By Renee Parsons
Long before House or Senate Republicans ever dared to push back on the FBI or any other Federal institution, it had been no secret that the majority of a bi-partisan Congress had a habit of disappearing, of being unwilling or intimidated to directly challenge willful institutional insubordination; whether on the part of Federal agencies or its personnel in what some might identify today as a form of sedition.
Fast forward to the recently released 316 page Durham Report which has articulated details of the FBI’s open and continued defiance of Congress and the Constitution as the recent House interim report on the Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of Federal Government has confirmed a similar lack of respect for the Rule of Law. The timing of both Durham and the House hearing could only have been a divinely-inspired coincidence as both share a duplicative message meant to resonate with the American people: that the Federal government’s justice system is near-total collapse.
Despite no realistic expectation that Durham would produce a stunning final verdict and uncertainty as to the depth of FBI ‘rot,’ the fact that the FBI interfered in the 2016 election necessitates the removal of Director Wray as well as at least four levels down from their positions of authority ASAP. The Agency may, in fact, be beyond repair with little worth saving except some of the furniture; even as the Democrats propose a new $500 million FBI building larger than the Pentagon.
With a deliberate dearth of media coverage, the American public and its Congress may still be in the throes of grasping the full extent of the depth of US corruption that has publicly surfaced since 2020 with an unexpected ferocity. That corruption has revealed itself to be far more intense, more deeply woven into our national character than previously expected.
Yet at the same time, there is a paradigm shift, admittedly painful and distressing in its revelations, disclosing numerous nefarious events and equally perverse actors that must be cleansed from the American scene, to be acknowledged for their malfeasance and removed from public life.
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Here’s where the Report contradicts reality with Durham having determined that the top echelon at the “Department and the FBI failed to uphold their mission of strict fidelity to the law,” that the “FBI discounted or willfully ignored material information that did not support the narrative of a collusive relationship between Trump and Russia,” in a “pattern of nefarious intent’ and with ‘seriously flawed’ accusations.
You might gather, therefore, that adequate cause for indictments existed especially as AG Barr, in May 2019 “directed United States Attorney John Durham to conduct a preliminary review into certain matters related to the 2016 presidential election campaigns,” and, according to Barr, that review “subsequently developed into a criminal investigation.” So where are the results of that criminal investigation? And yet, according to Durham, the investigation failed, by some miraculous province, to “find any evidence that any FBI official or employee knowingly and intentionally participated in some type of conspiracy with others.”
In addition, Durham’s caveat “to assist the Attorney General in determining how the Department and the FBI can do a better, more credible job in fulfilling its responsibilities, and in analyzing and responding to politically charged allegations in the future” failed to satisfy the FBI’s motto of “Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity” in upholding its mission “Protect[ing] the American People and Uphold[ing] the Constitution of the United States.”
Here is The Question: How will the Congress, presumably through the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, proceed to address the seditious behavior of felonious law-breakers who masquerade as Federal law enforcement officials?
Until the 18th legislative Session of Congress, it has been no secret that Congress has allowed its own ennui and lack of political will to prevent meaningful oversight and demand accountability on what was once revered law enforcement agencies; having shown no political courage to do the job they were elected to, instead Congress has allowed in-house criminals to operate without restraint, knowing they are home-free without ever being held responsible.
It is equally apparent that the government’s administrative staff of embedded bureaucrats such as those at the FBI and the SES who are considered a ‘shadow’ government, are considerably more powerful than its elected officials. In other words, the Federal government and its massive civil servant system functions as a self-perpetuating administrative entity with little regard for the Constitution, the US Congress or the American people.
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Once a more nuanced Russiagate was disguised as a national security investigation, the FBI’s Operation Crossfire Hurricane opened its inquiry prior to the 2016 election which has proven to involve more than just a band of loosely connected reprobates but a sinister tight-knit network of enforcers; weaponizing Federal law enforcement reminiscent of an organized crime cabal.
