Last weekend I was watching an interview with Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee regarding the ongoing House investigations of the conduct of the FBI (FBI) under the direction of President Barack Obama during the 2016 Presidential Election and thereafter. Mr. Gowdy, while insisting on proceeding with a thorough investigation, noted that he did not want to see anybody go to jail.
In most instances I find myself in complete agreement with Mr. Gowdy and find him to be a thoughtful and straight talking member of Congress. (By the way those two adjectives are rarely used when speaking of other members of Congress.) But in this instance, Mr. Gowdy is being deferential at a time when aggression should be the order of the day. People – multiple people – should go to jail. Those that are public officers and/or employees should also lose their benefits, including pensions and healthcare coverage.
It is too harsh to say that this represents a constitutional crisis. No, not the “constitutional crises” that the mainstream media and Shepard Smith continue to flail about with mindless speculation and no facts. This is a crises in which one political party and it supporters sought to use the powers of the federal agencies to corrupt a presidential election and, thereafter having lost the election, sought to alter the outcome with false allegations and then secured the intervention by the FBI (and potentially the Central Intelligence Agency) based on those false allegations.
For over one and one-half years the FBI has pursued the allegation of collusion between President Donald Trump and the Russian government headed by Vladmir Putin. There appears to be ample evidence that Mr. Putin intended to create doubt in the American electoral system through a variety of assertions, disinformation and electronic sabotage. The mere fact that an investigation without facts has hindered the activities of a duly elected president is proof the Mr. Putin succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.
The genesis of the investigation was a patently false dossier created by Christopher Steele with the assistance of Russian intelligence operatives and paid for by the Democrat Party and Hillary Clinton’s campaign. (The question as to whether the FBI collaborated with Mr. Steele, the Democrats or Ms. Clinton in paying for the dossier is still unresolved.) The dossier appears to be the basis upon which the Obama Administration obtained FISA warrants authorizing the government to spy on Mr. Trump’s campaign and associates. All of this was done under the direction and control of then Director of the FBI, James Comey. And while Mr. Comey was aggressively directing an investigation of Mr. Trump based on hearsay, rumor and the fake dossier, he was at the same time aggressively suppressing the investigation of Ms. Clinton regarding State Department documents that Ms. Clinton destroyed, exposed to hacking and lied about to the Congress, the FBI and the American people. So bold were Mr. Comey and his underlings that in their private internal memos they worried about being too harsh on Ms. Clinton and provided special treatment for Ms. Clinton and her political staff during interviews. They went so far as to collude with Ms. Clinton and her staff to destroy evidence in the form of hard drives from Ms. Clinton’s staff. Mr. Comey even drafted his exoneration of Ms. Clinton before the investigation was complete or Ms. Clinton was interviewed. And he was assisted in large part by a team of Clinton supporters in the FBI and Justice Department including Peter Strzok, Andrew McCabe and Lisa Page
Each passing day brings new evidence of collusion within the FBI to protect Ms. Clinton, smear Mr. Trump and bury the details of their complicity. They deleted five months worth of text messages between Mr. Strzok and Ms. Allen relating to attempts to undermine Mr. Trump’s election and claimed that it was a computer glitch by Samsung and that the messages could not be recovered. And yet within 48 hours the Inspector General located, retrieved and preserved those same messages. (As this investigation unfolds we will likely learn that only the text messages of Ms. Strzok, Ms. Page and those with whom they colluded were effected by this phantom Samsung glitch.) These are the same people who have stonewalled Congress for over a year regarding access to information relating to its investigation of Mr. Trump and the failure to investigate Ms. Clinton.
In marked contrast, the investigation of Mr. Trump has failed to demonstrate directly or indirectly that Mr. Trump colluded with the Russians in any way. So fraught with failure has the FBI investigation been that, in essence, it has dropyped any pretext of collusion and now focuses on an accusation of “obstruction of justice” for an act that the President of the United States is empowered to do, without regard to reason or rationale – the firing of the corrupt head of the FBI, James Comey.
And now, Deputy Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe – the pivot around which most of this collusion occurred has abruptly resigned. His resignation came at the conclusion of a meeting with the new director of the FBI Christopher Wray who had just come from reviewing the House Intelligence Committee report on the conduct of the FBI in the investigations of Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton. Mr. Wray relieved Mr. McCabe of his duties and Mr. McCabe promptly announced his retirement with full benefits.
But therein lies the problem. The idea that someone can abuse their public office, collude to delegitamize a sitting president and be allowed to retire with full benefits is disgraceful. There is evidence, strong evidence, of corruption at the highest levels of the FBI. Corruption amongst a group of senior FBI officials, who politicized the office, hired each other, colluded with each other and covered for each other. (The bogus excuse for the deletion of Mr. Strzok’s and Ms. Page’s text messages was not fronted to the press by them but rather by other high officials – possibly even Mr. McCabe – within the FBI thus participating in the cover up of their misconduct.)
Let’s make sure that we understand the essence of the problem. This is not the run of the mill corruption case where someone uses his or her public office to line their pockets. (Please review Ms. Clinton’s life from the time that her husband was elected Attorney General of Arkansas straight through to her loss of the presidential election in 2016.) This is corruption by the nation’s chief law enforcement agency to influence a presidential election and having failed to alter the outcome of that election. This attacks the very foundation of a democratic form of government. It is the moral equivalent of finding out that the local police force was itself the organized crime. Ironically, where the Russian’s attempted and failed to influence the presidential election, the senior members of the FBI came close to succeeding. The idea that the perpetrators can walk away with no more than personal embarrassment but all of their perks is outrageous. There has to be consequences or we will most assuredly see such misconduct repeat itself with greater frequency.
At the very least the following people should be investigated, indicated, tried and, if convicted, imprisoned:
James Comey Susan Rice
Andrew McCabe Huma Abedin
Peter Strzok Loretta Lynch
Lisa Page Hillary Clinton
There are others, dozens of others, but these represent the senior participants. One of the purposes of criminal punishment is to act as a deterrent. Unless senior public officials actually face punishment, the deterrent effects are lost.
Previously I noted that this does not rise to a constitutional crisis. A constitutional crisis ensues only when there is no adequate remedy for the conflict. This, like the impeachment of President Richard Nixon, has proceeded exactly as the founders of the Constitution intended. The Congress has begun to investigate and expose the corruption consistent with its duties as a co-equal branch of government. The question of whether the Executive Branch will act as a result of that exposure remains to be seen. In contrast, had the Democrats regained control of the Congress, it is likely that they would have colluded in burying the misdeeds of the senior members of the FBI (and potentially the CIA).
While the mainstream media and Shepard Smith continue to flog a story of collusion by Mr. Trump and the Russians, the real story of bureaucratic misconduct goes virtually ignored. Hopefully Mr. Gowdy and his fellow members of Congress will continue to see this through and that Attorney General Jeff Sessions will have the courage to prosecute those involved, including members of his own Justice Department.