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A message to concerned Americans:
When a founding member of Protect the FBI arrived in Ukraine as the FBI’s representative in 2007, a power struggle was brewing. The political party aligned with Russia, already in control of the national police, was moving to secure control of the country’s intelligence service.
It was an eye-opener but not a surprise.
History has shown that autocratic control of national power mechanisms, such as the press and economy, is achieved by first taking control of the police and intelligence services.
It can happen anywhere.
The modern FBI is designed to be apolitical. This has not stopped partisans from attempting to co-opt the FBI for political gain.
In the Watergate era, the FBI director was a partisan player, his political fortunes tied to the success of the Nixon administration. He destroyed documents related to the Watergate burglary.
As a consequence, Mark Felt, the FBI second-in-command, later revealed to be the infamous Deep Throat, passed information about the administration’s criminal activities to a Washington Post reporter secretly because he believed he would have been fired had he done so publicly.
Consider for a moment points of view on both sides of the partisan divide.
A typical take on the Trump administration:
President Trump has tried to sway public opinion in his favor by claiming the special counsel and FBI are aligned with Democrats against him, repeatedly calling the Russia investigation a witch hunt.
The president has indicated that he sees the Justice Department as an appendage of his own political operation, implying the job of the attorney general (AG) is to punish his political enemies and go easy on his friends.
According to the New York Times, in March 2017, having told aides he needed a loyalist overseeing the Russia investigation, President Trump berated Attorney General (AG) Jeff Sessions for recusing himself and tried to get him to reverse his decision. He later fired him for refusing to do so.
Considering that the position of FBI director, like the AG, is a presidential appointee, it is easy to envision what could have occurred in the early days of the Trump administration had events unfolded differently.
Imagine for a moment that President Trump had fired former FBI director James Comey immediately after taking office when he had the political capital to do so without resulting in the appointment of a special counsel.
The president could have nominated a close ally as FBI director - perhaps Chris Christie or Rudy Giuliani. At the time, both had the credibility to be confirmed. Yet, it is easy to envision how either may have succumbed to the type of private and public-forum pressure the president has mastered.
There would have been no special counsel investigation and no meaningful analysis of the Trump campaign’s pre-election activities.
A typical take on the Obama administration:
FBI management was politicized by the Obama administration during the run-up to the 2016 presidential election in that it failed to pursue the prosecution of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The FISA warrant against Carter Page, who worked as a Trump campaign advisor, was motivated by partisan fervor. In fact, on October 13, 2016, well before the FBI submitted a FISA request regarding Page, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kathleen Kavalec submitted a report to the FBI warning that the Steele memo was unreliable and demonstrably false. Rather than heeding this information, the FBI obtained the Page FISA warrant without mentioning Kavalec’s report.
Nor was there a legitimate basis to interview former national security advisor General Michael Flynn, more likely targeted for his pomposity during the presidential campaign than for a superficial violation of the Logan Act.
Protect the FBI does not subscribe to either viewpoint.
We are a non-partisan, forward-looking organization. We do not assign blame. Our purpose is to unite.
What Protect the FBI's members agree on, regardless of our personal politics, is that the FBI is vulnerable to being co-opted for partisan purposes and that this vulnerability is not unique to either Democrat or Republican administrations.
Addressing this vulnerability is essential to our democratic system.
The risk is ever-present. It is borne by the American people.
To ensure the FBI continues to serve the public interest – former FBI professionals and concerned citizens like you are banding together to launch Protect the FBI, a non-partisan movement to safeguard the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence Community from partisan politics.
Protect the FBI is focused on three areas we believe will safeguard the FBI from partisan politics and protect the American way of life for generations to come.
Liaison with representatives in Congress to ensure they understand the FBI’s vital role in safeguarding Americans.
Obtain pledges from representatives in Congress that they will oversee the FBI and other U.S. Intelligence Community agencies in a rigorous, meaningful, bipartisan manner that serves the American public.
Lobby for legislation that will empower FBI employees to identify and report abuses of authority, without fear of reprisal.
But we need your help!
Please join us.
Protect the FBI