          • Mike678

            Ah, Merle. If I thought your opinion of any value, your words might hurt. As it stands, you just confirmed my views on your mental and emotional stability. Feel free to ignore me as I will you.

          • Merle The Monster

            Gladly, as you ignore all evidence that is contrary to your worldview I will ignore you and your arrogance. I’ve got to comment on the fact that your Center, while writing about first amendment rights incessantly, and then censores my comments, proves that you have no moral Center. Funny that but sadly not unprecedented or unpredictable