Can the FBI Be Salvaged?

The Washington, D.C.-based Federal Bureau of Investigation has lost all credibility as a disinterested investigatory agency. Now we learn from a whistleblower that the agency was allegedly investigating moms and dads worried about the teaching of critical race theory in their kids’ schools.

In truth, since 2015, the FBI has been constantly in the news—and mostly in a negative and constitutionally disturbing light.

The fired former Director James Comey injected himself into the 2016 political race by constantly editorializing on his ongoing investigation of candidate Hillary Clinton’s email leaks. In a bizarre twist, the public learned later that Comey had allowed Hillary Clinton’s own private computer contractor, CrowdStrike, to run the investigation of the hack. The private firm was allowed to keep possession of pertinent hard drives central to the investigation. How odd that CrowdStrike’s point man was Shawn Henry, a former high-ranking FBI employee.

During the Robert Mueller special investigation, the FBI implausibly claimed it had no idea how requested information on FBI cell phones had mysteriously disappeared.

It was also under Comey’s directorship that the FBI submitted inaccurate requests for warrants to a FISA court. Elements of one affidavit to surveil Trump supporter Carter Page were forged by FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who later pleaded guilty to a felony.

The FBI hired the disreputable ex-British spy Christopher Steele as a contractor, while he was peddling his fantasy—the Clinton-bought dossier—to Obama government officials and the media.

Former FBI general counsel James Baker was reportedly the subject of a federal investigation. He allegedly conducted prominent meetings both with media outlets that later leaked lurid tales from the Steele dossier. He also met repeatedly with the now-indicted Perkins Coie attorney Michael Sussman.

Comey himself, through third-party intermediaries, leaked to the media his own confidential memos detailing private meetings with President Trump. His assurances both to Congress and to Trump that the president was not the current subject of FBI investigations were either misleading or outright lies.

In sworn testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, Comey on some 245 occasions claimed he could not remember or had no knowledge of key elements of his own “Russian collusion” investigation.

Comey’s replacement, acting FBI director Andrew McCabe, was fired for leaking sensitive information to the media. He then lied on at least three occasions about his role to federal attorneys and his own FBI investigators.

McCabe is now a paid CNN consultant who often has offered misleading information on the Russian collusion hoax that he helped promulgate.

Former FBI director and special counsel Robert Mueller conducted a 22-month, $40 million wild goose chase after some mythical “Russian Collusion” plot. When called before Congress, Mueller claimed he had little or no knowledge about Fusion GPS or the Steele Dossier, the twin sources that birthed the entire collusion hoax.

FBI lawyer Lisa Page was removed from Mueller’s investigation, along with her paramour FBI investigator Peter Strzok. Both misused FBI communications, revealing their pro-Clinton biases during their investigations of “Russian collusion,” while hiding their own unprofessional relationship.

Mueller himself staggered their firings and delayed explanations about why they were let go from his investigation team.

When the FBI arrested pro-Trump activist Roger Stone, it did so with a SWAT team—to the tipped-off and lurking CNN reporters.

The FBI repeated such politicized performance art recently when they stormed the home of Project Veritas director James O’Keefe. The agency confiscated his electronic devices on the grounds that he had knowledge of the contents of the allegedly lurid missing diary of Joe Biden’s daughter. The FBI—an apparent retrieval service of misplaced Biden family embarrassments—also did not disclose that it had possession of Hunter Biden’s laptop at a time when the media was erroneously declaring the computer inauthentic.

O’Keefe was accosted in the pre-morning hours by a crowd of FBI agents, wielding a battering ram, who pushed him out of his home in his underwear.

The time and location of the FBI raid, as in the Stone case, were leaked to the media that cheered the raid shortly after it was conducted. A federal judge recently stopped the FBI’s ongoing monitoring of O’Keefe’s communications.

Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins recently detailed other FBI lapses such as downplaying evidence that former Olympic gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar was a known and chronic molester of teenage gymnasts. The agency also extended its witch hunt against the innocent researcher wrongly accused of involvement in the anthrax attacks of 2001.

One could add to such misadventures the mysterious leadership roles of at least 12 FBI informants in the harebrained kidnapping scheme of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. We can also cite the agency’s inability to follow up on clear information about the dangers posed by criminals as diverse as the Tsarnaev brothers, the Boston Marathon bombers, and the sexual predator Jeffrey Epstein.

For its own moral and practical survival, the FBI should be given one last chance at redemption by moving to the nation’s heartland—perhaps Kansas—far away from the political and media tentacles that have so deeply squeezed and corrupted it.

 

About Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush. Hanson is also a farmer (growing raisin grapes on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the newly released The Dying Citizen.

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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