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A Pitiful, Helpless Giant?

The fired former editrix of the New York Times, Jill Abramson, seems to think Robert Mueller and James Comey outrank the president of the United States. No, really:

Congressional Republicans who stick by Trump and protect him will be remembered as the villains of Washington’s unfolding drama. They are the ones enabling an epic White House end run around the constitution. Instead of holding Trump to account, Republicans are joining him in a cynical attempt to tarnish the  FBI and undermine the criminal investigation into Russian election meddling.

The Republicans want to destroy the public’s faith in the impartiality of the FBI, in order to undermine Mueller. Their aim is to insulate Trump against the obstruction of justice charges the special counsel is said to be contemplating. This is political poison. It is toxic to democracy. It goes beyond anything contemplated by Richard Nixon and his supporters during Watergate. What can prevent the poison from infecting the country’s lifeblood?

Granted, this appears in the Guardian, one of Britain's most prominent far-left lunatic outlets. But the notion that some abstract "higher authority" has a place in our constitutional system is just crazy. Still, it's a core belief on the Left, which from the 1960s on has gone running to the courts to overturn state laws it doesn't like, and to reverse lower-court decisions it ideologically abhors. Sure, most of them are atheists, but their faith in a Higher Power (call it the "arc of history") is touching.

The FBI is not a perfect institution. Like all big federal agencies, it is riven by factionalism. Like all law enforcement professionals, FBI officials can be overzealous. But it is crucial to the functioning of the law. Many people who have made their careers at the FBI are feeling undermined by a president who has contempt for their work. Many of Trump’s  recent tweets have assailed the FBI.

I await Mueller’s findings of whether the president broke the law in dealing with Russia and the fallout of the election. Only he has anything approaching the full picture. That’s why upholding the legitimacy of his investigation – and investigators – is so important.

As the Republicans continue their campaign to discredit the FBI, it’s important to remember a piece of history. Without Deep Throat, the Washington Post’s secret source, the Watergate scandal might never have been exposed. Deep Throat, we learned in 2012, was Mark Felt, the No2 official at the FBI.

The constitution owes him, and those who have followed in his footsteps, a giant debt of gratitude.

Oh, please. Felt was a disaffected, self-aggrandizing coward who hid behind anonymity in order to extract revenge on a president who'd passed him over for promotion. Meanwhile, Andrew McCarthy, who actually knows what he's talking about, weighs in: