Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump

Peter Strzok. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30 (384p) ISBN 978-0-358-23706-8
In this carefully worded and intermittently intriguing account, former FBI agent Strzok offers an inside look at investigations into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state, and links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Readers hoping for details about Strzok’s extramarital relationship with his colleague Lisa Page, which came to light during an inquiry into allegations that text messages the two exchanged revealed “improper political bias,” will be disappointed. Strzok declines to delve into the “terrible personal decisions” that contributed to his dismissal from the FBI and fueled speculation that he was part of an anti-Trump conspiracy. Instead, he details his role in Operation Ghost Stories, the FBI case that inspired the TV show The Americans; blames Clinton for “unforced error[s]” that dragged out the scandal over her emails; and suggests that national security adviser Michael Flynn “baldly lied” to the FBI about his contacts with Russian officials because he was either “deep in denial” or “too naive to know how much trouble he was in.” Throughout, Strzok credibly defends the professionalism of America’s intelligence agencies and provides an intimate and impassioned perspective on how “Trump’s bullying [has] broken the system.” Still, this circumspect account is unlikely to lay any of the accusations against Strzok and his former colleagues to rest. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 09/09/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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