The shocking Justice Department inspector general report confirms our worst suspicions about the president’s controversial action last year.
In firing former FBI Director James Comey, President Trump was indeed guilty of obstruction—obstruction of injustice. It wasn’t particularly effective if his goal was to stop the Trump-Russia collusion narrative, but it had the effect ultimately of exposing the sinister political origins of that narrative.
Horowitz Pulls a Comey
However cleverly Comey attempts to sell his “higher loyalty” as something other than dedication to his own towering ego, he has it on his conscience, or failing that at least against his reputation, that his leadership profoundly undermined the credibility of the FBI.
No matter who won the 2016 election, Comey deserved to be fired precisely because of his law-unto-himself attitude and consistent pattern of putting his own career calculations over truth and justice in both his prosecutorial indiscretions and his managerial insubordinations. Although these political instincts likely would have served him well under a President Clinton, thank God his political calculations were off.
IG Horowitz appears unwilling to deliver the blunt-force trauma that the public needs on this front, perhaps because he and Comey (like so many in that elite and insular community) are friends who go way back. But the voluminous evidence he lays out to illustrate Comey’s insubordination and his staff’s hyper-partisanship speaks for itself. It makes the watered-down conclusion that clear and consistently expressed political bias among Comey’s team and his own selfish scheming did not actually affect the investigations they ran feel more like gaslighting than an objective assessment of the situation.
Incredibly, in his critique of his friend Comey, Horowitz himself pulled a Comey. In effect, he says: “Nevermind all this overwhelming evidence of political bias I just laid out, no reasonable IG would find that the curious and shocking behavior detailed here was motivated by political bias.” Or perhaps that was intended irony, in which case he deserves a Bob Newhart award for the most awkward deadpan joke ever.
The soft-pedaling and white-washing of this damning report of political malfeasance in the FBI isn’t working. If anything, it’s confirming the political corruption of an institution that to be respected must remain at all times verifiably above petty partisan politics.
The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is . . . the FBI?
Sadly, Americans now have solid, documentary reason to fear the FBI has become a kind of FSB or KGB, working in the service of the party of government (i.e., the Democrats).
If you worked on Trump’s campaign even peripherally and without pay, shop at Walmart, or are among the 63 million smelly voters who voted for Donald Trump then you better make sure you never come to the attention of this bunch or that you learn every federal law on the books and never, ever make a mistake or cross an ethical line.
If you do, or can somehow be accused of having done so by anyone in the “correct class,” then you can expect trouble. Perhaps you will awaken to a door breaking down at the crack of dawn with armed agents, or to the news that agents have looted the offices of your attorney to find something, anything against you, or throw you in jail without bail on unrelated charges until you agree to cooperate with them.
On the other hand, if you’re a Hillary supporter or a Democrat running for high office, fret not. Even if you violate the Espionage Act, all your friends and associates will get blanket immunity in exchange for… silence; your attorneys will be invited to attend every meeting about your case they can possibly permit; and they’ll even help you destroy some of the evidence, making it look like a bureaucratic snafu or something totally innocent. You won’t even be named formally as a subject of the investigation.
If a new mountain of evidence against you surfaces, they’ll sit on it as long as they can, and even if they’re forced to announce it, they’ll promptly declare that it doesn’t change their view of your innocence. If you’re running for office as a Democrat it may harm your election chances in a close race, but at least you’ll stay out of prison and be able to go on book tours blaming them for your loss.
More Obstruction, Please!
So we can also say, based on this curiously self-contradictory report, that the President has a lot more obstructing of injustice to do before America can once again fully trust the DOJ and FBI to conduct even one non-partisan investigation of a political figure.
As the case studies of Clinton and Trump prove, the fate of any given political figure is entirely dependent on the personal moods, feelings, and political orientation of the lead investigators. And that can’t stand.
Given what we know even now, calling the Trump-Russia Collusion narrative a mere “hoax” trivializes the grave nature of the injustice occurring right before our eyes.
Mueller’s corrupt, hyper-partisan and arguably unconstitutional investigation is a clear and present danger to our constitutional republic. It owes its very origins to an implausible espionage narrative that was completely fabricated by high-level Obama administration politicos across several agencies and whose sole purpose was and is to use endless innuendo and leaks under the secret veil of an endless investigation into an unproven non-crime in order to affect the political assassination of Donald J. Trump and to disenfranchise the 63 million Americans who voted for him.
Time For Swift Action
A world where Hillary Clinton is allowed not merely to walk free but to run for president after losing state secrets, destroying evidence in a clear-cut case of espionage act violations, all while being credibly suspected of engaging in various pay-to-play schemes through a sham charity while Secretary of State, is a scary one indeed.
It is made even more frightening when you realize that Trump faces possible impeachment for justly firing an insubordinate FBI director over his unwillingness to say publicly what he told the president privately about crazy, unproven accusations of his supposed collusion with a foreign power (again, notwithstanding we have a paper trail of Hillary and the DNC and even Obama’s PAC paying foreign spies to generate those unproven accusations and the FBI’s enthusiasm in using them as evidence for a FISA warrant).
The sum total of this situation so far is that the rule of law seems barely on life support.
Justice isn’t supposed to be this hard. If Sessions, Rosenstein, and Wray can’t step up with something more than “unconscious bias” training and a few sternly worded reprimands, it’s time for a thorough BleachBit of the upper floors of both the DOJ and the FBI. Starting with them.
Photo credit: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images