When Grand Juries Are Not So Grand

April 12, 2020 Updated: April 14, 2020

Commentary

Once again, it was goosebumps for diehards when investigative reporter John Solomon told Fox News host Sean Hannity that U.S. Attorney John Durham was issuing subpoenas on behalf of a grand jury. Twitter pulses raced. Former CIA Director John Brennan was closer than ever to a rockpile in prison stripes, wasn’t he?

Comey, Ohr, Kramer, Simpson, Clinton were sweating bullets, right?

I will be jubilant if I’m wrong, but I continue to doubt it. I don’t expect the anti-Trump conspirators to be indicted and tried for sedition or treason or any other serious crime by Attorney General William Barr’s Department of Justice. Nothing we have seen to date points to that.

What should also temper expectations, however, is a hard look at history. When it comes to the Swamp’s subversion of the Republic, issuing subpoenas to bring witnesses before a grand jury means nothing more than issuing subpoenas to bring witnesses before a grand jury. Indictments, trials, and convictions have always been exceedingly rare.

Consider the grand jury convened in the spring of 1947 to hear sensational charges of subversion inside the federal government by Elizabeth Bentley, a key U.S. defector from Soviet intelligence. Ex-KGB courier Bentley would offer testimony against numerous federal government officials, bureaucrats, and others from those early days of the Swamp in connection with espionage rings run inside the U.S. government by Soviet intelligence.

According to “Stalin’s Secret Agents” by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein, the grand jury empaneled over Bentley’s charges would hear from some 40 Bentley suspects. Then, as reportedly now, subpoenas must have been flying around Washington.

Although the names were completely unknown to the public at the time, the Bentley grand jury witness roster was, as Evans and Romerstein write, “a spectacular line-up, an all-star team of Soviet agents, Communists, and close-in fellow travelers.”

As the list demonstrates, this was indeed a Who’s Who of traitors working for Stalin, for the KGB, for communism and globalism inside and around the federal government, including Soviet agents Alger Hiss and Harry Dexter White. These two top FDR administration officials were instrumental in the creation of the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund, helming them both, respectively, in the globalist institutions’ early days.

The most stunning thing about the Bentley grand jury witness list, however, is that no one on it, not even the later-notorious Hiss or White, was indicted for anything.

Why were there no indictments? The reason is quite simple. The government failed to call a witness who could corroborate any of Bentley’s grave charges, even though such a witness was already well known to it. That witness was Whittaker Chambers. His testimony about Hiss and White alone would have been crucial to the federal case.

“Yet though the FBI was well aware of what Chambers knew and could have told the grand jury,” the authors write, “for over a year prosecutors refused to call him. Hence no second witness in the case—hence no indictments.”

Why didn’t prosecutors call Chambers? FBI records, Evans and Romerstein write, “provide a suggestive picture of attitudes at the Justice Department that guided the grand jury process.”

For example, federal prosecutor Thomas Donegan “was of the opinion Chambers testimony would not be helpful.” Helpful to what? Given the FBI’s interview with Chambers to date, it would have been clear that Chambers’s testimony would have been exceedingly “helpful” in pursuit of indictments. Even after Chambers and Hiss sensationally battled in Congress in August 1948, however, prosecutors refused to call “the former Soviet courier who would become the most famous witness in the Cold War.”

The record indicates that the Department of Justice did not want indictments.

Evans and Romerstein write:

“A recurring theme in the FBI reports is the notion, adopted by Justice at the outset, that the grand jury wouldn’t hand down indictments in the Bentley cases, but would, as in the Amerasia case [an earlier espionage-related grand jury travesty], ‘no bill’ the suspects, letting them walk free from legal sanctions.

“Thus an FBI memo from early 1947 says Justice wanted the Bureau to interview various Bentley people but with a proviso: ‘ … that subsequently consideration might be given to presenting the evidence to a grand jury with the idea of letting them no-bill the case. Further that in the event Congressman [J. Parnell] Thomas [R-N.J.] of the Un-American Committee should ever raise a question it would be possible to answer by saying that the grand jury had considered the evidence and it had not deemed it sufficient to justify criminal action.’

“These thoughts about grand jury inaction, expressed before the jury was even empaneled, would be repeated when filing a presentment was considered. The Bureau entry on this says that Attorney General Tom Clark was ‘opposed to returning any presentment. The AG indicated that in the event of subsequent news inquiry, that he, the Attorney General, can always say that the matter was referred to the Grand Jury, which took no action.’”

In other words, the fix was in from Justice. Will it be different this time around?

The hourglass is running out.

Diana West is an award-winning journalist and author, whose latest book is “The Red Thread: A Search for Ideological Drivers Inside the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.