USAG Must Restore Legitimacy after Inspector General’s Report

Inspector General
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Prof. William Wagner

WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU

In the wake of a scathing Inspector General’s Report, I called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions today to restore legitimacy to the Justice Department and the FBI.

Those we Trust to Uphold the Rule of Law Broke the Rules

Functional good governance requires respect for the rule of law. Here the former Director of the FBI, and those under his charge, utterly failed to respect the rules.

It is clear from factual findings in the report that officials substantially departed from standard investigative procedures.  Initially, officials offered special treatment, deviating from standard FBI evidence-gathering practices that compel truth-telling. As Representative Trey Gowdy noted:

… the treatment afforded to former Secretary Clinton and other potential subjects and targets was starkly different from the FBI’s investigation into Trump campaign officials. Voluntariness and consent in the former were replaced with search warrants, subpoenas, and other compulsory processes in the latter. Many of the investigators and supervisors were the same in both investigations but the investigatory tactics were not.

The Inspector General Report and Political Bias

FBI Director Christopher Wray needs to acknowledge the political bias that exists directly under his charge and deal with it.  His initial response is troubling. His response to the Report inaccurately indicates: “The report did not find any evidence of political bias or improper consideration actually impacting the investigation under review.”  The report actually found “no testimonial or documentary evidence of political bias” impacting investigative decisions. That summary statement, and the evidence published in the Report, leads to a wholly different conclusion than that which Wray portrays.

Do not just read the Executive Summary.  Read the Report.

Read the voluminous tweets between the officials overseeing the investigation. Then decide whether evidence of political bias impacting the investigation exists.  For example, the report discloses an heretofore undisclosed new text conversation from August 2016.

Attorney Page texts key FBI official Strzok:  “[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!” 

Strozok responds: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.” 

Under the laws of the United States, the FBI investigates; Justice Department prosecutors  decide whether to bring a case. Nonetheless, the Director, before interviewing Clinton, decides she should not face charges. And then, in an act of insubordination, usurps the authority Office of the Attorney General by announcing that “no reasonable prosecutor” would bring a case. The Director, in the face of overwhelming evidence, says no evidence of intent exists. Stealth private server, bleaching computers, and taking hammers to blackberries notwithstanding.

Others, under the charge of the Director, improperly leak information to press. And then routinely take gifts and other things of value for their efforts.

Furthermore, after Strozok and others worked on both investigations, they then managed to get assigned to the Independent Counsel’s team.  Since removed, like bad apples from the crate, the rotten taint remains.

The Cost of the Malfeasance

The former Director of the FBI, and those under his charge, utterly failed to respect the rules. Their malfeasance undermines the legitimacy of the very institutions upon which we rely to uphold justice and enforce the rule of law. Moreover, their actions seriously impair the credibility of the various investigations in which they participated. Additionally, their actions undermine the trustworthiness of the conclusions reached in the investigations. Unfortunately, by association, it also damages the reputation of the many career agents of the FBI. Agents who protect and serve our nation with fidelity and integrity every day.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions must, therefore, decisively act to restore legitimacy to the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The way of a guilty man is crooked, but the conduct of the innocent is upright. Proverbs 21:8




About the Author

Prof. William Wagner
WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at SAU
Professor Wagner holds the WFFC Distinguished Chair for Faith & Freedom at Spring Arbor University. He has a special interest in building and preserving environments where Christians may share the Good News of Jesus, free from persecution and oppression.

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