There is a serious problem with the culture at FBI headquarters,” according to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch.
Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said, “The Justice Department faces a serious credibility problem because millions of Americans suspect that there’s a double standard. They see a story of kid-glove treatment for one side and bare-knuckle tactics for the other. They see politics . . .”
The FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation that a watchdog report was highly critical of has prompted the new director of the FBI, Chris Wray, to take measures to make changes aimed at regaining the public’s confidence. The department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, said the Clinton investigation was plagued by leadership missteps, and the former director, James Comey, broke from protocol. His judgment was questioned during the Clinton investigation, and also on the probe into Russia’s tinkering with the presidential election in 2016.
The report said anti-Trump messages were exchanged by FBI employees during the campaign and that cast a cloud on the agency’s investigation.
There is little doubt that a bias against Trump was “rampant” in the agency.
Has the FBI always been political? During the Richard Nixon presidency it was learned from the director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, that President Lyndon Johnson ordered Hoover to wiretap Nixon during the campaign. According to author Chris Whipple, who wrote the book “The Gatekeepers” about chiefs of staff of presidents, Johnson ordered Hoover to even “bug” Nixon’s campaign airplane, and that he did.
Whipple wrote that no such bug had been planted on Nixon’s airplane.
To Nixon, this was confirmation of his worst fears about his political enemies: “LBJ, the Kennedys, the liberals, and the press.”
Asked about the FBI’s political work for LBJ, Hoover said the agency did it because it was an order from the president!
When a boy, it seemed that everybody looked up to the FBI as a super policeman. As a young adult, and a reporter, we still looked almost in awe of the FBI and its agents. Now with what has been disclosed, we have some doubts about the FBI and the Justice Department. Just how political are those two agencies? How long has this been the case? According to the book referred to earlier, “The Gatekeepers,” the FBI had a political bent in the days when Hoover was the director.
Most of us could say we are naive about some things. It took some of us longer than others to attain a bit of worldly wisdom!