Jim Jordan takes on a corrupt legal establishment
On June 2, the internet was filled with reports of House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan's letter of June 1 to Attorney General Merrick Garland seeking information as to the FBI's role in Special Counsel Jack Smith's investigation of President Trump's handling of classified information. That the FBI was given a role in this matter by Garland is obvious from the FBI's SWAT swoop-down on the president's Florida residence last August.
Here are selections from the Jordan letter. First, the opening paragraph:
On May 12, 2023, Special Counsel John Durham released a report detailing the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) failings in opening and conducting an investigation — code named "Crossfire Hurricane" — into debunked allegations of collusion between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government. The extent of the FBI's bias and reckless disregard for the truth, which Special Counsel Durham laid out in painstaking detail, is nothing short of scandalous. The FBI has tried to dismiss the report's findings by claiming to have "already implemented dozens of corrective actions" to prevent similar misconduct in the future. The FBI's window dressing is not enough. The Special Counsel's report serves as a stark reminder of the need for more accountability and reforms within the FBI. Accordingly, as Congress conducts oversight to inform these legislative reforms, we write to ensure the Justice Department act to preserve the integrity and impartiality of ongoing investigations from the FBI's politicized bureaucracy.
Chairman Jordan rightly described "the FBI's bias and reckless disregard for the truth" in its earlier probe of President Trump as "nothing short of scandalous" and underscored "the need for more accountability and reforms within the FBI." And to end the politicization of the FBI — under Garland's stewardship, it is fair to infer.
Public trust in the FBI is low. Recent examples of political bias in FBI and Department of Justice operations show that the so-called "corrective measures" the FBI instituted after Crossfire Hurricane have done nothing to address, let alone cure, the institutional rot that pervades the FBI. It is clear that Congress must consider legislative reforms to the FBI, and the Committee has been engaged in robust oversight to inform those legislative proposals. In the interim, however, due to the FBI's documented political bias, the Justice Department must ensure any ongoing investigations are not poisoned by this same politicization.
Note the phrase "the institutional rot that pervades the FBI" followed by Jordan's observation that "Congress must consider legislative reforms to the FBI." On May 12, Chairman Jordan should have realized that "institutional rot" pervades law enforcement bodies beyond the FBI — under the control of "progressive" prosecutors. On May 12, Mark Pomerantz exhibited bad faith when he stonewalled Chairman Jordan at a deposition agreed to by Manhattan district attorney Alvin Bragg, related to Bragg's indictment of the former president in what might be called "hush money–gate."
Incredibly, the "rebuff" included taking the Fifth Amendment by the "ex-prosecutor."
There is, arguably, a lesson for Chairman Jordan to learn from his experience with the Manhattan district attorney and the resistance-prone Pomerantz.
Chairman Jordan is certainly justified, in the aftermath of the Durham Report, in seeking to hold to account the bad actors in the FBI. But shouldn't he first hold the Manhattan district attorney and his "ex-prosecutor" to comply with the agreement for Pomerantz to testify at a deposition made possible pursuant to a court ruling by U.S. judge May Kay Vyskocil? With Bragg and Pomerantz thumbing noses at Jim Jordan, can we expect the attorney general to behave differently? Of course not.
Image: Gage Skidmore.