On Thursday’s episode of “The Andrew Klavan Show,” Klavan talked to Kimberley Strassel, a columnist at The Wall Street Journal, about her new book, “Resistance (At All Costs): How Trump Haters Are Breaking America.” Video and partial transcript below:
KLAVAN: Before we talk about what’s happening now in this impeachment thing, and the media, and what they’re doing, before we talk about that, I just want to put it in context with what Obama did during 2016. People get confused about it, it’s such a deep story with so many different names and moving parts. Can you give us a simple explanation about what happened during the 2016 election [and] what the Obama administration and their intelligence services were doing?
STRASSEL: Well, right, and it’s actually quite simple – I put this in the book. My working theory is that Jim Comey came down with the first undiagnosed case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. And because he was a person with immense authority and powers, unlike most Americans, he was able to do something about that. And the way he did it was [that] he took the unprecedented step of opening a counterintelligence investigation into a sitting presidential campaign.
When they couldn’t find anything, they moved on. They never expected Trump to be president. When he was elected, they then moved to try to make this sound better by exploding this narrative out on the public, and then maneuvering to get a Special Counsel in part to justify their actions. [The] country was put through two years of this pain and agony, only to find out that none of it was true because, by the way, it was largely based on opposition research from the rival Clinton campaign.
Along the way, we had American citizens who were surveilled. I heard you say earlier about the double standard with Trump asking about Biden and corruption. That kind of almost made me laugh, because this is so small by comparison to what the Democrats did. In fact, the only way it would be equal is if Trump had ordered his FBI to open an investigation into Biden, and was currently wiretapping Biden’s campaign, which, by the way, I would like to state for the record: I hope [that] is not happening and I don’t think it’s happening. But you know, that’s the magnitude of the goal here.
KLAVAN: That is what gets me. Now, how much of this do you think will be in the IG report, and how much of it do you think will be in the Durham report? I mean, obviously, the Durham report is a long way off. They keep promising the IG report any minute. How much of this information do you think will be in there?
STRASSEL: Well, I keep tempering expectations in one regard on the IG report because do remember, he’s an IG. He doesn’t have the power to impanel a grand jury; he doesn’t have the power to subpoena people. He can only speak to people, in fact, who are existing Department of Justice employees or people who willingly agree to come to him. He was also told to look very specifically at the question of potential abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Now, I have every reason to believe that Horowitz is a straight up guy. The first two reports he put out on Comey and McCabe were pretty brutal. So I don’t think he’s going to pull his punches, and I think this is going to be a pretty good explanation of an important part of this abuse power. But I think we’re going to have to wait for Durham to get information about the origins of the investigation, the degree to which perhaps the CIA was involved or other foreign intelligence agencies, and I think the good news there is that we’ve now got reports that both Barr and Durham have been making contacts with the countries that seem to matter in this story.