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Former FBI Agent Offers Further Perspective DoJ/FBI Efforts To Derail Nunes
My post yesterday regarding the DoJ/FBI investigation of two of Devin Nunes’ top lawyers sparked a response from a former FBI agent—as sometimes happens here. You’ll recall that the investigation in question was a full criminal investigation that featured the use of grand jury subpoenas to obtain personal information regarding the two staffers (including Kash Patel) who were involved in Nunes’ investigation of Russia Hoax abuses—especially the fraudulent FISA applications that were submitted against Carter Page. Because of various procedural irregularities it’s apparent—failure to notify Nunes—there seems little doubt that the purpose of the investigations was to obtain personal information that could be used to pressure Nunes into backing off from his investigation. In fact, DAG Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray had threatened to launch exactly such investigations in a meeting with Nunes and Kash Patel—unless Nunes backed off.
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Needless to say, investigations launched for such a purpose are totally lacking in predication—they lack a legitimate government legal purpose, since conducting legislative oversight investigations is not a violation of federal law (!). I harp on this matter of predication because, to me—and I think objectively, the abuse of the investigative/prosecutorial process for political purposes is perhaps the ultimate and most serious form of corruption. It undermines the justice system and the very concept of rule of law rather than rule of men—the basis of our constitutional order. As I noted at that time, it is clear that such considerations play no part at all in the decisions of men like Rosenstein and Wray—and far too many more. These are real and serious violations of the law, which go unpunished.
Here is the email (slightly edited to preserve anonymity) that I received last night. Readers will readily imagine that the sentiments expressed are widely held among former and active FBI personnel. Bear in mind that, while these abuses are receiving widespread publicity, most FBI agents are not involved and are ashamed to be associated with the activities that are being exposed.
Having been required to read and comprehend the Domestic Investigative Operations Guide ("DIOG") when it came out and being a Bureau legal advisor which required that I speak DIOG fluently, I think we are collectively making a mistake to think that anyone at the Department of Justice ("DOJ") and the Bureau cares one whit about predication. No DOJ or Bureau employee has ever punished for violating the DIOG or federal criminal statutes. As a result, when the DOJ and Bureau can claim the mantle of "national security" and effectively and easily thwart any attempts at Congressional oversight, what does it matter if the investigation of Nunes and his staffers was properly predicated? I am asking rhetorically. I understand that the DOJ and Bureau violated the DIOG/law/Constitutional requirements and should be held accountable. But when no one can hold the DOJ or Bureau to account for such violations, why even bother with the charade of seeking predication? I read the Electronic Communication ("EC"; after it was publicly released) that opened the investigation into general Flynn. It was a complete joke. All it alleged was that Flynn met with some Russians and did some overseas travel. There was nothing within the four corners of that document that would have been the proper basis of any predication of the investigation (as a side note, had any agent brought such a piece of garbage to me to review as a legal advisor, I would have laughed them out of my office and then had a serious discussion with said agent's supervisor about that agent's fitness for duty, but I digress). Yet the investigation proceeded, Flynn was indicted, arrested and prosecuted with no proper predication. What is/was to stop the DOJ and Bureau from just opening an investigation on Nunes or anyone else for that matter and ignoring the need to abide by "the rules"? I respectfully submit, not a damn thing.
Every crime victim I ever interviewed all shared the same sentiment: "I didn't think it (crime) could happen to me." The point is that it appears that many of the machinations by the DOJ and Bureau are completely lawless with no basis in legally comprehensible evidence of criminal violations. I think the sooner we all collectively realize "That it can happen here/to us" the better we will be able to address this issue. Please don't take this as a criticism of you and your work, it's just an observation made by a retired agent.
All of which brings me to a serious question: What concrete things can we do to: A) Address the current issues facing our Republic (DOJ/Bureau overreach, profligate spending, creeping government sponsored surveillance state, potential nuclear war, and...?) and B)How do we fix our society at a very basic level to create wise citizens who can keep our Republic in good order? I am pretty much done reading the latest "outrage" in the conservative press. I understand that things are a mess. My overarching question to complainers/commentators/politicians is: "What are you going to do about it?" I have steadily volunteered to assist the Republican party over the last two years to little or no avail. I am redirecting my efforts and concentrating on assisting local legislators address local issues where I may have some small amount of control.
Anyway, deep thoughts on a rainy, cold afternoon. I am going to throw another log on the fire. Thanks for listening to my rant. I fervently wish that you and yours have a peaceful, prosperous and boring New Year!
I'm totally on board with you. I would simply add--and I'm not making excuses for the Bureau--that too few people understand how much of this is driven by DoJ. Especially given that so many of the HQ legal people are joined at the hip with DoJ, either mentally from prior education or because they have prior work experience there. I refuse to believe that DoJ wasn't in on the Twitter (and other) censorship. The Bureau gets the headlines, the talk of a new Church Commission, but DoJ is arguably the biggest threat to the nation.
And the response to my response:
As to the DoJ, there is absolutely no way any of this "stuff" happened without their full knowledge and support.
The long and the short of it is that the country has been hijacked by a ruling class that is working for its own benefit. For a glimpse at how deep the rot goes, Will Chamberlain’s twitter feed has been testifying for weeks. Chamberlain is supporting Kev McCarthy for speaker, which may sound goofy to you. But, he has his reasons—samples of the no-win situation we seem to be in, which my correspondent complained of: