When Justice Department official Bruce Ohr testified before the House Judiciary and Oversight committees on Tuesday, no actual Democrat congressmen or women showed up. They likely would claim it wasn’t necessary. This was all old hat and there was no there there.
The opposite is true. There’s plenty there — to wit, the potential weaponization of the FBI, and by extension the Department of Justice, to prevent the presidency of Donald Trump and later to undermine it.
Whether you like Trump or not, if true, that’s nothing short of sabotage of American democracy as we know it, the Sovietization of the prosecutorial wings of our legal system. But never mind. When party politics is involved, best to ignore it. What Ohr knows about who, what, where, why, when and how the nefarious Steele dossier was conceived and then promulgated — to the FBI, media and even to the supposedly sacrosanct FISA court — is, at least to those congressional Democrats, of no consequence.
But not to those of us who actually care about this country, not just holding onto power and/or upending the dreaded Donald by any means necessary, ends justifying means.
When we heard AG Jeff Sessions had appointed a US Attorney in relatively far away and therefore free of influence Utah, John Huber, to deal with this, we heaved the proverbial sigh of relief. Something was finally being done to investigate the possible misuse of our premier law enforcement agency that could result in actual prosecutions. Rumors were even circulating in certain conservative circles that Trump and Sessions were actually secretly in cahoots, that Trump’s angry tweets at his former ally were a masquerade for the coming settling of accounts. All were finally to be treated equally under the law.
But that was way back in March and now we learn, via members of the committees, that Huber has not even bothered to interview the very Bruce Ohr — the covert point man to Christopher Steele after the FBI officially severed its links to the British former spook for leaking to the press. Say what?
As of now, there has not been a peep out of Huber, no criminal charges thus far even for Andrew McCabe, whose indictment was recommended by the inspector general, not to mention a whole host of other FBI officials who appear to have lied to Congress and elsewhere, including James Comey, Peter Strzok and others less well known.
Jeff Sessions, where are you? What is going on? Do you want the FBI to remain an organization disdained and distrusted by literally half the country? What kind of prescription is that for our national health?
The first inspector general’s report, despite some stinging revelations, was in the end basically a high-toned cover-up. It looks all the more so with the new report that Hillary Clinton’s emails were being read in real time by the Chinese, a not very shocking development considering the multiple ways PRC intelligence services have permeated our society. The FBI denies this, but is there reason to believe them? The Clinton server would have been easy for a bright high school student to hack. The Chinese have accomplished far more difficult cyber feats.
Interestingly, these are the same emails that we also have now learned were never really looked into by the FBI (see the revelations about the Weiner laptop). Perhaps they should ask Chairman Xi, not Putin, for details.
Will Inspector General Horowitz revise his first report based on these new findings? Or will he continue to subtly prevaricate on his second one intended to investigate the yet more significant question of possible FBI spying on the Trump campaign, even that the organization instigated some form of set-up? That would be unprecedented.
Like almost all bureaucracies, the Department of Justice and the FBI seem most concerned with self-preservation. I was one of those hoping (see the “cahoots” reference above) that Jeff Sessions was to some extent at least playing possum. He was doing some good things, especially concerning illegal immigration and ruthless drug gangs.
But these initiatives, laudable as they might be, now seem almost a purposeful distraction, conservative virtue signaling designed to placate his critics while the real malfeasance occurred and occurs in the heart of the agency he directs.
Sessions recused himself early on from the Russia investigation. With twenty-twenty hindsight, he should have resigned completely at that point because an attorney general unable to oversee that politically fraught investigation is not an attorney general at all. Hands tied, he is a bystander to the most significant and controversial issue in his department.
Not only has this turned Ron Rosenstein into a quasi-AG, a job to which he was not appointed, it has added to the already pervasive suspicion of the investigation and therefore of the Justicee Department in general. Beyond a house-cleaning of virtually all upper executive personnel, it’s hard to see how this would ever be corrected.
Jeff Sessions should be the first to go. It would be good if he set an example and did this voluntarily.
Roger L. Simon – co-founder and CEO Emeritus of PJ Media – an author and an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter.