Don’t even get me started on what the FBI did to President Trump at Mar-a-Lago. OK, too late. My column at RCP this week explains why no one should trust the FBI ever again, and ponders why Democrats are so damn gullible. The title? “The FBI is now the Federal Bureau of Intimidation.”
By Frank Miele
Nothing symbolizes the decline of the American republic better than the weaponization of justice that we saw last week when the FBI raided the home of former President Trump.
And nothing better represents the divide that now exists between Democrats and Republicans than the fact that some people still have faith in the FBI.
Aren’t they paying attention? Heck, that’s like a citizen of the old Soviet Union saying they had faith in the KGB – yeah, to crush dissent and lock up opponents of the regime in a Siberian gulag.
The evidence is overwhelming. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is now the Federal Bureau of Intimidation. Or more appropriately, the Federal Intimidation Bureau, whose acronym would spell out FIB, as in the Big Lie. Face it, nothing the FBI has said for the last six years since they joined with the Democratic Party to invent the Russia collusion hoax can be taken seriously.
Is there any need to go through the whole laundry list of lies and fabrications that the FBI, with the aid and comfort of the Justice Department, has foisted on the American public?
You can start with the extraordinary 2016 press conference when FBI Director James Comey detailed crimes committed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton related to her improper use of a private email account to store classified material. Moments after saying she had broken the law, Comey announced with a straight face that “no reasonable prosecutor” would ever bring a case against her. Yeah, because she was a Democrat!
A couple months later, Comey set up President Trump’s National Security adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn, by sending agents to interview him about his supposed contacts with Russians.
“What’s our goal? Truth/Admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?” wrote Bill Priestap in a memo before the interview. Priestap was counterintelligence director at the FBI, and it became evident later that the agency’s goal was indeed to get him fired – and more importantly to get Trump impeached, fired, humiliated, you name it.
Comey himself admitted that the FBI targeted Flynn and chose not to approach him through the White House legal counsel, but informally with a direct phone call to arrange an interview. As Comey later told a reporter, it was “something I probably wouldn’t have done or maybe gotten away with in a more … organized administration.”
What about the FBI’s abuse of Carter Page and George Papadopoulos? The agency made up evidence in support of subpoenas, FISA warrants, whatever it took to get the desired result. What about the FBI and Department of Justice targeting parents at school boards as “domestic terrorists” because they demanded that their elected representatives actually represent them? What about the unilateral rescission of executive privilege and attorney-client privilege wherever it would have protected President Trump and his advisers?
The purpose of all of this activity, along with the raid at Mar-a-Lago, was to intimidate not just Trump, but also his supporters. Anyone other than Donald Trump would have given up long ago. Who could possibly withstand the power of the state marshaled against you for six long years – through multiple FBI investigations, through two impeachments, through relentless persecution of your children and your friends and family?
Finally, what about the double standard that allows Democrats and their government allies to go unpunished for a multitude of sins? Notwithstanding Attorney General Merrick Garland’s feigned indignation on behalf of the bureau, what about the FBI agents who lied repeatedly during the Trump-Russia investigation, sometimes under oath. Even more stunning has been the FBI’s monumental failure to investigate presidential son Hunter Biden, even though it received his laptop with extensive incriminating evidence of criminal activity in 2019.
Even when the laptop was made public during the 2020 presidential election, the FBI stood silent and thus gave tacit approval to the cynical Democratic Party talking point that the laptop was somehow a GOP dirty trick. It would be interesting to know if the FBI had anything to do with the letter signed by 51 national security experts, falsely claiming that the laptop was “Russian disinformation”! Maybe, like Comey before him, FBI Director Chris Wray thought he could “get away with it.”
That is certainly the only explanation for the raid on the president’s personal residence. It was not appropriate. It was not reasonable. It had no precedent. The FBI claims that the pre-dawn raid by more than 30 armed agents was for the purpose of collecting presidential papers that the National Archive wanted. The Washington Post says that Trump reportedly had documents with nuclear secrets on them, and the legacy media went ballistic with the story. But wait a minute, isn’t that the same Washington Post that won a Pulitzer Prize for collaborating with the FBI to invent the Russia collusion hoax?
Don’t believe a word from either the Washington Post or the FBI. Trump had been cooperating with the National Archive and had already turned over 15 boxes of documents, all of which he could have made a claim to legally possess. If they wanted papers turned over, they could have gone through Trump’s lawyers. No, they wanted the spectacle. They wanted the sizzle. They wanted the headlines.
This wasn’t about the rule of law; it was about the rule of the schoolyard. Bullies get what they want through force and intimidation, and there is no reason for any of us to believe that the raid had any purpose other than to intimidate Donald Trump into backing down from his plans to run for president in 2024.
Essentially what the FBI was saying is “We know where you live, and we aren’t afraid to come for you.” They even rifled through Melania Trump’s closet, as if she might have been hiding top-secret documents in her hat box. When do we find out they also spent an hour sorting through her lingerie?
This is sickening, no matter how much MSNBC and the Washington Post want you to think you can still trust the FBI. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over and over again, and I must be a Democrat.