All large organizations suffer from the occasional presence of bad actors. The FBI is no exception. But it managed to retain a good relationship with the public in spite of its flaws because it was still solving rather than creating crimes.
But something fundamentally changed in the last five years. The Comey clown car arrived in the center ring and unloaded under the spotlight. As the public watched the comedy of James “The Cardinal” Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and Lisa Page, searching for phantom Russian colluders under the bed, while actual Russian colluders cheered them on, we knew we needed to take a closer look. The examination has been shocking.
The “Midyear Exam,” the bureau’s name for the Hillary Clinton email investigation, was a farce. No subpoenas were issued, central figures were given immunity without cooperation, evidence was destroyed by the FBI, and then the attorney general had a clandestine meeting with “Slick Willy” Clinton — the husband of the target. Surprise: No charges were filed. “The Cardinal” Comey held a press conference and announced that even though Hillary had broken numerous laws, she didn’t mean it, so he was giving her a pass. It must have been an accident that an email server, containing classified documents, appeared in her bathroom — with a support staff.
“Crossfire Hurricane” was the investigation into alleged Trump collusion with Russia to steal an election. Within a couple of months, the bureau knew that the whole thing was a hoax created by Hillary, yet the investigation continued for three years — eventually transitioning into a special counsel investigation. Peter Strzok called “Crossfire Hurricane” the bureau’s insurance policy — against a Trump presidency. It was a good way to show off for his mistress, Lisa Page — a rabid anti-Trump FBI lawyer.
The “Midyear Exam” was a cover-up, and “Crossfire Hurricane” was a setup. Both were exposed by the clown show the FBI put on. Now the public is paying attention. Conspiracies that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago seem entirely plausible now.
We were told that the FBI heroically thwarted a kidnapping attempt of Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Then we learned that there wasn’t one informant involved. There were twelve informants — involved in every aspect of recruiting and planning. Next, the lead agent, Richard Trask, was fired from the FBI after being arrested for beating his wife after a swingers’ party. Prior to his arrest, Trask was the public face of the investigation — and filed the original criminal complaint under oath. Last month, Will Cain, sitting in for Tucker Carlson, revealed that two more agents (unnamed) have been removed from the case and will not be testifying. Was the kidnapping a thwarted crime or a setup? It seems fair to ask, doesn’t it?
Then came the “January 6 insurrection” investigation and the mystery of the missing provocateurs. A number of individuals are seen on video inciting the riot. Yet none of them is among the hundreds who have been arrested. One such individual, Ray Epps, is clearly seen on video encouraging the crowd to enter the Capitol. Epps was included on the FBI’s “most wanted” list — that is, until internet sleuths identified and located Epps. Was he summarily arrested? Nope, he was removed from the “most wanted” list and is a free man to this day. Again, we have to ask — was January 6 a set-up?
The fact that these are reasonable questions to ask shows how damaged the FBI’s relationship with the public has become. Corruption within the FBI is undeniable — to everyone but Christopher Wray and Merrick Garland. The Democrats aren’t raising the issue because the bureau is currently doing their dirty work. That’s shortsighted and will not last. A corrupt organization eventually evolves to serve only itself. Everything else must be broken to its will — including the Democrat party.
How badly has the FBI damaged its reputation? Quentin Smith and I recently did a series of articles proposing rehabilitation of the bureau (here, here, and here). The emails we received were telling. Many told us we were nuts, that the FBI is beyond repair and must be shut down. Here’s a representative example from a private citizen:
They do not serve we the people. We are treated like we are their property, as slaves to plunder. Slaves who think we are free. There is no way in hell you can convince honest hard-working Americans that all of a sudden, our police state just started to become corrupt.
Here’s another one:
I read your article, and although you and your retiree Bureau co-author would hope to rehab the FBI – those of us seeing the internal work know it must be eliminated. … This place is corrupted to the fundamental level. And much of the FBI I have seen in the past 6 years is beyond saving. … “Shut it all down” needs to be the resounding message. Forget probation. Suspension without pay. The FBI needs to give up badge and gun while we root out all of the failed culture of oath violations. If it never can be reestablished, so be it.
That one is from a current FBI agent. The bureau’s problems are quite real. Once corruption has taken root — and it has — it will grow like a virus until it burns itself out.
If left unchecked, what does the dystopian future of the FBI look like? When the trust of the public is lost, the cooperation of the public will also be lost. Eventually, people will not know if the agent standing at their door is asking a question about a legitimate crime or attempting to set someone up for political purposes. The standard answer to any question will become, “I have nothing to say, get a subpoena or talk to my lawyer.”
As the FBI’s credibility crumbles, so will its conviction rate. It will be harder to obtain warrants, and judges will find their evidence inadmissible (as the Rittenhouse judge recently did). Juries will find their testimony unconvincing. Jury deliberations will come to include discussion about how much the testifying agents were lying and how much of their evidence was tampered with.
The FBI currently provides technical services to law enforcement throughout the country. With a reputation of evidence tampering (looking at you, Kevin Clinesmith), police activities nationwide will be set back. Thousands of “solved” cases may need to be re-examined.
The agency’s faults will become too obvious for even the Democrats to ignore. Just as they’re trying to back away from the defund movement now, they’ll eventually need to back away from a corrupt bureau for political expediency. Americans will not elect politicians (outside San Francisco and Minneapolis) who appear to support a police state. Then things will get really interesting.
Organizational paranoia will grow in the FBI. Survival will become the bureau’s primary motivator. An agency with no integrity will recruit only thugs with no integrity. Anyone suggesting reform of the agency will be targeted. Criminal traps will be set for the citizenry and blackmail used against the Judiciary and political class. The bureau will move from investigating to instigating and, finally, to conducting crimes.
This would have been the thinking of lunatic conspiracy theorists just a few years ago. With the targeting of protesting parents and Trump supporters we’ve seen in recent years, it is entirely plausible.
The FBI will cease being the “plumbers” (the nickname for Nixon’s henchmen) for the Democrats and become the enemy of both parties. Then either it or America will die. A free people cannot coexist with a secret police force, using investigations for purposes other than law enforcement. The contest will be epic.
A recent Zogby poll found that by 46 to 31 percent, members of the public think their sheriff’s department has more legal authority than the FBI. Obviously, the legal authority of the bureau is not subject to opinion. It is defined by statute. But there’s an important message in that poll. We are self-governed. Legal authority, without moral authority, equals no authority — at least not over free people.
John Green is a political refugee from Minnesota, now residing in Idaho. He currently writes at the American Free News Network (afnn.us). He can be followed on Facebook or reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.