The FBI Who Cried Wolf - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
The FBI Who Cried Wolf
Merrick Garland gives statement about FBI Mar-a-Lago raid, Aug. 11, 2022 (ABC News/YouTube)

If you wanted to calumniate a political enemy but shield the smear from scrutiny, then any accusation including the words “nuclear” and “secrets” likely would accomplish those twin aims.

Neither press nor public will ever gain access to the documents in Donald Trump’s home to determine whether the former president actually placed us all at risk of seeing mushroom clouds up close. Depending upon one’s perspective, therein lies the beauty or the cynicism of the scheme.

One grasps why documents that deal with America’s nuclear arsenal must remain secret. But the same designation for the activities of the federal police, specifically as they pertain to the secret affidavit used to obtain a search warrant of the political rival of the current president, literally gives America a secret police.

Does anybody outside of the not-so-secret secret police want this?

The FBI tried going down this hidden path six years ago when it portrayed dirt paid for by 2016 presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign as “research” obtained by a “law firm” retaining a “U.S. person” — actually former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele — in gaining a warrant to conduct electronic surveillance on a Trump campaign aide. The FBI lied to a court then just as it lied to a court now by seizing items — e.g., the president’s passports — the court did not authorize it to take.

The FBI’s partisanship and lies back then resulted in the Department of Justice’s firing Peter Strzok, an agent who boasted to his mistress that “we’ll stop” Trump and spoke of an “insurance policy” in case they did not; the then-attorney general’s firing acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe after DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz accused McCabe of “knowingly and intentionally” misleading investigators; and bureau lawyer Kevin Clinesmith’s pleading guilty to a felony after he altered an email to describe former Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page as “not a source” for the government when in fact he served as a CIA source.

After the bureau’s “insurance policy” deceived a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judge, all but a small percentage of journalists, and roughly half of Congress into believing the lie that Trump colluded with Russians to win the presidency, the FBI now wants the American people to shut mouth, close eyes, and trust.

The DOJ’s conduct in this investigation restrains one from deferring to it. The leak of a supposed inside source within Trump’s home obviously designed to sow internal division, current Attorney General Merrick Garland’s blustery press conference (without questions) challenging Trump to release the warrant even as Garland fights to keep the affidavit hidden, and the initial seizure of the former president’s passports predictably leading observers to label him a flight risk are all instances that struck of gamesmanship seeking to win in the same court of public opinion that will elect the next president.

One imagines that the people fooled by the Russian-collusion hoax will buy this claim without seeing the evidence and that the people who rejected the Russian-collusion hoax will reject this claim without seeing the evidence. The former group likely would compose the jury should Trump find himself in a courtroom not in Florida but Washington, where any accusation against the former president, who received 5 percent of the vote there in 2020, equals guilt.

Philosopher Karl Popper famously identified falsification as what separates nonscientific claims from scientific ones. This effectively means that if a claim cannot submit to a test able to possibly disprove it, it falls under some rubric other than science.

Few appear arrogant enough, save for academics, to label politics as science. But even in the dirty business of politics the clear truth matters — at least it does to some people. So, Popper’s falsification idea naturally occurred when reports arose, days after the fact, that justified the FBI raid on the former president’s Palm Beach estate by claiming that Trump endangered the public by retaining nuclear secrets at his private residence.

Can Garland’s Justice Department, or the journalists that have made claims beyond the ones he did at his unusual damage-control questionless press conference, even allow the public to examine the evidence?

If Trump really did abscond from the White House with nuclear secrets, then government officials must necessarily hide the proof of this from the public. If Trump really did not abscond from the White House with nuclear secrets, then government officials must necessarily hide the proof of that from the public.

Either way, Trump’s pursuers demand that we defer to their authority instead of the evidence. Given the FBI’s illegal conduct in its failed collaboration with the Hillary Clinton campaign to portray Trump as colluding with Russia, this asks for credulity that has already been fooled out of many.

When the Department of Justice defies the law, nobody goes to jail. The FBI’s Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, Andrew McCabe, Kevin Clinesmith, and others who abused the public’s trust by weaponizing the FBI have avoided the G. Gordon Liddy treatment. The zeal with which the DOJ pursues political enemies evaporates when the malefactors come from its own house. The people who enforce the rules routinely break the rules with impunity.

Louis XIV infamously said, “L’état c’est moi.” Merrick Garland says, more than three centuries later, “L’état profond c’est moi.

Daniel J. Flynn
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Daniel J. Flynn, a senior editor of The American Spectator, is the author of Cult City: Harvey Milk, Jim Jones, and 10 Days That Shook San Francisco (ISI Books, 2018), The War on Football (Regnery, 2013), Blue Collar Intellectuals (ISI Books, 2011), A Conservative History of the American Left (Crown Forum, 2008), Intellectual Morons (Crown Forum, 2004), and Why the Left Hates America (Prima Forum, 2002). His articles have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, New York Post, City Journal, National Review, and his own website,   
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