Liz Cheney Accuses FBI of ‘Treason,’ Attempted ‘Coup’ Against President Trump
It would be neat if news anchors would not allow Republicans to mischaracterize events that took place during the Russia investigation in order to support the conspiracy theory that FBI agents attempted a “coup” against Donald Trump before he was even president.
Alas, one goes to war with the news anchors one has.
So there was Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) on This Week Sunday morning taking the infamous “insurance policy” tweets exchanged by FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page in August of 2016 and twisting them into something nefarious that “could well be treason.” Meanwhile, Martha Raddatz, who was filling in for George Stephanopoulos, just nodded along and did not challenge Cheney.
Raddatz had originally asked Cheney for her take on this week’s back and forth between President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an exchange that Pete Buttigieg had earlier called “a horror show” in an interview with Raddatz. Cheney filibustered for a bit, putting all the blame on Pelosi being unable to control the Democratic caucus in the House.
Raddatz finally broke in to ask if it was right for Trump to attack back with tactics such as tweeting out videos of Pelosi that had been edited to make her sound either drunk or mentally incompetent. That was when Cheney brought in Page and Strzok, presumably because this was a talking point she was determined to get on the air no matter what.
“What is crucially important to remember here is that you had Strzok and Page who were in charge of launching this investigation and they were saying things like we must stop this president. We need an insurance policy against this president,” Cheney began.
This would have been a good moment for Raddatz to note that Strzok and Page thoroughly explained the “insurance policy” texts to Congress. As Philip Bump recently noted for The Washington Post, the two FBI employees exchanged the texts only a couple of weeks into the counterintelligence investigation into whether the Trump campaign was conspiring with Russia. What Strzok and Page were discussing was how aggressively the Bureau should move on the investigation. Should they hurry, in case Trump got elected in November? Or, since everyone at the time thought Hillary Clinton would win, could they move a little more deliberately so as not to compromise any sources or methods, which might have happened if they were rushing?
Alas, Raddatz did not correct Cheney, who went on to say “when you have people that are in the highest echelons of the law enforcement of this nation saying things like that, that sounds an awful lot like a coup and it could well be treason and I think that we need to know more.”
It is beyond irresponsible to accuse people of treason for investigating Donald Trump three months before he was even elected, and to not note that Strzok and Page have thoroughly explained themselves already. If Liz Cheney was unsatisfied with that explanation, she should have been forced to say just why she found it unsatisfactory.
Watch the clip up top, via ABC.