As the American people learn more about how the FBI was weaponized against Donald Trump and his presidential campaign, from the infamous dossier, to the new reports of the FBI having a mole inside the Trump campaign, it is the American people that are the victims seemingly everyone fails to mention. Specifically, that the trust people have in these institutions is being eroded away.
The American people are having to witness in-fighting in the highest levels of government and as a result, have complete reason to distrust these institutions.
A Washington Examiner op-ed similarly argues that these institutions and the people within them must provide Americans with the highest level of confidence and trust, and “they must not give off any hints of favor, agendas, or partisanship.”
Check it out:
In a liberal democracy, law enforcement agents and prosecutors must retain the highest public confidence. Because they have been trusted with the fearful power to arrest, to conduct surveillance, and to pry into every details of a person’s life, they must not give off any hints of favor, agendas, or partisanship.
Today, at the same time that we have a president whose spoken pronouncements are utterly unreliable, the FBI and the special counsel are losing the credibility as impartial and apolitical, which is dangerous.
While this investigation is necessary, the DOJ’s increasingly political management of that investigation reflects poorly on its objectivity.
First, the DOJ’s odd alternation between extreme secrecy and heavy leaking does not convey the image of a fair and impartial investigation. Leaking is understandable conduct from a politician, but it is the antithesis of good conduct for those sworn to uphold the law in public trust.
But the issue isn’t the leaking alone. It’s that at the same time DOJ officers are spilling to the media, they are also resisting constitutionally mandated congressional efforts to oversee them.
According to the report, the wide scope of the Mueller investigation plays into speculation and conspiracy, rather than showing the American people the bureau is capable of narrow and honest investigative work.
Second, the DOJ has failed to clarify the parameters of its Trump-related investigations. This has allowed for wild public speculation as to whether Robert Mueller is investigating collusion, money laundering, inaugural committees, property deals from the 1990s, or perhaps even the president’s tan.
For the president and his inner circle, however, this speculation is no peripheral concern. Trump has no right to be exempt from investigation, but a man with such duties as the president is owed the courtesy of knowing whether and for what he is being investigated.
Lastly, the report argues that it is the American people that are ultimately suffering when the special counsel investigation continues to rack up the bill that taxpayers will foot. Also, as the investigation grows to include more people of interest, or more in-depth research, the bureau is tapped for more people – people who could be otherwise defending America from Chinese intellectual property theft, etc.:
Third, the DOJ is allocating significant resources to this investigation at the cost of other concerns. The central challenge facing all democratic law enforcement agencies is that they must balance limited resources against a wide array of serious investigative concerns. This requires resource prioritization and the tacit acceptance that some serious criminals will go unchallenged.
But considering the obvious scale of the special counsel’s investigation, we are concerned as to how many FBI agents and analysts have been transferred from other investigations. Considering Mueller’s heavy reliance on the FBI’s already stretched counterintelligence division, we worry in particular about foreign spies operating more freely and Chinese intellectual property thieves going unchallenged. These concerns cut at the nation’s critical interests by rendering themselves in the form of lost jobs and lessened security. We suggest that these things matter to the credibility of those tasked to protect us.
Ultimately, the DOJ will have to grapple with these issues sooner or later. They are not fictions born of Trump’s base, they are exigent concerns of effective law enforcement in a democracy.