Pence is wrong. DOJ and FBI Rot Spreads Far Beyond Garland

When it comes to how the Deep State regime is at war with Republicans, former Vice President Mike Pence’s No. cop” to former President Donald’s “bad cop”. Asset.

Talk in New Hampshire last week, Pence typically tried to have it both ways on the unprecedented assault on norms the incident represented. After vaguely calling for transparency, Pence said:

I also want to remind my fellow Republicans that we can hold the Attorney General accountable for the decision he made without attacking members of FBI law enforcement. The Republican Party is the party of law and order. Our party stands with the men and women who serve on the thin blue line at the federal, state and local levels. These attacks on the FBI must stop. Calls for defunding the FBI are just as misguided as calls for defunding the police. The truth is, we need to get to the bottom of it and let the facts play out, but more than anything else, the American people need to be reassured about the integrity of our justice system.

Conservatives are rightly expressing outrage at the banana republic-style raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home by FBI agents acting on the orders of Attorney General Merrick Garland. But the soft-spoken Pence thinks the priority is to reassure the administrative state that Republicans will not be unreasonable in their reaction to attempts to delegitimize opposition to the Biden administration.

With the help of a sympathetic judge who hates the former president so much he had to recuse himself of a lawsuit between Trump and Hillary Clinton, FBI agents were allowed to pursue what turned out to be a never-ending search for anything that Democrats could somehow use to indict Trump on false yet unspecified charges. This comes after the FBI participated in a collusion hoax with Russia that was nothing short of a smooth coup attempt against Trump.

Since their Russian scheme failed, little has changed. Over the past year and a half, the bureau and the rest of the Justice Department have also been involved in President Joe Biden and Garland’s attempt to convince the country that the real threat to the homeland is “domestic terrorism” from supremacists. whites. In practice, it seems to be more about politics than terrorism. The government’s actions appear to indicate their belief that Trump supporters, particularly those who push back against his politically biased outrageous approach to law enforcement, as well as parents who oppose the critical indoctrination of the theory of race in schools, should be the primary focus of law enforcement. .

This means that the appropriate response to the Mar-a-Lago raid cannot be to sit back and wait patiently for the DOJ and FBI to plead their case, as so many others have done over the past three years of a Russian investigation based on manipulation, lies and misconduct within the federal bureaucracy. As a stream of reports from DOJ inspectors general has shown, misconduct and even malfeasance (as was the case with the Russian hoax) are not uncommon.

But the Mar-a-Lago raid takes criticism of the FBI to another level. It is unprecedented not only for the way it targets a former president and likely a political opponent of the current administration. At best, it is the criminalization of a dubious dispute over records. At worst, it’s a fishing expedition whose sole purpose may be to search for non-existent evidence of unspecified crimes tied to the Democrats’ drive to criminalize skepticism about the 2020 election results and mislabel all Republicans of insurgents. This is what made it the straw that broke the camel’s back when it came to the credibility of the FBI.

Pence argues that it is possible to hold Garland accountable for his politicization of justice without a broader critique of the FBI’s work. The latter, he said, would be a betrayal of the GOP’s belief in law and order and comparable to left-wing calls for defunding the police. The two issues are completely different since “reimagining” the FBI will not cause a crime wave, but rather allow the agency to start fighting crime again rather than Biden’s enemies.

As the Russia hoax illustrated, over the past few decades the FBI has morphed as much into a national spy agency as it does into a vaunted organization dedicated to investigating cases that local police have failed to investigate. not the resources or the training to solve.

That’s part of the reason why leftists – who in past generations have been quick to identify the agency with J. Edgar Hoover’s abuses, including spying on a host of non-criminal national figures and splinter groups – love it now. The hypocrisy here is as absurd as it is transparent. Tim Weiner, a former New York Times national security correspondent and author of a critical FBI story, was joyful about the prospect of jailing Trump for a document charge, but also on trial to differentiate between Hoover’s wiretapping of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the agency’s treatment of the former president as an organized crime figure who must be eliminated by any means necessary. According to Weiner, Hoover’s actions were a “witch hunt”, but the agents going through Trump’s files are a “spy investigation”. Of course, the only real difference here is that Hoover spied on the people the left loved while Garland’s lawless DOJ behavior is directed at the person they hate the most.

That supposedly serious people on the left still think Trump is a suspected foreign spy should signal to Republicans that what’s happening here is a replay of Russian farce. We see the same agency go overboard, leak, and breathlessly report in the corporate media that the federal legal establishment is finally getting the goods to lock up Trump.

Faced with this partisan misappropriation of the DOJ and the FBI, tame complaints against Garland are not enough. In the end, no one in the bureau or the DOJ was held accountable for the Russian hoax, which undermined, perhaps fatally, trust in the system. But for the same agencies to drive the country down the same kind of conspiratorial rabbit hole against the same political target is beyond pale.

It’s created the kind of threat to the republic that compels Republicans to treat this as an emergency, rather than just another in a Biden administration’s list of problematic actions.

It’s not about loyalty to Trump or whether Pence should have obeyed the president’s unreasonable demand that he overturn the Electoral College vote. Pence’s compulsion to play moderate conservative is not new. His betrayal of conservatives on the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act in 2015 while he was governor, in order to play on acceptable liberal opinion, should not be forgotten.

FBI funding is an argument that will be easily misinterpreted. But what conservatives need from those who aspire to lead them – and Pence acts as if he wants to run for president in 2024 – is clarity and strength when it comes to confronting the administrative state. The Mar-a-Lago raid provided even more evidence that trump is right to endorse a plan for fundamental reform of the so-called “civil service” because of its proven partisan corruption. This would require at least 50,000 employees with political decision-making power to be appointed by the president rather than act as a permanent, unelected, unaccountable state within state that aids Democrats and hinders Republicans, especially those like Trump or anyone like him who actually wants to drain the DC swamp.

Pence joining the chorus of left-wing pundits who criticize conservative critics of the FBI is not a matter of him not kowtowing to Trump. Rather, it is a sign that he cannot be trusted to effectively fight the left and the deep state that is bent on labeling anyone who opposes the Biden/Garland war on dissidents. It’s one more proof that he’s someone who, without lacking in personal virtue, doesn’t know what time it is. Someone who is so ignorant of this crisis cannot lead Republicans in a fight not so much to save Trump as to save the republic from the leftist war on misconceptions.

Jonathan S. Tobin is a senior contributor to The Federalist, editor of, and columnist for the New York Post. Follow him on Twitter at @jonathans_tobin.

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