As Paul noted earlier, Peter Strzok testified today–sort of–before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. The hearing crashed on takeoff and never recovered.
After giving an opening statement lauding his own patriotism, Strzok refused to answer questions on the ground that an FBI lawyer had told him not to. What followed was a farce–a farce deliberately created and sustained by the Democratic members of the committee. They interrupted constantly with silly points of order, heckled the committee chairman, and generally tried to disrupt the proceedings. To understand how bad it was, just go here and scan the transcript. My favorite moment was when Sheila Jackson Lee claimed that Strzok was entitled to claim attorney-client privilege (which, of course, he didn’t do).
JACKSON LEE: Mr. Chairman — Mr. Chairman, is it not appropriate to also interject the attorney-client privilege, which cannot be overridden, and is a rule of the House to the extent…
JACKSON LEE: …that the witness’ have the right…
GOODLATTE: …gentlewoman will suspend.
JACKSON LEE: …to an attorney client privilege in this House.
GOODLATTE: Mr. Strzok.
JACKSON LEE: And that is what this witness is asserting. Attorney client…
GOODLATTE: Mr. Strzok.
JACKSON LEE: … privilege, and he has been advised not to answer the questions.
GOODLATTE: The gentlewoman will suspend.
The gentleman has not raised the attorney-client privilege. He has said that he’s been instructed by the FBI not to answer the question. Now…
JACKSON LEE: By lawyers.
Obviously, the claim that a lawyer told the witness to clam up does not give rise to an attorney-client privilege entitling the witness to clam up. If it did, life would be a lot simpler for lawyers whose clients have something to hide. But Jackson Lee is so dim that she may not understand this.
When the Democrats got their turns, they continued to make a mockery of the hearing. They talked about “separated children,” student debt and Puerto Rico–yes, seriously–among other things. When they weren’t talking about Puerto Rico et al., they praised Strzok–who has been referred for disciplinary proceedings by the DOJ Inspector General and recently was escorted out of the FBI building–lavishly. I think they succeeded in their effort to turn the hearing into a pointless, chaotic mess, and nothing, as far as I have seen, was learned.
An intelligent Democrat would be embarrassed by his party’s antics today. Are there any such left?