Thursday, January 18, 2018

The FBI and Collusion: An Inside View - By Elise Cooper

On May 17, 2017, former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel to investigate the supposed Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.  Now, over a year and a half later, this has become the equivalent of the Energizer battery that keeps going on and on forever.  Not only is it apparent that there is no prosecutable collusion case, but what the investigation has proven is that the world's finest law enforcement agency, the FBI, has become blemished, stained, and tainted.  The Mueller probe and the FBI leadership have become contaminated by an anti-Trump bias, improper leaks, and text messages between senior FBI officials showing their own form of collusion.  American Thinker interviewed Jim Kallstrom, the former assistant director in charge of the FBI office in New York and a twenty-eight-year veteran of that agency, on his views.
The political attitude of some in the FBI led to an investigation started by then-FBI director James Comey on March 20, 2017.  Kallstrom says, "I personally don't understand why there is a special counsel at all, because the statute is very clear that there needs to be a criminal element.  This was started as a counterintelligence investigation, so there was no legal justification to have a special counsel.  It also states very clearly that there should be no conflict of interest.  Bob Mueller took the position even though he was a close friend of James Comey.  Now this investigation is about two years old, and there is no evidence of collusion.  I am saddened that the FBI has played a role in perpetrating this falsehood."
Having served with him on his advisory board for a number of years, Kallstrom always thought of Mueller as an "honest and a forthright guy, even though I did not agree with a lot of his policies.  For example, he changed the managing of investigations from the field offices to bringing everything back to headquarters in Washington, which Comey continued.  You might wonder why more agents did not come forward.  This is due in part to headquarters closing down the field investigations so Comey and McCabe and Strzok could control it with a small number of people involved.  Let's remember: these guys had the power over the field agents."
Kallstrom is disgusted with the obvious bias among some in the FBI's leadership.  He points to the fact that James Comey, the FBI director at the time, drafted an exoneration statement of Hillary Clinton before the FBI had even interviewed her.  "I cannot believe there was no authorization for a grand jury.  Instead of having a press conference explaining how this was all wrong and then resigning, Comey decided to dance with the devil.  They were devising a way to exonerate her despite compelling evidence that she [had] committed crimes under the Espionage Act in her mishandling of classified documents on her private email server.  In my view, this was one of many things that cost confidence in the FBI, and I think it is going to take a long, long time for it to regain its status.  Why?  Because it is a huge obstruction of justice.  Do you know all the co-conspirators were in the same room for interviews?  This is unheard of, and the interview with Hillary Clinton was a joke and a farce."
Peter Strzok, still working in the FBI, has shown complete disregard for the Constitution.  "I would argue: how did Mueller not know whom he chose to work this investigation?  He showed no common sense in accepting the job with his conflict of interest and then hiring these FBI partisan people.  Appearances should matter.  Although I don't know Strzok personally, I judge him by his actions.  Those texts are extremely damaging – when he said 'terrifying' on the possibility of Trump's election; his role as 'protector[] of the republic'; and the most damaging of all, 'I want to believe [that] the path you threw out for consideration in Andy's office – that there's no way he gets elected – but I'm afraid we can't take that risk.  It's like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you're 40[.]'  As far as I am concerned, he is not someone who should be carrying an FBI credential.  In my view, he committed federal felonies and has shown he is unable to be fair and accurate."
Regarding James Comey as FBI director, Kallstrom has nothing good to say.  "Under his leadership, the FBI became stained.  He is a totally dishonorable person.  He was not only complicit in the IRS investigation, but actually assisted them when they stomped on American citizens' rights by putting fear in them for no reason.  Comey's FBI also did nothing about Benghazi [and] Fast and Furious and had a double[-]standard with the investigation of Hillary Clinton."
He furthermore notes, "Arrogance has no pinnacle higher than James Comey, who is weak, driven, and egotistical.  He is an example of why the FBI director should never ever come from the Justice Department.  In retrospect, I think there have been way too many FBI directors from the Department of Justice.  Instead, an agent should have been appointed as director, someone who was steeped in knowledge of criminal investigations.  I think it was a fatal decision for the bureau when he became FBI director.  Under both Mueller and Comey, the FBI suffered in reputation and leadership, considering those they brought forward and their obvious bias.  They seemed ... concerned [only] about political gain."
To restore credibility in the FBI, Kallstrom would have investigations of the leadership.  "When I was working with the FBI, we never involved ourselves in politics.  What changed was the eight years under Obama.  I have received numerous emails, texts, and phone calls from those inside the FBI and also retired agents who are unhappy with what is going on and has gone on.  These bad eggs must be removed from the bureau.  It would be a disgrace to let McCabe and Strzok remain at the FBI and be able to collect full benefits."
What he wants Americans to understand is that it should never have been about the FBI; rather, it should be about the rule of law and following the evidence where it may lie.  "The majority of the agents who work there want to solve cases, from kidnapping to extortion to drugs arrests to espionage.  The bad eggs have caused many to question the trustworthiness and reputation of the bureau, which affects the reputable agents.  This is extremely harmful to them.  I want to say without hesitation that the majority of agents are a credit to this country."
The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.