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Title: Under attack, the FBI becomes a partisan battleground
Source: Standard
URL Source: http://www.standard.net/National/20 ... ecomes-a-partisan-battleground
Published: Apr 23, 2018
Author: Dan Balz
Post Date: 2018-04-23 10:37:53 by IbJensen
Keywords: None
Views: 182
Comments: 15

In its 110 years, the FBI has weathered storm and scandal. It has had moments that make Americans proud of its crime-fighting and anti-terrorist activities. Yet its most celebrated and longest-serving leader, J. Edgar Hoover, for whom the imposing headquarters building on Pennsylvania Avenue is named, is remembered in large part for the many abuses of power that took place during his long reign.

What is occurring today is different. It is more like the crumbling of the foundations of an agency that in its best days personifies the finest in government service and law enforcement. Like much about today’s political environment, the problems began before President Donald Trump was elected but have become far worse during his time in office.

There can be no strong foundation at the FBI when the pillars of leadership are all under assault, starting at the very top, the Justice Department itself. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, possible collusion by Trump campaign associations and now much more. Sessions’s recusal is, in Trump’s eyes, the original sin for which he has never forgiven the former senator.

Sessions not only is a bystander to the Russia probe and but also has been weakened by constant disparagement that comes from the Oval Office. His precarious position, despite occasional instances of pushing back, undermines what should be the Justice Department’s independence from interference by the White House. The president has sought to cripple the chief law enforcement official in the government and with it, the department.

Session’s deputy, Rod Rosenstein, a career prosecutor, has no job security either. It was he, after Session’s recusal, who decided to appoint a special counsel and hand the Russia investigation to Mueller. The wrath the president expresses toward Sessions has been transferred to Rosenstein, though it was Rosenstein who was asked to provide the memo that formed the pretext - though not the real reason - for the of then-FBI Director James Comey.

Rosenstein’s ability to manage and lead has been compromised by the president. Now, the president’s allies in Congress have joined in applying pressure on him. He retains his job, despite constant talk that he could be fired, but he must walk into the building each day and wonder if it will be his last on the job. There is one positive sign amid all this: The Post reported Friday that Sessions has warned that he could leave his post if Rosenstein is fired.

Comey’s tour promoting his new book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership,” highlights the degree to which the tables have turned, both for him and the agency he once headed. Praised as the straightest of shooters when he was in government, described as a career official with an impeccable reputation for probity and integrity, Comey now has taken sides in the highest-stakes battle in the capital.

Comey’s detractors are manifold, from the many bitter Democrats who believe he cost Hillary Clinton the presidency by reopening the investigation into her use of a private email server just before the election, to the many Republicans who see him as part of a plot to take down the president. The more attention given to Comey, the more the president seems determined to tear down the man he sees as one of his principal antagonists.

Comey’s book was an opportunity to make the case for himself and his past decisions, to lay out the record as clearly as possible. What he recounts from his interactions with the president is damning, just as was his prior testimony before Congress. Those accounts are backed up by contemporaneous memos he made and kept. They have been shared with Congress and become publicly. They buttress the testimony he gave a year ago.

Yet any hope Comey might have had of being seen as dispassionate in telling the story of the president’s response to the Russia probe and their interactions was undercut by some of his petty personal asides in the book and by his using the book tour to declare that he believes Trump is “morally unfit.”

Comey is certainly entitled to his opinions about the president, but he has given his critics the opening to paint him a partisan rather than a law enforcement official.

The president has seized the opportunity. The release of Comey’s books brought a cascade of angry tweets. The president’s goal is obvious: to discredit a potentially damning witness, just as he is trying to discredit the Mueller investigation. By responding to Trump’s taunts, Comey risks becoming one more example of what happens to people who tangle with the president: They are swept up into a tangle of tweets and endless charges and countercharges and find themselves reduced and diminished.

As Comey struggles to fend off his critics, the agency he once led is in the middle of a damaging controversy involving Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director who was fired by Sessions barely a day before his scheduled retirement. He now faces the possibility of criminal charges for authorizing the sharing of information with the Wall Street Journal about investigations involving Clinton and, according to the department’s inspector general, later misleading investigators. The inspector general has referred the matter to prosecutors for their consideration.

Like Comey, McCabe too has been a frequent target of the president. The Comey memos show that Trump was on McCabe’s case early in his presidency: He saw McCabe as a partisan and as a willing partner of Comey and others in provoking the Russia investigation that he has repeatedly derided as a “witch hunt.”

McCabe is bitter at the treatment from the president and his allies. The IG report has also ruptured the relationship between McCabe and Comey, who differ on exactly what happened in the process of sharing the information with reporters.

The president, who misses nothing in these matters, seized upon their disagreement last week in one of his many tweets on the topic of Comey, saying that the former FBI director had thrown McCabe “under the bus,” while calling the inspector general’s report “a disaster for both of them.” For Trump, it’s an ideal outcome, to see two men he dislikes immensely at war with one another, though his satisfaction might be premature, as the whole story has more time to run.

Restoring the FBI to its former status will not be easy nor can it be swift. To the degree that public confidence has been shaken by all these events, the path ahead is not obvious because there are conflicting interpretations of what the problem is. Trump has his version of events, Comey has his, McCabe has his. Sessions likely has his. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray can do little as long as the volleying over his head continues. Like so much else these days, the FBI is in danger of becoming one more partisan battlefield in an endless and consequential war.


