If you were a critic of George W. Bush’s ‘War on Terror’ and the Patriot Act, you can take a victory lap.
Andrew McCarthy, the former Chief Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, has perfectly summarized what has gone so terribly wrong at the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The NRO contributor recently appeared in a Fox News interview with John Roberts on the FBI’s unprecedented raid of Donald Trump and the legal pathway forward. While there are many who point out the FBI’s long history of politicization, Andrew McCarthy shrewdly points out that it runs “much deeper than that.” Watch:
“How, how heavy do you expect the redactions that the DOJ will be submitting? Will they be judicious or will there be pages of blacked out lines?” Roberts asked.
“Well, there’ll be pages of black outlines,” McCarthy answered. “I think, John, at least in the first round, as one of your commentators said in that in that piece just now, there are a lot of things in an affidavit that they can reveal without actually having to give any substantive information. What people really want to know, I think, is what was the probable cause? That is, what is the evidentiary basis for what they did in getting the warrant and doing the search?”
“And then, and the three crimes that they lay out,” he continued. “And the other thing I think people want to know is: Why this? And: Why now? I think it is very peculiar for the Justice Department to be saying that this was an early stage of their investigation. There had never been a search warrant done in history on a former president of the United States. One would think that that would not be something you would resort to early in the investigation — you’d want to exhaust other possibilities. So very curious.”
“Yeah, you think that that might be one of the last things that you would want to do,” Roberts commented. “So, so you brought this up, right? And… the DOJ was arguing in court yesterday that revealing the contents of the probable cause affidavit would really be a roadmap for their investigation. It would expose confidential sources. It would expose potential witnesses as well. Do you believe that there is a way that the judge could look at these redactions and say, ‘okay, we can keep this in here and that won’t expose your roadmap or your confidential sources or your witnesses, but it will give us the information.’ We need to understand what went on here.”
“Yeah. I mean, there’s a number of things they could do along those lines,” McCarthy replied. “They could propose a substitution where they, you know, give a narrative explanation without having to get into the sources of the information, and so on. And John, it’s important to remember that this is not information. This is not like a FISA affidavit, right? This is not a national security case. This is information that we ordinarily get to see, eventually, you know. Everybody seems to be whipped up on this idea that if we don’t get it next Thursday, it sinks down a black hole and we never see it.”
“What typically happens in an investigation, and I think you just alluded to this in terms of the timing, is that at the end of the investigation, that’s when prosecutors and agents like to do their searches and arrests, and then everything gets disclosed to the defense and discovery,” McCarthy noted. “And we find out what’s in it when the defense lawyers make motions to suppress evidence and make other motions.”
“So I think we will eventually see this,” he went on. “And what could happen because of this pressure to be more transparent is it could make the Justice Department move up their timeline, you know, to the extent that what they’re worried about is that they have avenues of investigation that would be blown. If they became public, they may put the pedal to the metal now and try to get finished.”
“Yeah,” Roberts said. “So Charles Senator Charles Grassley was on America’s Newsroom this morning. He said yesterday that he’s got some whistleblower allegations from within the FBI that reveal deeply rooted political infection within the FBI. Here’s what he said this morning.”
“There’s evidence of they handle one thing, one way for Democrats, and another way thing for Republicans,” Grassley said in the aired clip. “There’s plenty of evidence of political bias, and the people of this country should have extraordinary confidence in the FBI.”
“So he says that political bias within the FBI has tainted both the Donald Trump and the Hunter Biden investigations,” Roberts noted. “Your thoughts on that.”
“Yeah,” McCarthy replied. “I think it’s deeper than that though. John, you know, the FBI started out as the embodiment of J. Edgar Hoover, and there’s an entire history of politicized behavior that we hoped in the eighties and nineties that the bureau had kind of grown out of.”
“But, I think in the era of jihadis terrorism, they kind of lost their identity as a police force and became more of an intelligence force,” McCarthy said. “And it’s a very different discipline. And I think it’s given them less respect for the due process standards, the Bill of Rights protections that are really the heartbeat of criminal law enforcement. And that’s what I think you have to worry about that the Bureau’s culture has changed and that they’re overly comfortable getting involved in politics when we should want them a million miles away from politics.”
So, we can infer from the former prosecutor’s arguments, and as readers will note, McCarthy prosecuted ‘Blind Sheikh’ Omar Abdel Rahman and his co-conspirators after the 1993 WTC bombing attempt, that the War on Terrorism has undermined federal law enforcement’s respect for the rule of law.
It is not just that the FBI is politically biased, it has ceased to function as a ‘law enforcement’ agency. The bureau has become nothing more than attack dogs for the Democratic Party, which is one reason why whistleblowers are coming forward and some are expressing on back channels that what the FBI did to Donald Trump was unjust.
The FBI Has Gotten So Bad Even the Most Restrained Pundit on the Right is Calling for It to Be ‘Broken Up’
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OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.