Appearing on Fox News Wednesday night with Shannon Bream, Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro was asked what he thought of a newly-released text from 2016 in which FBI agent Peter Strzok wrote that former president Barack Obama “wants to know everything we’re doing.” Shapiro pointed out that drawing conclusions from the text might be premature until the context of the texts became clear, but that it was hard to believe Obama's 2016 claim that there was no political influence on any FBI or DOJ investigation. Shapiro also made it clear that President Trump should not allow himself to be questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, suggesting that Trump's lawyers "take him down to the basement of the White House and physically chain him up to prevent them from talking to Mueller, as long as they don’t violate his consent in any way."
Bream started by asking, “What’s your reaction to the new texts?”
It all depends on what the context is. So it seemed like the original context people thought it had to do with the Clinton investigation, now it seems like the opposite, it has to do with general Russian interference in the election, but until we have the context, it’s hard to know whether this is something important or not. What we do know is that Strzok and Page were motivated against the president; they didn’t like the president. How that manifested in their behavior is something unclear. It’s pretty clear, by the way, that the FBI and the DOJ were working hand in glove with top members of the Obama administration with regard to the Hillary Clinton investigation a lot earlier than this. When it came to Loretta Lynch, for example, working with James Comey, it’s hard to believe that the president of the United States would go on national television and say he didn’t know anything about Hillary’s private server at the same time that he was emailing her at her private email address. And obviously that was a serious problem, I think, for him and for the FBI and for the DOJ, but as far as these specific texts, they may turn out be nothing, we just don’t know yet.
Bream then played a video of former president Barack Obama telling Chris Wallace in April 2016 that he did not talk to the attorney general or FBI directors about pending investigations. Obama insisted there was no political influence in any investigation conducted by the FBI or the DOJ. Bream turned back to Shapiro, asking, “So Ben, do you take him at his word there?”
Shapiro responded, “No. I didn’t take him at his word when he said it, and I didn’t take him at his word before these texts came out because there were other texts from Page and Strzok talking specifically about going easy on Hillary Clinton because she might be elected President of the United States. This latest round of texts, again, seems to me almost irrelevant; I think it’s the earlier texts that make more of difference with regard to the Hillary investigation.”
Bream referenced new information being revealed vis-à-vis the FISA investigation, mentioning the memo sent from Sens. Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham and asking Shapiro what he made of the new information.
They do add some depth of accusation and allegation to the actual Nunes memo but what they essentially allege is that there were Hillary Clinton advocates, friends who were in Libya who were funneling information to the State Department, after Hillary left obviously, but there were still people she’d worked with. And the State Department was then funneling that information to Christopher Steele who was then packaging that information and handing it over to the FBI. If that’s the case, it looks like the State Department was being used as a go-between for bad information being pushed forward by Hillary Clinton allies, including perhaps Sidney Blumenthal, if Trey Gowdy’s implication means anything. If that’s the case, then one of two things could be true: Either there could be some sort of corruption inside the FBI, the FBI knew this was bad info, they didn’t check it, and they were so out to get the Trump campaign they decided to open a FISA warrant on Carter Page out of suspicion and basically just gin something up. The other possibility is that they were actually suspicious of Trump; they were actually suspicious of Carter Page and they decided to cut a few corners and use information they didn’t know was completely good in getting the Carter Page application. If that’s the case, if that’s what happened, the latter thing, then we actually have a broader problem with FISA applications and FISA courts, not just with regard to this specific application.
Bream then asked Shapiro about his opinion that it would be a bad idea for President Trump to be questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. She quoted Shapiro writing, “No lawyer, including Joe Pesci in 'My Cousin Vinnie' with the full-on clown velvet suit, would allow President Trump to get into a room with Robert Mueller. It would be the height of stupidity to do this.” Bream said Trump seemed determined to meet with Mueller.
If the lawyers have to take him down to the basement of the White House and physically chain him up to prevent them from talking to Mueller, I would recommend that be on the table so long as they don’t violate his consent in any way, because that would be illegal, but it would be such a mistake. As a lawyer, it would be such a mistake to put somebody like President Trump, who likes to bloviate, who likes to exaggerate, who likes to say that everything is the biggest, the strongest, the best, the yugest, the most incredible, put that in front of a trained investigator, like Robert Mueller, who’s going to sit there, trying to pick apart statements? Bill Clinton was a very good lawyer and very smart guy when it came to manipulating the language and he got caught in a perjury trap by a special investigator. It’s not hard to see how President Trump gets caught in some sort of perjury trap or obstruction trap by the FBI.