One of the salient facts the whole Russia hoax has brought to front and center is a picture of an unaccountable FBI that does pretty much what it wants in the manner it pleases and says “screw the law because we are the law.” It is clear, for instance, that several members of the FBI senior leadership operated with a very strong anti-Trump bias. I say “anti-Trump” bias only because Trump was the GOP candidate for president. My suspicion is that if Mitt Romney had been running, something similar would have been undertaken…assuming that it wasn’t. When the Deputy FBI Director’s wife is running for a state senate seat as a Democrat and her husband is featured in her campaign literature, his biography is in her packet when the Democrat party interviewed her, and he uses his FBI email to pimp his wife’s candidacy, it is pretty obvious that you are dealing with a lawlessness brought on by a sense of privilege and invulnerability. This is not to say that all the people who work there treat the laws of the nation and their fellow citizens with the utmost contempt, it is just to note that if they did feel that way it would be very difficult to tell the difference.
More of this came to light not all that long ago. In June of last year, the DOJ IG, Michael Horowitz, reported that some 50 FBI agents had accepted over 300 illegal gratuities–tickets to sporting events, meals, gifts, etc.–from reporters. This is strictly forbidden by law and by regulation and common-freakin-sense would dictate that you not do this. But still, it happened.
Yesterday, Horowitz’s office reported on a case that was part of the June report and it serves as an example of just how deeply corrupt the FBI leadership is.
The Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Inspector General (OIG) initiated this investigation upon the receipt of information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI),
alleging that a then FBI Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) had numerous contacts with members of the media in violation of FBI policy. Additionally, it was alleged that the DAD may have disclosed law enforcement or other sensitive information to the media without authorization. This matter is among the OIG investigations referenced on page 430 of the OIG’s Review of Allegations Regarding Various Actions by the Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in Advance of the 2016 Election (June 2018; https://www.justice.gov/file/1071991/download ).
The OIG investigation concluded that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD: (1) disclosed to the media the existence of information that had been filed under seal in federal court, in violation of 18 USC § 401, Contempt of Court; (2) provided without authorization FBI law enforcement sensitive information to reporters on multiple occasions; and (3) had dozens of official contacts with the media without authorization, in violation of FBI policy. The OIG also found that the DAD engaged in misconduct when the DAD accepted a ticket, valued at approximately $225, to attend a media-sponsored dinner, as a gift from a member of the media, in violation of federal regulations and FBI policy.
Prosecution of the DAD was declined.
By any standard, what you’re describing here is a felony. Dozens of unauthorized media contacts. Accepting an illegal gratuity. Revealing information under court seal to the media. A safe bet is that if more digging was done into this guy there was more than one $225 ticket involved. And, to top it off, the man was a deputy assistant director (some idiots on Twitter are claiming this is McCabe because to some a deputy director is the same as a deputy assistant director, they aren’t and there are too many DADs in the FBI to try to identify this person). If you think his subordinates didn’t know about the gifts, think again. Your subordinates always know more about your business than you’d think.
Compare and contrast this with the indictment of George Papadopoulos for lying to federal agents because he used the date of his official hiring by the Trump campaign rather than the date it was announced by the campaign that he was joining it as the reference point for his first contact with another subject in the case.
Then we get this bullsh**:
The AG should stop sliming his own Department. If there are bad facts, show us, or search for them professionally and then tell us what you found. An AG must act like the leader of the Department of Justice, an organization based on truth. Donald Trump has enough spokespeople.
— James Comey (@Comey) May 18, 2019
Investigate whatever you wish about 2016 but don’t forget the people of the FBI must investigate and stop Russian efforts in the 2020 election. What impact will loose talk about “spying” and disgraceful talk about “treason” have on FBI agents and analysts?
— James Comey (@Comey) May 24, 2019
This agency has acted as a law unto itself for entirely too long. It has changed from a law enforcement agency to what the Soviet Bloc would have called an internal security apparatus. It obviously carried out surveillance of the Trump campaign and the FISA warrant applications on Carter Page, particularly the extensions, appear to have been based on evidence that was known to be fraudulent.
Unless and until the FBI is willing to hold its senior management to the same standard the law demands of all federal employees, reform is impossible and the culture of corruption will continue unabated as will the FBI’s hubris and the erosion of our liberties.