In fact, the very definition of a rogue agency: completely out of control, ignoring its proper mission and responsibilities when it’s not trampling them actively, with no real checks on the ability to abuse their excessive power, no boundaries, no meaningful oversight.
In Washington, the ostensible story is rarely the real story. We know, for example, that former President Clinton engineered a meeting with President Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, on the tarmac of the Phoenix Airport on June 27, 2016.
That’s the official story, replete with the charming and intentionally disarming detail that all they talked about was their grandchildren. It was just coincidental, don’t you know, that at the time the FBI was looking into Hillary Clinton’s use of a “personal” email server to send, receive and store classified information.
And it was also simply coincidental that just a few days later, the director of the FBI – who served under Attorney General Lynch – announced that he wouldn’t recommend a prosecution of Hillary Clinton.
What we haven’t known, until now, is that a frantic scramble erupted in the halls of the FBI to cover up this meeting. In fact, the FBI turned its sharp light not on the scandalous meeting between the attorney general and Bill Clinton – but rather on one of the whistleblowers who got the word out.
The organization I head, Judicial Watch, asked the FBI on July 7, 2016, for any records that might pertain to the infamous tarmac meeting. We had to sue after we were ignored by the agency.
There’s more, of course. And it’s a drop in the bucket. Roger Simon pours more in:
In a series of heavily criticized tweets (aren’t they always) Trump is asserting that the FBI’s reputation is in tatters. Of course, he’s right. This isn’t justice as it’s supposed to be, not even faintly. It’s Kafka meets Orwell in the Deep State.
Robert Mueller may not realize it, but the conclusion of his investigation, whatever it is, will never be accepted by a huge percentage of the public. As the French say, Mentir est honteux. Lying is shameful. Mike Flynn may have lied, but so, undoubtedly, has the FBI, multiple times, more than Flynn could ever dream of doing or be capable of doing. And they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust in the end.
UPDATE: Apparently my attack on the FBI was understated. Peter Strzok, it turns out, was the man who was responsible for changing “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in Comey’s final report on the Clinton email investigation, thus setting Hillary free for a crime the world knows she committed.
Steyn redirects the flow:
Martha Stewart wound up behind bars for telling a lie in a matter in which there was no underlying crime. In the case of Flynn, I heard some bigshot in Congress argue that Flynn’s lies were somehow “material” to the investigation. But, as Professor Jacobson points out, it’s hard to see how Russia can “interfere” with the election after it’s been held. Flynn’s conversations occurred in his capacity as a senior figure in the incoming administration. That’s the normal business of diplomatic relations – and it is most emphatically not the business of minor policemen within a leaky and insecure permanent bureaucracy.
So Flynn’s “lies” are not material – unless the Deep State is “investigating” the winning side in the election for engaging in the usual business of government.
Actually, it’s not for “engaging in the usual business of government” at all; it’s for having won election on a platform promising to dismantle the Deep State. All of this—all of it—is just part of the larger and ongoing soft-coup attempt by Shadow Government minions determined to protect their positions and hold onto their (excessive, routinely abused) power.
Second, I happened to speak to the FBI about a certain matter a couple of months back. Very pleasant lady. Thought it all went well. But my lawyers were dead set against it – because, if you go to see the Feds in the context of some or other investigation and you chance to be infelicitous about this or that, you’ll find that suddenly you’re the one being investigated for, as noted above, the one-way crime of lying to the authorities. Did Flynn, in fact, lie? When you’re shooting the breeze with G-men, mistakes or faulty recollection can be enough to land you in prison – if the Feds think it useful to them to threaten you with that. When Flynn pleaded guilty, was he, in fact, guilty? Or was he rather a ruined and broke man who could no longer withstand the pressure of the metaphorical electrodes with attendant billable hours?
I think we all know the answer to that. As I always say, the process is the punishment. And the Federal Government (which wins 97 per cent of cases it brings to court) can inflict a more punishing process than anyone this side of Pyongyang. This is a vile business that does no credit to a civilized society.
Indeed it doesn’t. But worse, none of it would even exist in a truly free society whose government operated within the limitations specified in its Constitution. Worse still, Steyn has more—a LOT more.
Third, as longtime readers, listeners and viewers know, I strongly dislike the uniquely American “presidential transition” period. As you know, in, say, the Westminster system, if a prime minister loses on a Thursday, his goes to the Palace to resign on the Friday, and he moves out of Downing Street on the weekend. The new cabinet ministers are in place the following Monday or Tuesday. The “transition” is part of the general institutional sclerosis of Washington, and certainly no friend to swamp-drainers: A year after Trump’s election, key positions in every cabinet department – Deputy Secretaries, Assistant Secretaries, Under-Secretaries, Deputy Assistant Secretaries, Assistant Deputy Secretaries, Deputy Assistant Under-Secretaries – are still held by Obama appointees.
Since January 20th, the party that lost the election has been, supposedly, out of power. But its appointees remain in charge – to the point where the President has to go to court to evict the in effect self-appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – a lawless and unaccountable body so beyond the much vaunted “checks and balances” of the US Constitution that it can shake down its targets (banks) and transfer the proceeds to its ideological allies (anti-capitalist activist groups). The permanent bureaucracy’s argument re the CFPB is that elections don’t matter. Primitive countries have coups against the president; subtler systems have a thousand below-the-radar coups in every rinky-dink bureau and agency.
