Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump
Former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Strzok (pronounced like struck) headed the FBI's Counterespionage Section, directed the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server, and headed the FBI's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. He also served with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Mueller took Strzok off the Mueller Investigation following the discovery of a handful of Strzok's emails critical of Trump. In Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump Strzok gives us the inside view on the major investigations he worked on. He kicks the book off with an investigation of a pair of Russian moles who had been in the US and Canada for years. He then gives us a briefing on Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning, the damage they did to US intelligence and how the FBI handled their cases. His discussion of Clinton, Benghazi and Hillary's emails is enlightening. He makes the point that the bitchiness of the Attorney's for Clinton's staff (individual staff each had their own attorney) dragged the investigation out and put the results right into the middle of the campaign. Less picky attorneys representing Clinton staff would have expedited the investigation resulting in the earlier release of the report and allowing the findings to blow over by the election. There is a chapter on the investigation Anthony Weiner and his lap top - which fell between the cracks after its initial discovery resulting in it becoming an issue right before the election. Strzok spends a few chapters on the Russian investigation prior to the appointment of the special Counsel. Only about 40 pages of the book cover the Mueller investigation itself. Strzok has a lot of respect for the FBI and the people in it. He also reveals the tensions between the FBI and the Department of Justice. The book delves deeper into how the investigation was done than it does into what the investigation found but it does provide a case study of how an unhinged President can screw up individual agencies and their ability to do their job. He argues that Trump's bullying has wrecked the system. Strzok gives us insights on how social media has changed the landscape of counterintelligence. He points out that social media makes it more difficult for people to realize that they have been duped. While there is a lot in the book about the threat of Donald Trump, more of it focuses on counterintelligence. Strzok is an engaging writer and he tells a fascinating story so the book is an interesting read even it it does not put the final nail in Trump's coffin.