by Printus LeBlanc
The FBI is in serious trouble, not just the people in the bureau that lied to the Office of Inspector General, fixed the Clinton investigation, and spied on a political campaign. The American people are losing confidence in the bureau. FBI Deputy Director David Bowdich stated in January, “When I look through the prism of risk for our organization, I find the No. 1 risk for our organization is losing the faith and confidence of the American people.”
The FBI has reason to be fearful because public trust in the institution is headed in the wrong direction. A recent poll by Axios showed that less than half of America had confidence in the FBI, with only 38 percent of Republicans having faith in the bureau. This should be extremely worrying to any prosecutor using the FBI’s evidence or agents as a witness at a trial — and a dream for any defense attorney. Half the jury pool has an unfavorable opinion of the feds, and recent revelations about the once revered law enforcement agency are sure to increase the unfavourability.
The FBI’s treatment of Carter Page was reprehensible. The propaganda outlets never mention it, but Carter Page was a witness for the FBI. Page is an energy expert concentrating on Russia and central Asia, a region rich with oil and natural gas. Page has also never hid his work with or for Russian companies. In 2013, while Page was running a consulting business and lecturing at NYU Russian diplomats and scholars attempted to recruit him. The FBI informed him the people that approached him were, in fact, Russian intelligence, and Page agreed to work with the FBI.
Page passed binders of his work with listening devices to the Russians, which allowed the government to convict one of the three of espionage, the other two were diplomats and could not be charged. One would plead guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered foreign agent and sentenced to 30 months in prison. Carter Page helped the FBI secure the conviction of a Russian spy, and all he got for it was huge lawyer fees and his privacy invaded by the very people he helped.
Who would want to work with the nation’s preeminent law enforcement agency if doing so would get you investigated yourself?
What happened to former National Security Advisor Gen. Michael Flynn gives everyone a reason to not talk to the FBI. The conversation the FBI had with Flynn was under dubious pretenses, to say the least. Sara Carter reported, “McCabe had contacted Flynn by phone directly at the White House. White House officials had spent the “earlier part of the week with the FBI overseeing training and security measures associated with their new roles so it was no surprise to Flynn that McCabe had called…. some agents were heading over (to the White House) but Flynn thought it was part of the routine work the FBI had been doing and said they would be cleared at the gate.”
It was only after the agents were in his office talking to him, without his lawyer, did Flynn realize he was being questioned like a suspect. Despite the sneaky tactics by the FBI, the agents did not believe Flynn was lying to them, according to their boss, then Director of the FBI James Comey.
The House Intelligence Committee report details testimony from Comey stating, “They didn’t see any change in posture, in tone, in inflection, in eye contact. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them,” when speaking about the interviewing agents. Then FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe echoed Comey’s testimony referring to a “conundrum that we faced on their return from the interview is that although [the agents] didn’t detect deception in the statements that made in the interview.” This begs the question, if he didn’t lie, then why was he charged by Special Counsel Robert Mueller? What changed?
And the most recent example of a reason to not trust the FBI is Stefan Halper. Halper is now at the center of the storm swirling around the 2016 election. Halper is believed to have been a mole, spy, informant, or whatever Clapper wants to call him, against the Trump campaign for the Obama administration.
This hurts the FBI because when the going got tough on the issue of an informant in the Trump campaign, it was likely the FBI and/or DOJ that leaked the information about Halper. Halper believed he was helping the FBI and was expecting his identity to be kept confidential. Regardless if you agree with what he did, the FBI threw him to the curb when it suited them.
Why would anyone want to help the FBI if they know the feds will abandon them and even out them to save their skin?
And all this has happened before the expected release of the Inspector General’s report, which according to reports, paints the FBI is an extremely bad light.
In this disastrous chapter of FBI history, the bureau has given citizens a reason to never talk to them, never help them, and never work for them. If Wray cared about the FBI, as he says he does, he should immediately move to cooperate with House and Senate investigators fully. The bureau’s reputation is beyond tarnished at this point, and only full disclosure of all misconduct can begin the process of rebuilding the FBI brand. Christopher Wray must rip the band aid off, fighting the Congress, which is trying to help you, will only prolong the pain.
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Printus LeBlanc is a contributing editor at Americans for Limited Government.