The Republican Party is the law-and-order party. That is not new, and it isn’t seriously contested. However, according to liberal media outlets such as HuffPost, Republicans are waging a “war on G-men.” The idea that Republicans are suddenly splitting from the FBI is a fantasy designed by the Democrats to attack a GOP strength and to distract from the growing revelations about anti-Trump maneuvering by a few senior FBI officials.
Republicans exposing the malfeasance of Hillary Clinton supporters at the top of the FBI’s ranks has hit a nerve. Democrats are afraid it could not only diminish their hopes that the Russia investigation will bring down President Donald Trump but also perhaps flip the investigation into questions of senior FBI leaders manipulating the legal process to pursue Trump and help Clinton. As historian Victor Davis Hanson recently wrote in National Review, “the greatest irony of all” would be “a special counsel investigating what likely did not happen while ignoring what likely did - perhaps the greatest political scandal of the modern age.”
To me, it looks like former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, former FBI counterespionage section chief Peter Strzok, former associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and perhaps others were anticipating a Clinton presidency. But they guessed wrong, and they got caught trying to impress Team Clinton. I’ve been in the swamp for more than 30 years. I know selfish career maneuvering when I see it.
Anyway, special counsel Robert Mueller III’s investigation and the related congressional inquiries are revealing the potential collusion between the Clinton campaign and the FBI, along with the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee paying an opposition researcher who was collecting dirt on Trump from Russians. Not the other way around. Since Democrats don’t have much to say, their response is to scream that Republicans are attacking the FBI. FBI line agents know better.
Democrats know they are vulnerable, and they are nervous about what else may soon come to light in the pending FBI Inspector General’s report. Democrats won’t admit the severity of what might emerge, so they are deflecting. And the effort by Republican leaders in Congress to uncover the truth about what went on among a few senior FBI agents during the presidential campaign is hardly out of line or an affront to American law enforcement.
As a matter of perspective, to say the least, the Democrat coalition doesn’t include rank-and-file law enforcement. The Democrats are controlled by interest groups including public sector unions, trial lawyers, entertainment elites, hedge-fund billionaires and assorted angry left-wing grievance groups.
But Republicans, by way of Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, have empowered the FBI and Justice Department to move away from Obama-era priorities. As Ron Hosko - president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund and former assistant director of the FBI - made clear in an op-ed late last year, “Trump’s law enforcement policies are a welcome improvement from Obama’s.”
Liberals may criticize Sessions for his no-nonsense, tough-on-crime approach, but the numbers speak for themselves. As Sessions detailed in a USA Today op-ed last month, “In 2017, (the DOJ) brought cases against more violent criminals than in any year in recent decades. We charged the most federal firearm prosecutions in a decade. We convicted nearly 500 human traffickers and 1,200 gang members, and helped our international allies arrest about 4,000 MS-13 members. We also arrested and charged hundreds of people suspected with contributing to the ongoing opioid crisis.”
If Democrats and their allies in the media want to campaign on their support of law enforcement vs. that of the GOP, I’d like to see them try. Ultimately, it will catch up with the Democrats that while they shout about a split between the GOP and the FBI, nobody takes them seriously as allies of law enforcement.
The Trump administration is going after criminals in a way that President Barack Obama never did. Republicans are tougher on crime and more in line with the priorities of law enforcement than at any time in recent memory.
Rogers is a political consultant and a veteran of the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses and several national campaigns. He is the chairman of the lobbying and communications firm BGR Group, which he founded with former Mississippi governor Haley Barbour in 1991.