Republicans are attacking the DOJ and FBI, but it’s the Democrats who should have a beef with the Feds

FILE - Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Justice Department in Washington, Thursday, April 13, 2023. Assistant Attorney General Lisa Monaco stands at left.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Atti. General Merrick Garland and the assistant district attorney. General Lisa Monaco at the Ministry of Justice in April. (Evan Vucci/Associated Press)

This week opened with more evidence: if the Democrats are arming the federal government against their political opponents, as the Republicans claim, they are doing a terrible job.

No wonder the Republicans are firing blanks as they hunt for evidence of sordid acts at the Justice Department and the FBI, through their specially created subcommittee on the “Weaponization of Government.” There is no proof.

In fact, what’s amazing is that it’s not the Democrats who are complaining about the nation’s top law enforcement agencies and calling for “defund” And “destroy” the FBI. After all, Donald Trump might never have been president had not a Republican FBI director announced days before the 2016 election that he had reopened an (ultimately doomed) investigation into Hillary Clinton. .

The latest piece of evidence pointing to the folly of Republican complaints about an evil Democratic deep state was the Washington Post’s lengthy investigative article this week with the headline: “FBI Resisted Investigation into role of Trump on January 6 for more than a year.

All the while, of course, it was the appointees of a Democratic president, Joe Biden, who ran the judiciary and the FBI and avoided targeting Trump. The Post has provided new details on how Atty. General Merrick Garland and his deputy, Lisa Monaco, among other top officials, were so obsessed with restoring public confidence in the department after its outright militarization under Trump and his attorney general, William Barr, that they acted belatedly, and even then cautiously, to scrutinize Trump’s actions. “You couldn’t use the T-word,” an unnamed justice official told the Post.

Justice and the FBI finally acted after reporters and the House committee on January 6 uncovered evidence of Trump’s direct involvement in various schemes to nullify the 2020 election – pressuring government officials. state, its court appointees, and its vice president — and after a federal judge in a related case found that Trump “more likely than not” committed federal crimes.

“It wasn’t until they were embarrassed that they started looking,” another source told The Post. FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, the Trump appointee maintained by Biden (both for Biden as chief shipowner), waited 15 months to authorize an investigation into Republican connivance to replace pro-Biden voters from some states by pro-Trump fakes. Justice investigators have not interviewed witnesses to Trump’s notorious appeal to the Georgia secretary of state – the one in which he asked the official to “find” enough votes for Trump to win that state – until ‘that has This year.

The story was much the same in the separate investigation into Trump’s withholding of highly classified documents, despite nearly two years of federal pleas and a subpoena demanding their return – the alleged crimes for which he has eventually charged. For months, according to the Post, FBI agents resisted a last-ditch plan to raid Mar-a-Lago to recover material the government had reason to suspect was there. Some agents argued that Trump should be taken at his word that he turned everything over and dropped the case. (Take Trump at his word? Who would do that?)

Yet most Republicans, even those who criticize Trump for messing up the documents, castigate the FBI and the judiciary for somehow taunting him. Take it from a (somewhat) reformed Barr: “Trump’s indictment is not the result of unjust government persecution. It’s a situation entirely his fault.” To suggest otherwise, Barr wrote this week, is “cynical political propaganda.”

Here’s another reason Democrats over Republicans are the party with a beef against law enforcement. In 2018, the FBI helped Republicans effectively take control of the Supreme Court. Led by Trump and then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a canny Republican from Kentucky, Wray’s FBI investigated sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. which was so time-limited (less than a week) and far-reaching (an eyewitness to an unreported assault was ignored, for one thing) that there was virtually no investigation. Still, the bogus investigation allowed McConnell to falsely claim that the FBI exonerated Kavanaugh, securing his confirmation.

Predictably, Republicans remained silent on the Post’s revelations, contrary to the party’s message about evil Democrats and Justice Department bias. But – echoing Trump – they were quick to rush to the news on Tuesday that the president’s son, Hunter Biden, had agreed to plead guilty to two misdemeanor tax charges and pre-trial diversion for violation. of firearms.

A Trump super PAC condemned the agency for making a “love deal,” and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, the Bakersfield Republican, required that justice officials hand over their cases to a Republican-led House committee for review. Again, however, there were inconvenient facts: When Biden took office, he kept in place the U.S. Republican attorney assigned to investigate his son, and the prosecutor had broad authority to sniff and dig into the conduct and business dealings of Hunter Biden. For five years.

Republicans’ consistent condemnation of the nation’s law enforcement stalwarts is not only misguided, it is woefully effective. The chilling effect of their rehashing is evident in the insane caution that the judiciary and the FBI have displayed towards Trump. Worse, however, is the way Republicans are undermining Americans’ faith in the rule of law, all to score political points.

This is the real militarization of government.


This story originally appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

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