Tag Archives: FBI

Ex-deputy FBI director speaks for millions of us about ‘maniacal rage’

The U.S. Justice Department has declared it will not pursue criminal charges against an embattled former deputy FBI director who’s been one of Donald John Trump’s key targets for the past couple of years.

Andrew McCabe, though, says doesn’t believe he ever will be “free” of Trump’s “maniacal rage.” He will live forever, McCabe said, with Trump seething over imagined transgressions that POTUS says were committed by the lifetime public servant.

McCabe speaks for many millions of Americans who fear the same thing. Long after Trump is gone from the White House, I am one American who dreads the prospect of a former president continuing his assault on our emotions through social media.

Trump and then-attorney general Jeff Sessions fired McCabe on allegations that he hadn’t been forthcoming in interviews with DOJ officials. Trump then fired Sessions and has kept up the drumbeat of innuendo against McCabe and his wife ever since.

McCabe was set to retire from the FBI with full benefits before Sessions and Trump canned him. McCabe said he has lived in a nightmare ever since.

I am glad to know that DOJ investigators have determined there will be no criminal charges brought against the former deputy FBI director. I also am glad he has been relieved of such a threat of criminal prosecution.

What I wish now for McCabe, his wife and the rest of us is for Donald Trump to go away quietly after the November 2020 election. I know that’s not going to happen. He’ll either win re-election, in which case we’ll never hear the end of it from him … or he’ll lose his re-election bid and we still never hear the end of it. 

Many of your fellow Americans feel your pain, Mr. Deputy FBI Director.

William Barr: biggest disappointment of Trump Cabinet

I wanted William Barr to be a stellar choice to become U.S. attorney general. I wanted him to demonstrate that Donald Trump was capable of selecting someone with high honor, integrity and gravitas.

He has disappointed me in the extreme.

Barr came to the AG post after serving in that position for President Bush 41. He distinguished himself well serving as the head of Justice Department near the end of President Bush’s single term. My hope when he emerged as the successor to Jeff Sessions was that he would do so yet again.

Instead, he has done so many things that have shattered my misplaced optimism.

He disagreed with the inspector general’s findings that the FBI was not motivated by partisan bias when it began its probe into the Russian attack on our electoral system; he continues to insist that the FBI “spied” on Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign; he misrepresented special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings into “The Russia Thing”; he said Mueller cleared Trump of “collusion,” when Mueller did nothing of the kind.

Former AG Eric Holder has said that Barr is “unfit” to serve as attorney general. I fear he is right.

William Barr took an oath in effect to be the people’s lawyer. He has become the president’s personal legal bag man.

He is the No. 1 disappointment to emerge from the Trump morass.

Watch out, Mr. ‘Current’ POTUS

If Donald J. Trump is going to refer to Christopher Wray as the “current” director of the FBI, I am going to take it upon myself — through High Plains Blogger — to hereby refer to Trump as the “current” president of the United States.

Fair is fair, right?

I mean, to imply that Wray’s status as head of the world’s pre-eminent investigative agency might be in peril gives many of us license to infer the same thing about the man who appointed him.

Donald Trump’s status as the “current” president well might imply the same thing, if not through impeachment and removal in a Senate trial, then via the next presidential election.

Former CIA, FBI director takes aim at Trump

Donald Trump, the “current” president of the United States, is a threat to national security and is undermining the morale of the agencies charged with protecting us.

Who said that? A flaming, squishy liberal activist? Oh, no. That thought comes from a longtime Republican and the only person ever to hold the offices of FBI and CIA director, William Webster.

Webster is concerned that the president took issue with the “current” director of the FBI, Christopher Wray, who stands behind the inspector general’s assessment that he found no political bias in the launching of an FBI investigation into allegations of Russian election interference in our 2016 presidential campaign.

He skewered Trump in an op-ed written for the New York Times. You can read it here.

Webster criticizes Trump for referring to the FBI as a “broken” agency. It isn’t broken. Indeed, the only “broken” federal office is the one operating inside the White House.

My point here is that Webster is a strong, faithful and loyal Republican who is actually standing up to the fraudulent politician who is masquerading as our nation’s president.

If only other reliable Republicans — those in public office at this moment — could summon the courage of William Webster.

FBI director might be headed for the exits … yes?

When the person who appoints you to an important job refers to you as the “current” individual doing that job, then you might want to consider your next career move.

