The FBI is dissolving before our eyes into a rogue security service akin to those in Eastern Europe during the Cold War.
Take the FBI’s deliberately asymmetrical application of the law. This week the bureau surprise-raided the home of former President Donald Trump — a historical first.
A massive phalanx of FBI agents swooped into the Trump residence while he was not home, to confiscate his personal property, safe and records. All of this was over an archival dispute of presidential papers common to many former presidents. Agents swarmed the entire house, including the wardrobe closet of the former first lady.
Note we are less than 90 days out from a midterm election, and this was not just a raid, but a political act.
The Democratic Party is anticipated to suffer historical losses. Mr. Trump was on the verge of announcing his 2024 presidential candidacy. In many polls, he remains the Republican front-runner for the nomination — and well ahead of incumbent President Biden in a putative 2024 rematch.
In 2016 then-FBI Director James Comey announced that candidate Hillary Clinton was guilty of destroying subpoenaed emails — a likely felony pertaining to her tenure as secretary of state. Yet he all but pledged that she would not be prosecuted given her status as a presidential candidate.
As far as targeting presidential candidates, Mr. Trump was impeached in 2020 ostensibly for delaying military aid to Ukraine by asking Ukrainian officials to investigate more fully the clearly corrupt Biden family — given Mr. Biden at the time was a likely possible presidential opponent in 2020.
The FBI has devolved into a personal retrieval service for the incorrigible Biden family. It suppressed, for political purposes, information surrounding Hunter Biden’s missing laptop on the eve of the 2020 election.
Previously, the FBI never pursued Hunter’s fraudulently registered firearm, his mysterious foreign income, his felonious crack cocaine use or his regular employment of foreign prostitutes.
Yet in a pre-dawn raid just before the 2020 election, the FBI targeted the home of journalist James O’Keefe on grounds that someone had passed to him the lost and lurid diary of Ashley Biden, Mr. Biden’s wayward daughter.
At various times, in Stasi-style the FBI has publicly shackled Trump economic adviser Peter Navarro, swarmed the office of Trump’s legal counsel Rudy Giuliani and sent a SWAT team to surround the house of Trump ally Roger Stone. Meanwhile, terrorists and cartels walk with impunity across an open border.
FBI Director Christopher Wray last week cut short his evasive testimony before Congress. He claimed he had to leave for a critical appointment — only to use his FBI Gulfstream luxury jet to fly to his favorite vacation spot in the Adirondacks.
Mr. Wray took over from disgraced interim FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The latter admitted lying repeatedly to federal investigators and signed off on a fraudulent FBI FISA application. He faced zero legal consequences.
Mr. McCabe, remember, was also the point man in the softball Clinton email investigation — while his wife was a political candidate and recipient of thousands of dollars from a political action committee with close ties to the Clinton family.
Mr. McCabe took over from the disgraced Mr. Comey. On 245 occasions, Mr. Comey claimed under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that he had no memory or knowledge of key questions concerning his tenure. With impunity, he leaked confidential FBI memos to the media.
Mr. Comey took over from Director Robert Mueller. Implausibly, Mr. Mueller swore under oath that he had no knowledge, either of the Steele dossier or of Fusion GPS, the firm that commissioned Christopher Steele to compile the dossier. But those were the very twin catalysts that had prompted his entire special investigation into the Russian collusion hoax.
FBI legal counsel Kevin Clinesmith was convicted of a felony for altering an FBI warrant request to spy on an innocent Carter Page.
The FBI, by Mr. Comey’s own public boasts, bragged how it caught national security Adviser designate Gen. Michael Flynn in its Crossfire Hurricane Russian collusion hoax.
As special counsel, Mr. Mueller then fired two of his top investigators — Lisa Page and Peter Strzok — for improper personal and professional behavior. He then staggered their releases to mask their collaborative wrongdoing.
Mr. Mueller’s team deleted critical cell phone evidence under subpoena that might well have revealed systemic FBI-related bias.
The FBI interferes with and warps national elections. It hires complete frauds as informants who are far worse than its targets. It humiliates or exempts government and elected officials based on their politics. It violates the civil liberties of individual American citizens.
The FBI’s highest officials now routinely mislead Congress. They have erased or altered court and subpoenaed evidence. They illegally leak confidential material to the media. And they have lied under oath to federal investigators.
The agency has become dangerous to Americans and an existential threat to their democracy and rule of law. The FBI should be dispersing its investigatory responsibilities to other government investigative agencies that have not yet lost the public’s trust.
• Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness. He is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author of “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won,” from Basic Books. You can reach him by emailing [email protected]