Peter Strzok, bias, and the appearance of impropriety

Peter Strzok, bias, and the appearance of impropriety

Wow! Magazine by Bookworm Room

Whether or not Strzok is lying about his ability to be impartial (and I think he is), shouldn’t the appearance of impropriety be enough to end his farce?

I’ve watched bits and pieces of Peter Strzok’s appearance before the House. I’m disposed to dislike him, so I ran what he had to say through that filter. I didn’t like his self-servingly spotty memory and I didn’t like his wrapping himself in the flag when called to testify about facts that were easily within his purview. I also didn’t like how smug he was. I’m inclined to agree with those who say that this kind of smugness, rather than denoting a clear conscience, has a sociopathic edge.

Rather than comment on the whole hearing, though, I want to comment on a single issue, which is Strzok’s contention that, his texts notwithstanding, he was as impartial an investigator as one could find in the FBI. Let’s pretend that this is not a risible claim. Let’s pretend that one really can grossly insult Trump and Trump voters, and promise a lover that “we’ll stop” Trump, and still be sea-green incorruptible.

Even if Strzok is that amazing human being who is capable of rising above his prejudices, should that be the standard? I’d like to walk you through my history as a lawyer to explain the idea I’m trying to develop here.

When I graduated from law school in the mid-1980s, one of the hottest areas in litigation was “lender liability.” People who had defaulted on loans turned around and sued banks for being stupid enough to lend to them. The first case on which I worked out of law school involved apple growers north of San Francisco who claimed that Bank of America practically forced them to borrow money to expand their apple growing and processing operations and that the Bank should therefore have been accountable for their business failures. That is, not only should it have sucked up the unpaid debt, it should also have paid the apple growers millions in damages[…]

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Bookworm is a fellow council member and author at Wow! Magazine. Feel free to check out the exceptional archive of essays written by Bookworm at Wow! and at her website, Bookworm Room.

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