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Pat Buchanan: Nunes vs. 'deep state'

| Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018, 9:00 p.m.
Susan Walsh/AP

That memo from the Intel Committee of Chairman Devin Nunes may not have sunk the Mueller investigation but was no dud. The critical charge: To persuade a FISA court to issue a warrant to spy on Trump aide Carter Page, the FBI relied on a dossier from a Trump-hating British spy using old Kremlin contacts while being paid to dig up dirt on Donald Trump by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Not only were the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee paying Christopher Steele for his dirt-diving, the FBI put Steele on its payroll until they caught him lying about leaking to the media. In search-warrant requests, the FBI never told the FISA judge their primary source was Steele's 35-page dossier that FBI Director James Comey described as “salacious and unverified.”

From the Nunes memo, there was, at the highest level of the FBI, a cabal determined to derail Trump and elect Clinton. Heading it was Comey, who made the call to exonerate Clinton of criminal national-security charges, even before the FBI investigation concluded. Assisting was Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose wife, running for a Virginia state senate seat, received $467,000 in contributions from Clinton bundler Terry McAuliffe.

Last week, McCabe was discharged from the FBI. In late September 2016, he learned his New York field office was sitting on emails between Anthony Weiner and his wife, Clinton aide Huma Abedin, which potentially contained security secrets. Not until late October did Comey inform Congress.

Peter Strzok, chief FBI investigator in the Clinton email server scandal and Russiagate, and his FBI girlfriend, Lisa Page, were ousted from the Mueller investigation when their anti-Trump bias and behavior were exposed last summer. And in 2016, the wife of Bruce Ohr, associate deputy attorney general under Loretta Lynch, was working for Fusion GPS, the oppo-research arm of the Clinton campaign, and he was in direct contact with Steele.

Virtually all of this went down before Robert Mueller was named special counsel. But the Russiagate investigation's poisoned roots and the investigators' hostility to Trump must cast a cloud of suspicion over whatever charges Mueller will bring. And if Mueller has given up trying to prove Trump collusion with the Kremlin and moved on to obstruction of justice, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein moves into the crosshairs. For the heart of any obstruction scenario is Trump's firing of Comey and his boasting about why he did it. Not only did Rosenstein discuss with Trump the firing of Comey, he produced the Department of Justice document to justify it. How can Rosenstein oversee Mueller's investigation into Comey's firing, which he was a witness to and a participant in?

If Americans are losing confidence in the FBI, whose fault is that? Is there not evidence that a hubristic cadre at the FBI's apex decided the republic must be saved from Trump and, should Clinton fail, they would step in? To the “deep state,” the American people's higher interests almost always coincide with their own.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of “Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

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