So it might be with FBI Director Christopher Wray, to whom Donald Trump referred as the “current director.” Why the qualifier? Well, Wray has backed up the findings of the Justice Department inspector general who said that the FBI did not launch its probe into the Russia election interference with any political bias.

Here is what Trump said via Twitter about Wray: I don’t know what report current Director of the FBI Christopher Wray was reading, but it sure wasn’t the one given to me. With that kind of attitude, he will never be able to fix the FBI, which is badly broken despite having some of the greatest men & women working there!

Trump has alleged that former FBI Director James Comey was biased against him when he began examining allegations that Russia attacked our electoral system in 2016. He fired Comey in 2017. The IG was brought in to determine whether the probe began because of bias against Trump.

The IG, Michael Horowitz, said the FBI did not act with political prejudice, although he did scold the FBI for committing serious mistakes in seeking warrants involving one of Trump’s campaign aides. Political bias? Prejudice? Not there, said Horowitz.

And so now we are left to wonder whether Christopher Wray, whom Trump selected to succeed Comey, is headed for the proverbial political guillotine.

I have lived long enough to remember a lot of internal political battles. I’ve watched them from some distance. Even during Watergate, when the FBI got caught up in that hideous scandal, I don’t ever recall an embattled President Nixon refer to the FBI boss in terms that the current embattled president is using against Wray.

What does this do to morale among the troops in the trenches? How does it affect their performance? How do they concentrate on the myriad investigative duties required of them while the director is being singled out by the president?

The chaos persists. The bad news is that it is quite likely to worsen.

Meanwhile, the IG makes some big news

While members of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee today were making spectacles of themselves with their posturing about this and that regarding Donald Trump hideous behavior, the Justice Department’s inspector general managed to make some real news.

Michael Horowitz, who is known to be a non-partisan straight shooter, released a report today that debunks Trump’s assertion that the FBI acted properly in instigating its investigation into Russia’s attack on our electoral system in 2016.

Boom! Bingo! There you go!

The president has been yammering seemingly forever that the FBI was prompted by partisan political concerns to launch a probe into the Russians’ attack on our system. The IG said today the FBI report was done properly and with justification.

To be fair, the IG did scold the FBI on some procedural matters involving some aspects of the information gathering it completed. The IG said the FBI committed “errors” while wiretapping a member of Trump’s campaign staff. The big stuff? The conspiracy that Trump and others have sought to perpetuate? No deal, man! Ain’t nothing there, according to the Horowitz.

Of course, Attorney General William Barr has criticized the report. He is holding onto the notion that the FBI conspired to ensnare the president with an investigation based on specious allegations that President Barack Obama ordered the wiretapping of the Trump campaign offices.

The inspector general has cleared the FBI of the idiotic allegations that Trump and others have leveled at the world’s premier investigative agency. This is a big deal that, to my mind, eclipses the posturing many Americans today witnessed by members of a key congressional committee.

The inspector general’s report likely won’t silence Donald Trump. He’ll keep hammering away with his Twitter account that the FBI was inspired by partisan concerns to undermine his election as president. The IG says otherwise.

I am going to stand with the inspector general.

Trump misses irony of his anti-Biden tirade

I was stunned to hear Donald John Trump deliver a blistering and crass rebuke of Joseph Biden Jr., in which he said the only way he succeeded at being vice president was that he figure out “how to kiss Barack Obama’s a**.”

I want to offer a few examples.

My goodness, the irony of that statement is astonishing in the extreme. You see, the only thing that the president of the United States seems to demand from those who answer to him is for the underlings to kiss his own a**.

Trump demands loyalty from, say, the director of the FBI. When James Comey doesn’t deliver it, he gets fired. Attorney General Jeff Sessions wouldn’t take part in the Russia investigation because he recognized the obvious conflict of interest, given that he worked on Trump’s campaign and couldn’t investigate himself; he recused himself and then got fired by Trump.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson got canned because he challenged the president’s authority to enact certain policies; so did former national security advisor H.R. McMaster.

The list is seemingly endless.

Donald Trump wants his sycophants to kiss his backside. He demands fealty, blind loyalty. He doesn’t appear to tolerate dissent.

So, for the president to make such a suggestion about former Vice President Joe Biden is laughable on its face.

Except that it’s not funny.

How on Earth does this POTUS do the right thing?

U.S. Rep. John Ratcliffe’s decision to pull out of the director of national intelligence job puts Donald John Trump squarely in the middle of a quandary he seems to have no interest in solving.

