The FBI became a clown show

I’ve given Politico a lot of crap lately, so I think it’s time to give them some props.

Not major props, but praise nonetheless.

I ran across this story the other day, and with the exception of some unnecessary digs at the Bad Orange Man, the story was worth reading. By now attacking Trump is just a tic the MSM can’t avoid, so it’s hard to blame them in this instance. It’s unconscious, like scratching an itch. Or perhaps the Trump obsession is like smoking was back in the day–everybody they know does it and nobody thinks much about it.


The story, written by Josh Kerstein and Kyle Cheney, details some revelations that came out in a gender discrimination trial that unfortunately happened at the same time and the same courthouse as the January 6th show trials. In the manner of a news dump done on a Friday night, the embarrassing information was swept under the rug and largely ignored.

But the revelations themselves are pretty disturbing, and by now I think we can all assume that what we are seeing is merely the tip of the iceberg. If we learned anything about the FBI during the Trump years, it’s that the organization is a total freakin’ mess. Affairs, intrigue, political hit jobs, and social climbing.

The trial drew little notice inside the federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., where numerous high-profile Jan. 6 defendants were simultaneously standing trial, and grand juries probing potential crimes by Trump and his allies remain active. But the proceedings offered a peek inside the secretive confines of the FBI — describing degrees of dysfunction that are rarely aired, particularly by the FBI insiders themselves.

The list of trial witnesses included Jim Baker, who testified that when he took over as FBI general counsel in 2014, his staff of about 200 lawyers were burned out, locked in bureaucratic turf battles and wracked by fear of their own colleagues. Baker said that in the early part of his tenure, some employees were so afraid to raise concerns in front of others that they “frequently” slipped anonymous notes under his door overnight — typewritten to conceal handwriting.

“People were so afraid to be seen talking to me,” Baker said. “They were afraid of some of the leadership that was still in the office.”


Fidelity. Bravery. Integrity. Uh, not so much. Too afraid to even talk to their boss because their colleagues are finks.

I am sure that most of the on-the-ground FBI agents are good at their jobs. At least I hope so.

But the further up the ladder you go, the more of a mess the agency becomes. These days it must be embarrassing to be an agent.

Or, perhaps not. The FBI forensics lab has been a scandal. Forensic “science” is often BS, and the FBI is big on BS in forensics. CSI it’s not. So maybe a lot of FBI folks are corrupt.

Whatever the virtues or flaws of the average agent, the pyramid isn’t crowned with gold, but iron pyrite.

— A senior lawyer in the office’s national security branch allegedly threw a chair at a meeting, prompting alarm on the part of several people present.

— The Justice Department’s top watchdog, Inspector General Michael Horowitz, threatened to open an obstruction-of-justice investigation into a senior Office of General Counsel lawyer during a standoff over limitations on the IG’s access to FBI files, according to Baker. (Justice Department internal legal advisors wound up siding with the FBI in the fight, but Congress overrode them.)

— Bureau officials warned of widespread “grade inflation” in annual performance reviews of FBI personnel, which created problems later when those reviews turned out to be inaccurate.

— The lawyer and FBI Special Agent who filed the discrimination case, Marciann Grzadzinski, kept close track of her “KMA” date, referring to her eligibility for retirement. FBI personnel routinely referred to that milestone as their “Kiss My Ass” date, she testified, signaling the moment they no longer had to cater to bureau leadership.

— While defending the FBI in the discrimination suit, a Justice Department attorney referred to the general counsel’s office as “a low-morale organization” at the time Baker took the helm.


Add to this all we know about the lies, fraud, leaks, and perjury coming from the top of the organization and it’s not a pretty picture. Peter Strzok and Lisa Page conspired to “get” Donald Trump, James Comey illegally leaked memos, conspired to get the Steele Dossier into the news, and the FBI lied to the FISA Court. Lied to the FISA Court! For political reasons.

Of course, none of this has hurt any of their employment prospects. They are all doing quite well out of it. They all belong in jail.

The FBI is no stranger to criticisms, both internal and external. For years, they’ve been piling up. A series of withering federal watchdog reports have faulted the bureau for slipshod compliance with everything from national-security surveillance procedures to its own rules limiting contacts with the media. A bipartisan assemblage of members of Congress excoriated the FBI for badly botching complaints of sexual abuse of teenage gymnasts. Trials spearheaded by a special counsel have exposed rivalries within the bureau and loose ends that investigators failed to run down.

The authors of the article try to build a case that the FBI is so divided and incompetent that they couldn’t have conspired against Trump, which is a ridiculous assertion. They bring up Strzok and Page without actually acknowledging that they were determined to keep Trump out of office, and once elected destroy him. Their texts prove that beyond doubt.


Nonetheless, for all its flaws the story is a good reminder that the FBI is not some bastion of Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity, but a government agency with all the political maneuvering that implies. What distinguishes it from other government entities is that it can literally go after you with guns drawn, unlimited resources, and a huge reservoir of credibility.

The FBI has a very checkered past. J. Edgar Hoover was in charge for so long not because of his sterling reputation or hyper-competence, but because he had the goods on politicians, and was willing to do their dirty work.

Despite all this, or perhaps because of it, the FBI and the intelligence community have never been as powerful as now. They are now completely aligned with the MSM, are the handmaidens to the Democrats, and are a potential terror for the opponents of the regime.

Perhaps it was always thus, and I was simply blinded by patriotism. That is certainly possible, for despite my cynicism now I have been an optimist most of my life.

Unfortunately, over the years working in politics and now in the media, I have earned my cynicism the hard way.

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