Out Of Control FBI Playing By The Clinton Rules

Franklin Roosevelt and Robert Jackson, 1941.

The phrase out of control FBI should chill your bones. The ongoing Feeb meltdown continued Tuesday with the mysterious release of documents pertaining to Bill Clinton’s pardon of Marc Rich in January, 2001. The release came via a FBI twitter account that had been silent for a year. I originally thought it might have been hacked but the Feds confirmed it. Here’s the Tweet:

I am not fond of government by Twitter and the leaks just keep on coming. I begin to wonder if there’s something in the water at the ugly FBI building, which resembles a parking garage with bat ears. One thing I’m certain of is that FBI Director James Comey has lost control of his agency. It seems as if fear of right-wing agents and Congressional Republicans has paralyzed Comey. He wasn’t afraid of the Bush White House and its minions but now he’s afraid of a pissant like Jason Chaffetz.

The New York Times has a genuinely terrifying article in which we learn that FBI agents are using a discredited, rabidly anti-Clinton book to “illuminate” their investigation. They’re also applying a double standard to Trump related cases: only those involving HRC are discussed in public.

It makes one wonder if the FBI is now an arm of the Republican Party. A party that nominated a con man who is being sued for fraud over Trump “University” and is also accused of raping a 13-year-old child whose parents are suing him. Perhaps the FBI should be called COMEY PAC. That would at least have the virtue of being honest about its current role as an arm of the GOP. They’re certainly playing by the Clinton Rules.

Historian Tim Weiner argued in a NYT op-ed entitled The Long Shadow of J. Edgar Hoover that:

In hurling barbs at Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Comey has at once revived his reputation for confronting commanders in chief and resurrected the spirit of the F.B.I.’s most infamous high priest. Somewhere, tearing wings off flies in a dark star chamber in the sky, J. Edgar Hoover is smiling. The use of secret information to wound public figures was one of his favorite sports.

The United States has spent many years trying to stand clear of Hoover’s long shadow. But it lengthens in an age of relentless government surveillance and pitiless political publicity. And Mr. Comey has chosen to become a singular force in American politics. His miscalculated decision to unleash his letter to Clinton hunters in Congress looked less like a legal maneuver than an act of political warfare.

Weiner (no relation to the texting perv) wrote one of the best books about the FBI. He is somewhat loath to compare the bumbling, pompous Comey to the sly, intelligent J. Edgar Hee-Haw, which I quite understand. Hoover had an iron grip on his agency’s press relations: any leakers were demoted and moved out of DC. Instead, Comey is a weak director who feels the need to placate right-wing agents as well as Congressional Republicans. Comey is paying a high price for this with the loss of his reputation for fairness and integrity.

The ongoing FBI meltdown should be of concern to all thoughtful Americans regardless of political persuasion. It’s the closest thing we have to a secret police force and if it falls into the wrong hands there will be hell to pay. I think you know whose tiny hands I’m referring to: Donald Trump. As a Banana Republican, he has already vowed to jail his opponent for vague, unspecified crimes such as being Crooked Hillary. Projection thy name is Donald.

As to that last point, I’ll yield the floor to Robert H. Jackson who can be seen at the top of the post with the Democratic President Roosevelt. Jackson remains the only person to have served as Solicitor General, Attorney General, and Supreme Court Justice. Jackson was one of FDR’s many distinguished appointees to SCOTUS as well as the lead American prosecutor at the first Nuremberg Trial.  He was also perhaps the finest writer to have ever served on the Court; in his day, the Justices wrote most of their own opinions. Here’s an excerpt from a 1940 speech he delivered while Attorney General entitled The Federal Prosecutor:

If the prosecutor is obliged to choose his cases, it follows that he can choose his defendants. Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.

With the law books filled with a great assortment of crimes, a prosecutor, stands a fair chance of finding at least a technical violation of some act on the part of almost anyone. In such a case, it is not a question of discovering the commission of a crime and then looking for the man who has committed it, it is a question of picking the man and then searching the law books, or putting investigators to work, to pin some offense on him. It is in this realm ­ in which the prosecutor picks some person whom he dislikes or desires to embarrass, or selects some group of unpopular persons and then looks for an offense, that the greatest danger of abuse of prosecuting power lies. It is here that law enforcement becomes personal, and the real crime becomes that of being unpopular with the predominant or governing group, being attached to the wrong political views, or being personally obnoxious to or in the way of the prosecutor himself.

Jackson’s words are the exact opposite of the Clinton Rules and the disgraceful, unprofessional manner in which the FBI has behaved. They’re acting like the disciples of Kenneth Starr. I stand with Mr. Justice Jackson.