The FBI’s Peter Strzok publicly testified before the House Oversight Committee on Thursday, after Donald Trump had spent months falsely accusing Strzok of various nonsense. It was Trump’s Republican allies in the House who arranged Strzok’s testimony, hoping to scandalize him and distract from Trump’s own crimes and scandals. However, it didn’t exactly go according to plan. Here’s a look at the biggest winners and losers from the Strzok hearings.
Peter Strzok: Winner. Not only did he offer a confident and compelling defense of his own actions, he used the hearings to put the focus on Trump’s scandals. He also managed to keep his composure as Louie Gohmert viciously tried to tear his family apart. Strzok started the day as a supppsed bogeyman in the shadows, and he ended it in a very different position.
Bonnie Watson Coleman: Winner. The Democratic Congresswoman got her first big opportunity to make a national name for herself, and she scored big. She told off both Goemert and Trey Gowdy in memorable fashion after they began behaving inappropriately. Now she’s suddenly on the rise as a new voice of the Resistance.
Trey Gowdy: Loser. From the start of the day, he looked like he didn’t want to be there. This was before Strzok and Watson Coleman each wiped the floor with him. Gowdy has become a weak parody of his former cravenly aggressive self. At this point he’s a punching bag – and he appears to know it.
Donald Trump: Loser. He spent months trying to paint Peter Strzok as the face of a supposed FBI conspiracy against him. In the span of a few hours, Strzok blew up Trump’s entire narrative, putting the focus firmly back on Trump’s treason. This was such a major loss for Trump, he’s now left going back to the drawing board to try to come up with a new and even more desperate distraction scheme.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report