“Trust but verify” was how President Ronald Reagan described his view of agreements with the Soviet Union. The same mindset should apply to dealing with the FBI, though recent history suggests it’s wiser to drop the “trust” part and go straight to “verify.”
The organization previously known as the world’s premier law enforcement agency is increasingly seen by many Americans as the armed wing of the Democratic Party.
Almost as troubling, no one in a position of authority in the agency, the Justice Department or the White House seems to understand the long-term implications or care enough to repair the FBI’s shredded credibility.
That’s the big takeaway from the agency’s bitter battle with congressional Republicans.
Instead of trying to demonstrate that he was dealing honestly with legitimate demands from elected officials, Director Christopher Wray created the impression that he believes the agency is exempt from oversight and can tell Congress to take a hike.
He tried that, it didn’t work and
The dispute began as a fairly routine document request from Congress and mushroomed into another black eye for the bureau because of Wray’s resistance.
His shifting reasons cemented his reputation for arrogance and deceit.
Joe ‘bribery scheme’
The document contains an allegation that Joe Biden, as vice president, was involved in a $5 million bribery scheme. Only because House Oversight Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) acted like a dog looking for a lost bone do we even know the document exists.
When Comer, following a tip, requested the document, the FBI refused to admit it existed. When Comer subpoenaed it, the agency said it existed, but couldn’t be provided because that could endanger a source or compromise current or future investigations — and that the allegation was unverified.
In other words, Buzz off, buster.
On the eve of the subpoena deadline, after Comer threatened to hold Wray in contempt, the FBI director deigned to schedule a phone call about the document.
Wray’s next fallback was that . Comer said no thanks, and Wray finally had agents bring the file to Capitol Hill on Monday for committee Republicans and Democrats to read.
— both years are said to have appeared in the file — and reportedly centers on Ukraine, where first son Hunter Biden was paid up to $1 million a year from 2014 to 2019 for joining the board of Burisma, a notoriously corrupt energy company.
At the time of Hunter’s appointment, Joe Biden was vice president and the Obama administration’s point man on Ukraine.
Shortly before the Burisma announcement, the White House granted Ukraine $50 million, in part for election security and to help its energy sector.
Given the pattern of Biden family foreign schemes, the 2014 White House release now reads like a parody when it says some American money would help Ukraine “break the cycle of corruption.”
Ghost of feds past
Although Comer and Democrats differ on whether the FBI said the case remains alive, Comer pointed out that , suggested the purported $5 million bribe “would be made through shell accounts and multiple banks.”
That dovetails with Comer’s ongoing probe, which already turned up nearly a score of bank accounts where millions from China paymasters were distributed to as many as nine Bidens, a pattern he called money laundering.
Meanwhile, Wray’s resistance is consistent with two recent reminders of how far the FBI has veered off course and into politics. First, his predecessor, the odious James Comey, recently endorsed Joe Biden for re-election despite the pile of evidence that the president is compromised by his family’s foreign dealings.
Comey’s backing of the president also echoed how he played politics in 2016. Recall that special prosecutor John Durham’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Russia collusion allegations against Donald Trump found that Comey’s team had insufficient evidence to open the case, let alone spy on Trump associates, while it neglected credible allegations against Hillary Clinton.
As Durham put it, “The speed and manner in which the FBI opened and investigated Crossfire Hurricane during the presidential election season based on raw, unanalyzed, and uncorroborated intelligence also reflected a noticeable departure from how it approached prior matters involving possible attempted foreign election interference plans aimed at the Clinton campaign.”
As I noted then, that’s the final verdict on 2016, but and what seems the failure of the FBI to run it down is another example of how the agency also played favorites in 2020. Recall that it actively worked with Facebook and Twitter to censor
And don’t forget this is the same FBI supposedly investigating Hunter Biden for nearly five years. Whistleblowers claim that case is also being slow-walked as a favor to the Bidens.
If that weren’t enough, the FBI’s notorious habit of leaking to tilt the media scales continues. Both the New York Times and Washington Post, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that the agency checked out the $5 million bribe claim and found no evidence.
Of course, these are the same media that beat the collusion horse to death — and shared a Pulitzer Prize for publishing disinformation mostly peddled by Comey’s crew.
Interestingly, other outlets insist the bribe case is still active and Wray said nothing publicly. So whom are you going to believe?
The entire episode is a formula for creating mistrust, which seems to be Wray’s special skill. He never admitted the significance of what Comey and his dirty crew did in 2016, dismissing the attempt to tilt an election as merely the work of a few bad apples.
It’s no surprise, then, that nothing has changed. And it won’t as long as he’s in charge.
Toll of border lunacy
Two pieces of New York news sound distinct but actually have the same root: the wide-open southern border.
First, Mayor Eric Adams wants houses of worship to take some of the overflow of migrants at city facilities. He even , who number more than 70,000.
Second, his Heath Department isto treat overdoses of fentanyl and other drugs, which claimed 2,668 lives in 2021.
Desperate to find solutions to both crises, City Hall will try anything — except the one thing that could work. Adams must persuade President Biden to close the border, which is the only way to stop the flow of both migrants and drugs.
That the mayor won’t go there makes no sense. Until he does, his efforts — and the city — are doomed.
VP’s at her wits’ end
Reader Jim Rowbotham suggests some of the focus on Joe Biden’s cognitive decline should be directed elsewhere, writing: “Has Vice President [Kamala] Harris ever consented to a cognitive function test? Her odd repetition and confused syntax point to that test being advisable.”