Poster Comment:

It'll take decades to restore the FBI to its premier law enforcement agency status. The scandalous organization is rife with partisan nitwits. I believe that it's downhill sled-ride began under the evil and corrupted Obama reign; However, not having a good president for eighty years with the exception of RWR hasn't helped any.

Trump rode in and his brief tenure has caused this corrupted swap creature to explode!

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#1. To: IbJensen (#0)

Shut it down.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   10:47:02 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Vicomte13 (#1)

Agreed! It's totally ineffectual under the present overload of leftist loons.

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-04-23   10:49:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: IbJensen (#0)

Sessions not only is a bystander to the Russia probe and but also has been weakened by constant disparagement that comes from the Oval Office. His precarious position, despite occasional instances of pushing back, undermines what should be the Justice Department’s independence from interference by the White House. The president has sought to cripple the chief law enforcement official in the government and with it, the department.

Good. The FBI has turned into a snakepit. It needs to be crippled, and then killed. Shut it down. We don't need it.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:00:28 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: IbJensen (#0)

Rosenstein’s ability to manage and lead has been compromised by the president.

Rosenstein is a hack with his own political agenda, which he put into motion the very INSTANT Sessions stepped aside. He should not be managing or leading anything. The American people did not elect HIM, but he signed on with the Bush/Graham/McCain wing of the GOP to try to destroy Trump.

Rosenstein needs to be unemployed, cut off and thrown out. He's a snake in the grass.

We don't need an FBI that behaves like this. We don't need Jeff Sessions. And we don't need Rosenstein. Shut them all down and send them home on unemployment.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:02:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: IbJensen (#0)

The Post reported Friday that Sessions has warned that he could leave his post if Rosenstein is fired.

Sessions is a weak chinned little ninny. Fire Rosenstein and Sessions will self-immolate? Good! Fire Rosenstein today so that Sessions will self- eject and we can be rid of that weak little worm, both from the DoJ and also from Congress.

His weakness has cost us all a great deal. He needs to be permanently retired from public service because his "service" has been essentially useless. Go home and shut up, Jeff.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:05:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: IbJensen (#0)

Praised as the straightest of shooters when he was in government, described as a career official with an impeccable reputation for probity and integrity, Comey now has taken sides in the highest-stakes battle in the capital.

Comey was always a sleazy, politically-motivated, dishonest weasel. He has been exposed for what he is. He was rightly fired.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:07:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: IbJensen (#0)

he believes Trump is “morally unfit.”

Comey is an immoral abuser of power.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:08:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: IbJensen (#0)

Comey is certainly entitled to his opinions about the president, but he has given his critics the opening to paint him a partisan rather than a law enforcement official.

He has shown us all who he is, and anybody who DOESN'T see that he is a partisan is delusional.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:09:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: IbJensen (#0)

He now faces the possibility of criminal charges

Do to him what was done to Scooter Libby and Flynn.

If we're going to play the game of thrones in this country, and it appears we are going to, then execute the other side outright NOW, while we have the power, and win it.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:11:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: IbJensen (#0)

Like Comey, McCabe too has been a frequent target of the president.

Because, like Comey, McCabe is a criminal who betrayed the public.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:11:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: IbJensen (#0)

Restoring the FBI to its former status will not be easy nor can it be swift.

It is not worthwhile doing. The FBI has been a key force in undermining the constitutional rights of all Americans. It is the primary internal tool of oppression, and it's employees are self-righteous prigs, like Comey and Mueller and McCabe, believing THEMSELVES to be the final determiners of rights and law in the country.

The agency needs to be erased and that concentration of power completely eliminated. We need a less powerful federal government.

Vicomte13  posted on  2018-04-23   11:14:42 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: IbJensen (#0)

How abouT

Picking kasic for vp

Is ThaT whaT sessions is

A wimp ass sTupid idioT

A rnc lib biTing snake

Chop
boris

If you ... don't use exclamation points --- you should't be typeing ! Commas - semicolons - question marks are for girlie boys !

BorisY  posted on  2018-04-23   12:12:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

The FBI has been a key force in undermining the constitutional rights of all Americans.

Right! Along with all central socialist government's agencies! Long past time to declare that the Constitution is in tatters and has been used for the Congressrats to wipe their filthy asses on.

The FBI is the enemy of any Americans who still relish freedom!

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-04-23   13:31:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Vicomte13 (#9)

Right! Just DO IT!

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2018-04-23   13:32:00 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: IbJensen (#0)

Like much about today’s political environment, the problems began before President Donald Trump was elected but have become far worse during his time in office.

Yeah,the FEEBS were PERFECT under Dim and RINO leadership,but Trump took over,and within months the whole freaking organization is corrupt,right? Feeb leaders that worked their way up to their leadership positions suddenly became crooked,huh?

WOW! Just how powerful do you fools think Trump really is,anyhow?

The FBI leadership has ALWAYS been corrupt because it STARTED out as a corrupt organization that put badges on the chests of political hacks and murderers. J.Edgar Hoover sent them out to murder criminals that had embarrassed them by just gunning them down where they stood without even trying to arrest them.

Who REALLY thinks those old corrupt Feeb leaders would promote anyone up to leadership levels that wasn't as corrupt as they were? Granted,there are MANY "Sidney Straight Arrows" carrying FBI badges,but none of them are going to ever reach leadership positions anywhere close to DC. Maybe in Boise,Idaho or similar postings,but NEVER in DC.

In the entire history of the world,the only nations that had to build walls to keep their own citizens from leaving were those with leftist governments.

sneakypete  posted on  2018-04-26   7:46:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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