John Kass: Obama's silky lie and FBI bias in the Clinton investigation

Of all the silky lies being told in Washington over the findings of the FBI's inspector general on the biased culture of those investigating Hillary Clinton's email server, one lie seems to be ignored:

It's the silky lie told by then-President Barack Obama.

It may have set the tone for the smarmy intrigue detailed in the FBI inspector general's damning 500-page report on the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email scandal.

And Washington is revealed once again as our modern Versailles, a place of courtiers and lickspittles who'd use the Ministry of Justice to serve their ambitions.

Mr. Obama told his silky lie when his chosen successor was Hillary Clinton.

Ms. Clinton had endangered top-secret information by using an unsecured, home-brew email server when she was U.S. secretary of state. Any other American who dared risk top government secrets on a basement server would have faced federal prosecution and prison.

Mr. Obama's lie was told in 2015, when Mr. Obama was asked by Bill Plante of CBS when he learned Ms. Clinton had used an unsecured email server.

"The same time everybody else learned it, through news reports," Mr. Obama said. He was so silky that you couldn't even hear his tongue rustling along his teeth.

He waxed on about how his administration was all about "transparency."

But Mr. Obama did not learn about Ms. Clinton's home-brew server like "everybody else."

According to the inspector general's report, Mr. Obama was in fact one of 13 top government officials communicating with Ms. Clinton on her private email server, even as Ms. Clinton's server was targeted by foreign intelligence services.

According to the IG report, before former (and fired) FBI Director James Comey took it upon himself to publicly criticize Clinton (and exonerate her from a criminal charge), a draft of his public address was heavily edited.

It was edited for Hillary Clinton's benefit, to buttress the case that what she did wasn't prosecutable.

But Mr. Comey's comments were also edited to protect someone else. The IG report discusses a key paragraph in Mr. Comey's statement summarizing the FBI's thinking that "hostile actors" had accessed Clinton's server.

The paragraph, the report said, "referenced Clinton's use of her private email for an exchange with then President Obama while in the territory of a foreign adversary. This reference was later changed to 'another senior government official,' and ultimately was omitted."

Mr. Obama cut his political teeth in Chicago. And Chicago Democrats are asking taxpayers to help build a great Temple of Love and Fealty to honor that "senior government official."

And they'll honor him by name.

Just chew on this apiece: How could Hillary Clinton ever be prosecuted without implicating Mr. Obama, who emailed her using a pseudonym?

Mr. Obama might have been portrayed as a victim of her use of a private server. She used that server to hide her dealings with the controversial Clinton Foundation from congressional inquiry. She should have been prosecuted.

But then, two things would have happened.

Her campaign would have fallen apart immediately, and along with it, Mr. Obama's legacy.

The Obama White House, the senior pro-Obama bosses of the FBI and just about all the political suits thought Ms. Clinton would be our next president.

And who wants to anger the next ruler? Careers were at stake, promotions, perks, power, just as it was back in the day, in old Versailles.

You should read the report for yourself. Ignore the spin that there was no bias found at Obama's DOJ and FBI.

It crawls with bias. Deals were cut. Then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch met on the tarmac with Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton was shielded from a federal grand jury. Witnesses were allowed to sit with her during questioning. Mr. Comey had already decided to clear her before the investigation was complete.

Pro-Clinton FBI investigator Peter Strzok was warned by his lover, pro-Clinton FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that since Ms. Clinton would surely win, it wouldn't be wise to anger the new boss.

When Ms. Page panicked, worrying that Mr. Trump might actually win the White House in 2016, Mr. Strzok told her not to worry.

"No. No, he won't," Mr. Strzok texted her on an FBI phone. "We'll stop it."

By then, he was helping lead a new FBI investigation, the one investigating Mr. Trump for possible collusion with Russian dictator Vladimir Putin.

Special counsel Robert Mueller, to his credit, dumped Mr. Strzok from the probe when Mr. Strzok's anti-Trump passions became clear. But the Mueller probe has been damaged by the IG report.

The Mueller investigation should continue. So should the congressional inquiry into the DOJ and FBI. Americans need sunshine on all of this.

But one thing should be understood here: The Clinton investigation went wrong when it was taken away from capable field agents and handed to the political suits and intriguers. Bias is their coin. Mr. Comey was their boss. His reputation has been hurt by the report.

And MR. Trump, vulgar and boastful, was overjoyed to see Mr. Comey, a likely witness against him, take such a big public hit.

MR. Trump is no angel. He's famous for lies. Mr. Mueller may indeed be closing in with the Friday jailing of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who's accused of witness tampering.

But Mr. Trump's lies are obvious and blustery, like those told by a bad carny hustler.

Trump is no Mr. Obama.

Mr. Obama was the silky one.

And the silky ones prosper, in Washington, and as they did for a time, at Versailles.

John Kass is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune. His Twitter handle is @john_kass.

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