In the near-decade I spent with the FBI training senior law enforcement officials around the world on how to combat corruption, there were always two key points I tried to impart. First, never stop with the low hanging fruit when addressing law enforcement corruption. Second, remember that the greatest indicator of systemic corruption within a government is when a country’s law enforcement is intentionally used as a political weapon.
Unfortunately, the FBI has work to do when it comes to both of these principles. In the year ahead, Director Christopher Wray should resolve to take back the bureau’s reputation.
FBI agents, particularly those who work public corruption investigations, are uniquely positioned to understand better than most that politics is a dishonest game of manipulation. Law enforcement should never allow itself to be lowered into that abyss. Jim Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and others have cast a dark cloud over the FBI, making the line between politics and law enforcement nearly indistinguishable.
Before the FBI can move forward with their rehabilitation, it must take an honest inventory of the events leading to its public relations descent. First were the three blows of imprudence by James Comey. Within a single year, Comey assigned Andrew McCabe, the spouse of a then-recently failed candidate for Virginia state government, to the number two position in the FBI, charged with authority over public corruption investigations; gave an epoch-making press conference announcing the FBI would not pursue charges against Hillary Clinton; and told Congress days before the presidential election that the FBI was reviewing newly-acquired emails relevant to the Hillary Clinton investigation.
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