Years of investigations have led to claims by Republicans of partisan political power plays at the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
A raid on former President Donald Trump’s home on Aug. 8 has sharpened the nation’s focus on what many Republicans have been raising alarms about for years—the politicization of the DOJ and its law enforcement arm, the FBI. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has been demanding answers about alleged politicization since well before the raid.
“Unfortunately, a growing number of Americans have lost confidence in the bureau based on its inconsistent handling of politically sensitive investigations, its lack of cooperation with legitimate congressional oversight inquiries, and its failure to hold its own people accountable for their misconduct,” Grassley told The Epoch Times.
But not all agree. In an exclusive interview with The Epoch Times, former Assistant Director for Intelligence of the FBI Kevin Brock said Grassley’s statement didn’t “fit the facts” and that “it is dangerous to plant seeds in the minds of the American people that the FBI is corrupt.”
Partisanship at the TopWhile Brock said Grassley’s claims about the FBI went too far, he's also highly critical of the actions of what he refers to as a “handful in leadership” who he said are politicizing the bureau and doing damage to its image.
In response to the raid on Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago, Brock told The Epoch Times: “The use of armed agents to execute an invasive search warrant does not match up with the relatively low-level offense—for anyone—let alone a former and possible future president. Most Americans recognize this extraordinary search for what it is: an attempt by one political party that temporarily controls the DOJ to eliminate an adversary from the other party.”
When asked how the FBI and DOJ could become politicized, Brock said, “When justice is captured by the Democrat Party, it seeks to find criminality on the right,” while “Republicans have less of an appetite” to reciprocate.
Similar Cases Involving DemocratsThe raid at Trump’s home in search of classified documents reveals what some consider to be a clear example of that which Grassley and Brock are referring—a heavy Democratic Party influence at the DOJ. To some, the raid at Trump’s quarters is reminiscent of a similar case.
In 2015, former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came under FBI investigation for concealing classified information on an unauthorized email server she kept at her home. During that investigation, Clinton deleted emails that were under subpoena. The FBI, which was in charge of the investigation of Clinton, didn't conduct raids at any time and allowed Clinton and her attorneys to negotiate what evidence Clinton would turn over to the bureau and dictate the terms in which Clinton would be interviewed.
Just prior to the conclusion of that investigation, labeled “Midyear Exam,” then-Attorney General Lorretta Lynch announced—after it had been revealed that former president Bill Clinton had met with her in secret—that she had appointed a “career prosecutor” to make the decision as to whether Hillary Clinton would be charged with a crime.
“Separately, you know, we had multiple conversations with the Justice Department about bringing a gross negligence charge,” she told the committee in July 2018.
Page went on to testify that it was Scott who made the decision to not charge Clinton with a crime. Scott left the DOJ in 2018 and couldn't be reached for comment.
“If Putin preferred Trump over Clinton, he’s a bigger idiot than anyone thought,” Brock said, referring to a list of things the Obama administration did to appease Putin and Russia.
The list included Clinton’s “reset” with Russia, withdrawing missile defense systems from strategic allies Poland and the Czech Republic, the return of 10 Russian spies in 2010 before the FBI could interrogate the sleeper cell, and being conciliatory following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea.
Calls for Reform at FBIWhile disinformation about Trump continues to circulate, Grassley said senior officials at the FBI went out of their way to classify evidence of criminal financial information found on the laptop computer of Hunter Biden as foreign disinformation.
“The information provided to my office involves concerns about the FBI’s receipt and use of derogatory information relating to Hunter Biden, and the FBI’s false portrayal of acquired evidence as disinformation,” Grassley wrote in the July letter to the attorney general and FBI director.
“The FBI has an important mission, but they need credibility and public trust to be able to successfully execute that mission,” he told The Epoch Times.
Critics say the raid at the Trump estate by the FBI has further undermined its credibility.
“To be taken seriously, the FBI needs to take steps to earn back that trust, but I haven’t seen much interest by the bureau to make this a priority,” Grassley said.
The FBI and the Department of Justice didn't return requests for comment on this report by press time.