On Saturday, former FBI counter-terrorism analyst, Phil Mudd, went on CNN to say that the FBI is “ticked” and that “we’re going to win.” Mudd was referring to the release of what has become known as the Nunes Memo which was released over the objections of the FBI and the Justice Department.
The memo reported that the FBI obtained a warrant for former-Trump aid Carter Page and that the warrant would not have been possible without the infamous Steele Dossier. The Steele Dossier was put together by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele at the behest of Fusion GPS, which was conducting opposition research on Trump for the Clinton Campaign and the DNC. Steele was in contact during and after the process with Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr whose wife was working for Fusion GPS in the assisting of gathering opposition research on Trump. None of this information was provided to the FISA Court when the FBI asked the FISC for the warrant.
In response to the memo’s contents, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar called on FBI and DOJ officials to be prosecuted for “clear and convincing evidence of treason.” Less rambunctious than Gosar are Republicans generally, who when given the Nunes Memo in tandem with compelling evidence that James Comey let Hillary Clinton off the hook, are much less trustful of the FBI than they once were. The Nunes memo is proof of a political motivated witch hunt designed to undermine Trump.
The responses from both Mudd and Gosar are deeply worrisome. Mudd is a former counter-terrorism analyst and Gosar is an elected official. What they say matters more than what Alex Jones or some random Twitter user says.
You cannot mock or criticize Trump and his supporters too much over “deep states” or “shadow governments” or general conspiracy theories about the FBI when you have former FBI analysts on national television saying that an unelected government bureaucracy is going to bring down the Constitutionally-elected President.
Treason in this country is defined as giving aid and comfort to the enemy and is a crime punishable by death. Elected officials should know better than to go around and accuse the law enforcement and intelligence communities of treason. There is a more compelling case that Jane Fonda committed treason by giving propaganda aid to the enemy by having her picture taken with a North Vietnamese soldiers and an NVA anti-aircraft gun than there is that anyone in the FBI has committed treason during the current investigation, even if the Nunes Memo is 100% accurate.
To solve this problem of distrust, both sides must cease and desist. The FBI needs to remember that it is a creation of Congress and can be dissolved tomorrow. While it is an important government agency that conducts both law enforcement and intelligence operations, it is still an unelected bureaucracy. It should not have to be said, but apparently it does, that civil servants should serve the country, not undermine politicians they do not like.
People like Paul Gosart need to remember that the FBI does important work. It doubles as both a law enforcement operation and a domestic intelligence agency. There are plenty of good people at the FBI who go about their business keeping the country safe and who are not corrupted like Phil Mudd. The country needs to be able to trust its law enforcement and intelligence communities and accusing them of treason is destructive.
The very nature of intelligence means that many of the things the intelligence community does must remain a secret. This invites all sorts of conspiracy theories and therefore the IC needs to know they have the confidence of the President and the public to allow them to do their job. The President and his supporters, in turn, need to have the confidence of the IC in order to know that they are not plotting something behind his back and that they are serving the public, not playing politics. In the best interest of the country, both the FBI and supporters of the President, need to put aside their differences.