Millions of Americans are questioning the political neutrality of the Department of Justice after last week’s raid on Former President Trump’s Florida residence. Agencies like the FBI and the DOJ are facing a legitimacy crisis. At least half of the country finds Federal law enforcement suspicious, especially after the treatment of trump and many associated with the former president in the last few years.
FBI official Peter Strzok appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe to assure the public that the bureau was on the level. “Absolutely the American public should trust what the FBI is doing,” he said.
But was Strzok the best choice as a representative? Strzok’s infamy with the American people from such FBI scandals as Russiagate, the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, or his affair with FBI lawyer Lisa Page. While involved in the investigations into the two candidates in the 2016 presidential election, he consistently texted Page about his hatred for Trump.
In the wake of the Trump raid Strzok’s commentary is one of many voices repeating the same message, that despite the precious little we know of the DOJ’s investigation and the recent history these agencies have, we the people are not allowed to question the integrity of our law enforcement officials.
The Washington Post‘s lead editorial headline was “The FBI is not the enemy.” The New York Times labored to link a nutjob who shot up an FBI office in Ohio with the “bellicose, dehumanizing, and apocalyptic” language of American citizens who are willing to question what is going on.
Strzok himself was found to cast a cloud of suspicion on the FBI after the Justice Department’s inspector general concluded his anti-Trump texts were a threat to the investigation, releasing him from his duty as head of the FBI. Strzok also personally interfered with the agent overseeing the investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. He used his position to stop the agent from closing the file after the evidence against him didn’t pan out.
His loyalty to the Clintons, however, has been unshakable. His team included opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign in an application for a secret surveillance warrant on former Trump adviser Carter Page. His integrity was so tattered and his actions so dirty that they led to the nullification of two of the four warrants against his intended target. He also received a scathing inspector general’s report that “identified multiple instances” in which the factual assertions the bureau made in the application for the Page warrants “were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”
To be fair there is a small chance that we will find that the FBI raid on Trump’s Florida home was justified. But until information comes out that justifies the DOJ’s and FBI’s actions we will reserve our right to question the integrity of federal law enforcement. As these officials have proved their willingness to behave like political hacks, abusing their power to go after their political enemies.