Reconciling the existence of a banana-republic where the highest levels of law enforcement have been publicly acknowledged as deliberately scheming and consciously corrupt without one single recommendation for prosecution provides its own explanation as to the status of the rule of law in America’s legal justice system; indicting neither former FBI Director Andrew McCabe nor his right hand special agent conspirator Peter Strzok as each identified as main culprits, President Donald Trump remained accused through the 2020 election of collusion with the dreaded Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
As Durham reported, once the “Clinton campaign plan” became au courant; “the significance of the Clinton plan intelligence was such as to have prompted the Director of the CIA (John Brennan) to brief the President(Obama), Vice President (Biden), Attorney General (Loretta Lynch), Director of the FBI (James Comey) and other senior government officials about its content” which was “to vilify Trump by tying him to Vladimir Putin so as to divert attention from her own concerns relating to her use of a private email server.”
That about says it all: the OCH was organized so that the Clinton campaign could avoid scrutiny of its illegal behavior that could have led to criminal charges on the former Secretary of State. None of those recipients were sufficiently grounded in either the Rule of Law, the Constitution or common courtesy to pull the plug on OCH. They were each fully aware that there was, in effect, a coup d’etat underway with the political dismantling of a duly-elected Presidential administration. Not one of them exhibited any character traits of a true leader; putting the welfare of the country before their personal political career.
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Given Trump’s spotty history of political appointments, the President nominated Chris Wray to be Director of the FBI in June, 2017 as “an impeccably qualified individual…will serve his country as a fierce guardian of the law and model of integrity.” AG Jeff Sessions added that Wray had a “brilliant legal mind” with ”all the gifts necessary to make a Great FBI Director.”
During his confirmation before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Wray promised “If I am given the honor of leading this agency, I will never allow the FBI’s work to be driven by anything other than the facts, the law, and the impartial pursuit of justice. Period. My loyalty is to the Constitution and to the rule of law.” Well, actually, not so much.
As if any more superlatives were needed, one month later, a bi partisan letter endorsing Wray’s nomination was sent to Sen. Charles Grassley, then Chair of the Judiciary Committee. The letter contained over one hundred endorsements by former US Attorney’s including former Obama AG Eric Holder. Upon confirmation, Wray was expected to oversee the investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
The overwhelming enthusiasm in support of Wray’s ‘outstanding reputation’ and an “unassailable judgement, integrity and courage” never did measure up to any reasonable expectation that Wray would perform even half as well as those one hundred bureaucrats predicted – or that Wray would provide a Constitutionally protected legal system as an international model of truth, integrity and justice.
Upon being sworn in on August 2, 2017, the OCH had been in progress for about one year which raises a set of curious questions:
When was Wray informed of the OCH and when did he satisfy himself that it was a proper, legitimate and valid investigation with all the t’s crossed? Did he have any concerns that OCH was unconstitutional or did he, at any time, attempt to shut down the OCH case? Was Wray aware that the FBI relied on “raw, unanalyzed, uncorroborated” material in its pursuit to entrap a sitting President? Did Wray walk into FBI with the assumption that all was copacetic or, as might be more probable upon taking office, was Wray fully aware of OCH and supportive of the effort to destabilize the President of the United States – otherwise why did he not step in and immediately bring the façade to an abrupt close?
In any case, Wray was either woefully out of touch with his own department (not a chance) or totally in sync with OCH.
There are a multitude of specific questions about Wray’s precise role in Crossfire Hurricane and formulating FBI’s undercover presence at the January 6th protest. His lack of communication skills or ethical leadership and an unwillingness to provide Congress with subpoenaed information have been allowed to continue as if he has the Constitutional right to deny Congress or decide what material he needs to provide: He does not have that right.
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Within twenty four hours of the Durham Report, the House Select Subcommittee on Weaponization of the Federal Government held the third in a series of hearings which included three rank and file FBI whistleblowers (WB) who were dedicated professional law enforcement officers. The subcommittee has authority to conduct oversight on the FBI especially as the agency has used its politicization to be become increasingly weaponized.
