Over the past five years or so, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), once a beacon of professionalism, has seen its credibility go down the toilet.
After a period of unprecedented politicization in the Department of Justice during the Obama years, the FBI has become the very epitome of “The Swamp”—and we need to do something about it.
For Republicans, the bogus investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016 based on the worthless Steele Dossier was the point of no return. Yet, the FBI continued to prove it was politicized beyond repair. Investigations have been stonewalled, and we have witnessed a barrage of selective leaks. You name it. During the Trump years, it felt like there was a coup underway at all times. Partisan elements in the Bureau clearly tried to undermine his presidency and his campaign. For example, Peter Strzok, the former deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division, infamously told his former lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, that “We’ll” (presumably the FBI) stop Trump from becoming president. The list goes on and on.
There are also allegations of entrapment in the absurd plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer last year (FBI agents quite literally created the plot) and the partisan investigations of January 6 rioters. And, of course, the lack of action against Antifa terrorists is yet another black mark.
For Democrats, the Kavanaugh investigation was a low point for the Bureau. According to them, the FBI didn’t do enough to investigate the barrage of bogus allegations made against him during his confirmation hearings in 2018. In fact, they’ve once again rehashed those complaints after reports that the FBI received 4,500 tips, and apparently, not all of them were investigated. The Democrats’ complaints about the Kavanaugh investigation are absurd, as were the sheer number of tips made.
There are other FBI failures that aren’t partisan in nature, including the recently released Inspector General report that accuses the FBI of failing to adequately respond to sexual abuse allegations of Larry Nassar, the former U.S. gymnastics team doctor. The FBI also failed to respond to tips warning about the 2009 Fort Hood shooting, the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, the 2018 Parkland school shooting, and other recent mass-casualty events. The FBI was also warned multiple times of planned violence before the January 6 Capitol riot.
Between blatant partisanship and incompetence, the FBI’s reputation might be beyond repair.
While there are plenty of reasons Republicans and Democrats disagree on why the FBI needs to be reformed, they can at least agree that reform is needed. Americans used to have faith that the FBI was nonpartisan and professional; clearly, no one does anymore, and that’s not sustainable.
Something needs to be done. If bipartisan reforms aren’t possible, then the FBI needs to be completely overhauled top to bottom. It should never have gotten this way, but sadly that’s where we are.