Trump may be the elected president, but at the CFPB, the Justice Department, State, Homeland Security et al the self-selected permanent state cruises on.
It’s actually frightening, is what it is. Because what it means is that, in truth, elections really DON’T matter. Until the unmasking of the Deep State brought about by Trump’s election, such a statement would have been dismissed by almost everybody as mere paranoia and loony-tunes conspiracy-theorizing. Now, the proposition is so brazen and in-your-face as to be impossible to credibly argue against. Steyn calls that an inversion in his post, but the overarching inversion here is that only a lunatic would deny a reality that not very long ago would have—hell, did—get you dismissed as, umm, a lunatic for suggesting.
Now, there’s an irony so caustic it would scorch the non-stick right off your best T-Fal skillet, people. To sum up:
There are lots of powerful people in both political parties and around the globe who didn’t want Trump to win the election. They were afraid, and rightly so, that he meant it when he said he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accords and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Trump is the enemy of the plans they have made at places like Davos and other global gatherings where the left-liberal clique that has run the world since the 1960s gathers to plot out the future course of events.
Trump threatens their interests. It’s a matter of simple economics. As so he must be removed, one way or another. Mueller is their tool for doing so, whether the president actually broke the law or not.
We’re approaching a constitutional crisis that gets at the essence of self-government. Should “We, the people” be in charge of the U.S. government or should that role be ceded even further to the career bureaucrats, members of the Foreign Service, Capitol Hill staff, K Street lobbyists, media stars and others who make up the permanent government? The day of reckoning is coming, something the president could bring about sooner rather than later by – now that he has pleaded guilty to something – pardoning Flynn in order to destroy Mueller’s ability to put pressure on him. It would be something to see, watching the special prosecutor and his minions try to move ahead in their effort to construct a semblance of proof the Trump campaign coordinated activities with the Russian government to the detriment of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign without being able to squeeze a key player in this fantastic fantasy. It’s not a matter of Flynn not being able to talk as much as it is liberating him to talk about the pressure applied to him by the prosecutor – which, if past behavior is any indication, probably should itself constitute some kind of a crime.
The deep staters are dancing tonight because they believe they are one step closer to their objectives. Again, maybe so, but it would be wrong for the president to go down without fighting, bare knuckles, against the trends that could very well, in the long run, destroy our democratic institutions as designed by the founders and as we’ve come to know them.
They’ve already been destroyed. More precisely, they’ve been co-opted, perverted, and transformed into the very thing the Founders warned us against. There is no hope of fixing them; the more people become aware of that, the more imminently dangerous the ground we tread becomes.
Damning update! From Scott McKay:
Peter Strzok is everything, as it turns out. Strzok looks like the man at the center of what can best be described as the complete collapse of the FBI and Justice Department’s trustworthiness and credibility, a collapse which is triggering a crisis in the public confidence in the federal government as an institution we consent to have power over us.
To summarize, the Mueller probe is rotten to the core. It’s been nearly a full year in existence and is no closer to finding evidence that Trump colluded with the Russians than he was when he started, and to date all he’s managed is a pair of guilty pleas based purely out of conduct during the investigation, with Flynn’s the most significant.
This isn’t a banana republic, at least not yet. But it’ll become one on Trump’s watch if the president doesn’t act to put a stop to the runaway corruption in the Justice Department.
Here’s how to do that. First, Trump should pardon Flynn for the lie he admitted to the FBI, immediately. Only that, though — Flynn shouldn’t get a free pass for other things he’s done, like for example his Turkish escapades which might well bear further investigation.
Next, Trump should see to it that Strzok and Weissmann, and a number of others on Mueller’s team who are clearly compromised — they’d be disqualified as jurors on any case involving the president as having conflicts, much less as investigators — are fired. Not tomorrow. Today. This minute.
And Trump should tell Mueller he has until Christmas to bring an indictment against someone for collusion with the Russians, or else he’s fired and his probe gets disbanded. This investigation can’t be open-ended, and it also can’t be allowed to be a perpetual motion impeachment machine — not because it’s bad for Trump, but because it is poisonous to American democracy that this witch hunt might go on while the same people involved in it were actively at work exonerating Clinton.
Trump should also fire assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and assistant FBI director Andrew McCabe, both of whom are hopelessly compromised as well, and conduct a top-down review of FBI and DOJ personnel to rid those agencies of the partisan political corruption that clearly pervades them.
There can now be no mistake about the legitimacy of the Deep State coup against Trump his supporters have claimed. It’s real. The question now is what the president is going to do about it. The Democrats will use the 2018 midterm elections as a public referendum on whether they’re to be given the political power to impeach the president, and Mueller’s probe is nothing more than an effort to legitimize that naked grasp at the brass ring. Trump may have been practicing a bit of a rope-a-dope to smoke out just how empty this “collusion” narrative has been, but we’re past that now. Now it’s time to end the circus and turn out the clowns.
Enough already. Get rid of these people.
Amen—to include every last Obama stay-behind agent in the government he can reach. I’m highly skeptical that a massive round of firings at the FBI could ever be enough to undo the rot there, but it would at least be a start at something productive, and would indicate the seriousness of Trump’s commitment to draining the swamp…or the lack thereof.