A review of the subcommittee’s 78 page testimony highlights and Executive Summary reveals egregious FBI behavior that included an investigation of almost 150 Bostonians traveling to attend the January 6 rally as the Washington Field Office refused to provide a video from the Capitol for “fear it would disclose undercover officers or confidential human sources inside the Capitol”. After which the Bank of America provided confidential customer data to the FBI of its customers conducting personal bank transactions in DC within three days of January 6. Further subcommittee Testimony included FBI collection of license plate numbers at school board meetings and planting of intel officers within Catholic Churches – all of which are indicative of a totalitarian regime.
Each WB experienced significant personal and professional peril with harsh retaliation as each lost their security clearance and were suspended without pay; in one case leaving a family with small children stranded without resources. The FBI consistently violated its own WB protection guidelines and abused its security clearance review process.
In addition to the total collapse of the FBI as a functioning Constitutional institution, the steady stream of hostility from Democratic Members of the subcommittee responded to the WBs as modern day Bolsheviks in attack mode on its own population with immense anger and resentment, prerequisite insults, a contemptuous attitude and an absence of human empathy especially for the suffering of the O’Boyle and Allen families. As the FBI has become the law enforcement arm of the Democratic party, the WBs were accused of not being WB but merely disgruntled employees.
Has Wray yet explained whether he was lying or not lying to the Senate about FBI’s undercover participation on Jan 6th? How will FBI differentiate between violating the public trust, violating FBI protocol or committing criminal acts? What changes has Wray made or considered vis a vis WB verbalized complaints since the subcommittee’s televised hearing? What was been Wray’s overall response to the WB’s testimony, to the subcommittee or any of the complaints about the FBI’s handling of its WBers? Has he apologized, attempted to make amends to their families or otherwise exhibited any remorse?
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has pledged that, if elected, he would fire Director Wray.
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Lastly, on May 25th, Rep. James Comer (Ky.) Chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability and former Judiciary Committee Chair Sen. Chuck Grassley (Iowa) lettered Wray regarding his lack of response to a May 3rd Congressional subpoena to provide a copy of an unclassified FBI-generated FD 1023. That document is alleged to provide evidence of a scheme involving then vice president Biden trading policy information with a foreign national in exchange for a $5 million ‘consulting’ fee. As FBI whistleblowers continue to come forward, Sen. Grassley was informed of the 1023 document and its alleged contents. Comer has threatened that if the document is not turned over to Congress by May 30th, he will initiate a Contempt of Congress citation which may create its own Constitutional challenge since it is the Garland-DOJ which will be required to send US Marshals to Wray’s door, to serve Wray and make an arrest, if necessary.
Mike Davis with Article III Project spells out the background: in 2016, HRC was caught with an illegal home server which contained classified documents that enabled her to conduct ‘pay to play’ on behalf of the Clinton Foundation; HRC destroyed the evidence thereby obstructing justice with the FBI assisting by destroying its remaining evidence and colluding with HRC’s campaign as Durham has spelled out. The bottom line is that Wray approved the 2022 raid on Trump’s Mar a Lago home to retrieve his Constitutionally approved possession of declassified OCH files which spells out, in detail, FBI corruption in cahoots with HRC and the Democrats – all of which is now motivation for full scale lawfare, the hyper-ventilation to legally tie Trump up, literally or figuratively, in court or jail.
It is now up to Reps. Comer and Jordan and their committees to actively pursue all the documents from the FBI and/or the DOJ and expose the who’s-who details and timeline of the massive cover-up underway since 2016 as well as efforts to suppress the 2024 election. The time has passed for courteous letters to the FBI or DOJ requesting a polite response. Subpoenas must be issued, depositions must be initiated, perpetrators need to be in front of a Congressional committee.
It is now up to Congressional Republicans to save the Republic. The Democrats have acquiesced their authority away to an illusory existence. If Republicans choose to wimp out and cower in a corner, the Country will be done.
Renee Parsons served on the ACLU’s Florida State Board of Directors and as president of the ACLU Treasure Coast Chapter. She has been an elected public official in Colorado, staff in the Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, an environmental lobbyist for Friends of the Earth and a staff member of the US House of Representatives in Washington DC.