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Victor Davis Hanson: The ‘FBI is beyond redemption’

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by WorldTribune Staff, August 17, 2022

Those running the show at the Department of Justice and its division known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) believe they are "morally superior to America" and, as a result, "right now, we don’t have the rule of law in Washington," historian Victor Davis Hanson and highly-respected voice of reason on the right said.

He added: ".... all of this is destroying this country. And it comes from the people who warned us: ‘democracy dies in darkness.’ And they have descended upon us, the greatest cloud of autocracy and illiberality in the history of this Republic. And we’re going have to do something ...."

"Whether you’re targeted or exempt depends on your ideology," Hanson said on Friday night's broadcast of Fox News's "Tucker Carlson Tonight."

Hanson was responding to guest host Will Cain's question on the FBI's raid of former President Donald Trump's Florida residence at Mar-a-Lago.

"So in the past, when there was a dispute over the archives or presidential papers, Barack Obama just said, ‘I’m not going to turn them over, the freedom of information.’ He spent $30 million resisting efforts to do that," Hanson noted. "George Bush had an executive order and said,’ you know what, I’m not going to do this.’ And that was adjudicated. And now we go after a president, and go to his house with 30 agents. In the past when a high official was called for a congressional subpoena, Eric Holder just said, 'I’m not going, and I’m not turning over any of this Fast and Furious.' "

Hanson went on to say: "I never thought I would say this — the FBI is beyond redemption. All of its bureaus and its institutions have to be farmed out and broken up. If you have a warrant, an FBI warrant, there’s no guarantee that that has not been altered. If you subpoena and you want FBI records on phones ... they will be wiped clean. If you want disinterested legal counsel, look at Lisa Page.”

“And Peter Strzok, if you’re the FBI, and you want to find out why Hillary Clinton hired a foreign national to find dirt on a political opponent, then you will hire that same foreign national,” he went on. “And you look at the last four directors. We just saw Christopher Wray, and he just stonewalled every question. And then he flew on an FBI plane, our plane, a luxury jet, because he had to go to his own vacation spot. He took over, remember from Andrew McCabe, what did he do? He lied four times to federal investigators and his wife was running for an office with Clinton related PAC money while he was investigating Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.”

“He took over from James Comey, who leaked confidential memos, written on FBI devices to the media,” Hanson continued. “And then when he was called before Congress on 245 occasions, he said, ‘he didn’t know,’ or ‘didn’t remember.’ Anybody listening to this tries that with the IRS and they’re going to go to jail.”

Hanson concluded: “And so this is very ironic because all of this is destroying this country. And it comes from the people who warned us: ‘democracy dies in darkness.’ And they have descended upon us, the greatest cloud of autocracy and illiberality in the history of this Republic. And we’re going have to do something and hope and pray that the House is under new leadership.”

Meanwhile, several organizations penned an open letter Friday, slamming Attorney General Merrick Garland and FBI Director Christopher Wray for politicizing both agencies.

The letter, exclusively obtained by The Daily Caller, was signed by individuals representing organizations including the Conservative Partnership Institute, the Media Research Center, and the Leadership Institute. The contents of the letter called for the release of all documents related to the raid onTrump’s home in Florida as well as the confiscation of Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Scott Perry’s cellphone, stating both actions “undermined the rule of law in America.”

“You must immediately share all documents related to these seizures, including the basis for each warrant, and communications related to the decision to proceed on each warrant,” wrote the 11 conservatives, including former Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli.

The criticism of the DOJ and FBI has extended beyond the targeting of Trump and those in his orbit to the targeting of the press, Aaron Kliegman reported for Just the News on Aug. 15.

In a letter to Garland, lawyers for Project Veritas James O'Keefe noted: "Your Justice Department's outrageous and illegal abuses to journalists critical of the current administration, who lawfully gathered information to report to the public on a matter of public interest, have all occurred on your watch. Your DOJ acted in contravention of your sanctimonious pronouncements and in violation of the Privacy Protection Act, DOJ's regulations for obtaining information from the news media, and DOJ directives."

The DOJ conducted an investigation that involved an FBI raid on O'Keefe's home and the seizing of nearly 200,000 Project Veritas documents through secret surveillance.

The impetus for the government's probe dates back to September 2020, when sources contacted Project Veritas saying they found a diary belonging to then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's 40-year-old daughter, Ashley Biden, that had been left behind along with other belongings when she moved out of a Delray Beach, Florida house subsequently occupied by one of the sources.

Journalists are legally protected by the First Amendment for receiving materials from sources — regardless of how the sources obtained the materials themselves before handing them over to the media.

Still, the FBI seized the electronics of Project Veritas' sources and tried to interview them this past October.

In their letter, O'Keefe's lawyers, Chas Short and Paul Calli, requested that Garland terminate the investigation into Ashely Biden's diary as it concerns O'Keefe and Project Veritas; order the government to return all seized information and destroy all information in its possession, retaining no copies; and "personally issue a statement denouncing your Justice Department's actions against our clients and accepting responsibility for the violations by the Department of Justice."

The DOJ has said in court filings that the government should retain the records it seized because they were obtained through valid legal processes and the government's grand jury investigation remains ongoing.

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