Trump selected the toadie Ratcliffe — a Northeast Texas congressman — to succeed Dan Coats as DNI, only to face a storm of criticism over Ratcliffe’s partisan leanings and allegations that he embellished his resume. Trump blamed the media for doing their job in “vetting” this individual.

Ratcliffe is out. Coats will be gone Aug. 15. Who will fill the vital job as head of the nation’s intelligence network? How in the world does this president do the right thing and find someone who (a) is willing to work for Donald Trump and (b) would provide Trump with the critical analysis of the existential security threats to the nation.

More to the point, how does Trump resist the impulse to rely on those who tell him what he wants to hear and ignores what he needs to hear?

Coats and other intelligence chiefs said the same thing: Russia attacked our election in 2016. Trump has dismissed them. Indeed, just this week he said former special counsel Robert Mueller — who said yet again that the Russians posed a serious threat to our electoral system — didn’t know what he was talking about.

The heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff all have said the same thing: The Russians attacked us.

Coats spoke “truth to power.” Ratcliffe spoke quite the opposite.

What in the world is Donald Trump going to do to fill this job? He needs critical thinking. He needs to hear the truth. He needs to be told where the threats exist and he needs to consider strategies to protect our system against further assaults from Russia and perhaps other hostile powers.

Who in the world is willing to provide what the president of the United States won’t accept?

‘Must-see TV’ on tap soon

A major broadcast television network used to hype its programming as “must-see TV.”

I believe Americans interested in the fate and future of our republic will be getting set for their own version of must-see TV. That will be when former special counsel Robert Mueller III swears next Wednesday to tell the truth before two U.S. House of Representatives committees.

He will make an opening statement and then he’ll be asked questions from members of the House Judiciary Committee and then the House Intelligence Committee.

The nation has waited for a long time to hear from the special counsel — who also used to run the FBI — about what he learned during his 22-month investigation into whether Donald Trump colluded with Russians who attacked our 2016 election. It also wants to know about whether the president of the United States obstructed justice, sought to block efforts to get to the truth of what happened.

This ought to be pretty compelling TV for those of us interested in such things. I happen to be one of them.

I want direct questions from the committee members. I do not want to hear speeches. They need to cede the floor to Mueller to the extent they can. They need to let this man tell us what he concluded and how he made those conclusions. Nor do I want Republican committee members to turn the proceeding into a sideshow, which they well could be inclined to do as they seek to discredit a man known to be a longtime public servant of impeccable personal and professional integrity.

I happen to be interested in a couple of areas of inquiry.

  • Did the special counsel’s statement that had there been no evidence of wrong doing he would have said so imply that there was wrong doing? To what extent was there wrong doing on anyone’s part, and that includes the president?
  •  If Donald Trump were not the president of the United States, would the special counsel have indicted him on charges that he obstructed justice?

Mueller has said his 448-page report should stand as his testimony. It could be an exercise in futility if he doesn’t offer much beyond what he has written.

I remain hopeful that we’re going to get a whole lot more light shed on this sordid and seedy endeavor.

Take it away, Mr. Special Counsel.

DNI Dan Coats on his way out? That, too, is a shame

Donald Trump reportedly is preparing to rid his administration of yet another seasoned political professional, someone with experience, knowledge and credibility in the job he is doing on our behalf.

That would be Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, one of the remaining adults working within the Trump administration.

I understand the president hasn’t gotten over the way Coats reacted to the surprise announcement that Trump was going to meet with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin in 2018. Coats was being interviewed by a network TV reporter when he got the news via Twitter that the president and Putin would meet.

“Isn’t that special?” Coats told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.

Trump is seeking a DNI successor

Trump is supposedly conducting informal interviews with individuals who might succeed Coats as DNI, which I guess means that Trump has spilled the proverbial beans regarding Coats’ future.

I hate to see this happening. Dan Coats has done a credible and competent job as DNI, seeking to bring some semblance of order and discipline to the nation’s intelligence-gathering network. He has stood with other intelligence executives to declare, for instance, that the Russians indeed did attack our electoral system in 2016, a declaration that the president continues to dismiss.

The CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, the Joint Chiefs of Staff all have said the same thing: The Russians did it! Trump’s response? He has sided with Putin, who told him he didn’t do it.

I don’t want Dan Coats to leave his post. He is a solid public servant with many years of service behind him. Donald Trump needs more — not fewer — men and women of Coats’ caliber around him.

Of course, none of that matters to the man with the self-described “big brain.”