Diary

Jeff Flake Pulls Muscle Virtue Signaling About Trump Surveillance Investigation

Come on, did you expect anything less?

Jeff Flake was out yesterday evening parroting the Democrat’s anti-constitutional rhetoric that the White House can not direct the DOJ to open an investigation into a matter.

This is of course false. The DOJ is not it’s own branch of government. It exists under the executive precisely because it requires checks and balances like any other aspect of our federal structure. It is not “independent” in the absolute sense nor should it be. Turning a blind eye to possible corruption in these agencies is how you get J. Edgar Hoover using the FBI for his own political gains over decades of time.

Constitutionally, the President can order the DOJ to do whatever he wants. Practically, it’s tradition that the White House keeps an arm’s length. That’s not true when it’s necessary for the executive to probe conduct within his own branch, of which he’s directly responsible for it’s actions. The idea that the President can’t say “look into to this to make sure nothing improper happened in my branch” is ludicrious on it’s face.

It also ignores the realities of the President’s power over counter-intelligence operations. Per Andrew McCarthy’s latest…

Predictably, knee-jerk Trump critics are exercised over the president’s giving an order to the Justice Department, claiming political interference in law-enforcement. Quite apart from the fact that the Justice Department is subordinate to the chief executive in our constitutional system, the criticism overlooks two distinctions we have repeatedly stressed, between (a) counterintelligence and criminal investigations, and (b) official misconduct and ordinary crime.

Though carried out by executive officials (i.e., investigators and prosecutors), criminal investigations are governed by congressional penal statutes and overseen by the courts. By contrast, counterintelligence is an investigative activity undertaken entirely in support of the president’s constitutional responsibility to protect the nation from foreign threats. It is not “interference in law-enforcement” when the president directs the Justice Department and FBI to take action in connection with their counterintelligence mission, and to ensure that this mission is being conducted properly. If counterintelligence authorities were exploited to spy on a political campaign in the absence of strong evidence that the political campaign was in a traitorous conspiracy with a hostile foreign power, that would be a major abuse of power. The buck stops with the president, and he has a duty to see that this question is investigated.

The logic here is simple. The investigation of Trump’s campaign was originally a counter-intelligence operation. Those do not fall under Congressional penal statutes that dictate their existence. A President has the right to direct counter intelligence investigations (not only the right, but a duty). By the same token, if something improper happened in one of those investigations, it’s again the President’s duty to order a probe of the actions that happened at his behest.

That’s what happened here. The IG (Horowitz) will now look at this. It’s also almost a certainty that this will fall into the purview of John Huber, who is the appointed counsel to investigate FISA abuse. Unlike the IG, he has subpoena and prosecutorial powers if he finds criminal action.

Jeff Flake could of expressed support for the new investigation and left it there. Instead, as per usual, he must get his shots in. It is absolutely the “President’s call” to ask the DOJ to look into this. In his need to consistently show his own false virtue on every issue, he once again puts himself at odds with the facts of our Republic. Simply disliking Trump doesn’t mean the constitutional powers granted to him are voided.