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Saturday, May 25, 2024

McCarthy’s Call to Decentralize FBI Highlights Growing Alarm w/ Deep-State Corruption

'I’d like to see the structure of a much smaller FBI administration building, and more FBI agents out across the country, helping to keep the country safe...'

(Headline USA) When House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., suggested last week that he might stop the FBI from relocating its downtown headquarters to a massive new facility planned for the Washington suburbs, it was more than idle thinking about an office renovation.

The nod from the Republican speaker is elevating a proposal to upend the highly partisan and deeply corrupt FBI in the aftermath of the federal indictment of Donald Trump over classified documents and the Justice Department’s selective prosecution of its political rivals—including some of the nearly 1,000 people charged in the Jan. 6, 2021 uprising at the U.S. Capitol.

It comes as several other conservative House leaders—including Reps. Lauren Boebert and Ken Buck, both Colorado Republicans, were among those who suggested invoking the Holman rule on appropriations to revoke the salaries of top Biden officials until they ceased their weaponized abuses of power and begin enforcing the laws in good faith.

The deep state’s alignment with Democrats, which began in earnest during the Obama era when civil service shifted from a primarily nonpartisan focus to a deeply political one, marks a dramatic shift from Republicans of yore, who steadfastly supported the intelligence community as an essential component of national security.

Now, it appears the agency’s goal is quite the opposite, to undermine democratic values and institutions in favor of upholding a system of Marxist authoritarianism that empowers unelected bureaucrats like themselves.

“This is a pretty dramatic reversal of what the politics would have been 50 years ago,” said Beverly Gage, a historian at Yale who won a 2023 Pulitzer Prize for her biography of the legendary FBI director, G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century.

While political criticism of the FBI has followed the bureau since its founding with Hoover, who famously wiretapped civil rights leaders and orchestrated the infiltration of left-wing political organizations, the right-flank campaign against federal law enforcement had mostly simmered at the margins of party politics.

But the Justice Department’s indictment of Trump, who has pleaded not guilty to 37 felony counts over storing and refusing to return classified documents at his Mar-a-Lago club, and the targeting of other conservative organizations for exercising their constitutional rights, have fueled conservative anger.

Conservatives criticize the federal law enforcement on multiple fronts; among them, its work with social-media companies to censor conservative critics, and a COVID-era memo from Attorney General Merrick Garland directing resources to target parents who were speaking out during local school board meetings.

By contrast, Garland and others in the Biden administration have allowed leftist scofflaws to act with impunity, including a sweetheart deal for Hunter Biden, the president’s son, who avoided felony indictments despite damning evidence of multiple crimes after the FBI and DOJ spent years slow-walking an investigation into him and actively colluding to cover up his illegal activities.

“Looking at the actions of the FBI, I think the whole leadership needs to change,” McCarthy told reporters at the Capitol last month.

Fresh from a visit with law enforcement in California, McCarthy said he envisions decentralizing the FBI by spreading operations into the states.

“This idea that we’re going to build a new, big Pentagon and put all the FBI mainly in one place, I don’t think it’s a good structure,” McCarthy said Friday, panning a conservative-led proposal to relocate the FBI to Alabama.

“I’d like to see the structure of a much smaller FBI administration building, and more FBI agents out across the country, helping to keep the country safe,” he said. “To me that’s better.”

The Heritage Foundation is among those outside entities and advocacy organizations encouraging Congress to reimagine the FBI.

“The Washington headquarters is symbolic,” said Steven G. Bradbury, a former Trump administration general counsel who is now a senior fellow at the conservative think tank.

Bradbury’s “How to Fix the FBI” report outlines nearly a dozen options. One is scaling back its jurisdiction.

Another is to overhaul section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA, that abused by the FBI as part of the Trump-Russia hoax.

“We have our finger on the pulse of what conservatives are reacting to,” said Bradbury. “The FBI needs to be rebuilt.”

Last week, FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared before the House Judiciary Committee for the first time since Republicans took control in January, facing a long list of criticisms, complaints and accusations of bias at the bureau.

“Are you protecting the Bidens?’ asked Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla.

“Absolutely not,” Wray said.

At another point Wray said, “The idea that I’m biased against conservatives seems somewhat insane to me, given my own personal background.”

He is a longtime Republican who had been appointed by Trump to fill the job after Director James Comey was fired in 2017.

Trump has since acknowledged that the hiring of Wray—which was endorsed by other cronies in his inner-circle who have since proven to be deep-state plants and sycophants, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie—was a mistake.

Wray told the lawmakers that dismantling or defunding the FBI would be disastrous for the bureau’s 38,000 employees and “hurt our great state local law enforcement partners that depend on us each day to work with them on a whole slew of challenging threats.”

Democratic Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, called the hearing “bizarre.”

“I didn’t think I would ever see Republicans attacking a Republican appointed by Donald Trump to lead the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, essentially saying they want to defund the FBI,” she said.

The lawmaker said it was also odd to find herself defending the federal law enforcement agency that she, too, believes needs strong oversight from Congress. But she felt Democrats had to step in to counter Republican attacks on the FBI.

“That’s their message: They want to shut down the FBI because the FBI is continuing to investigate Donald Trump,” said Jayapal. “And that is really what this is about.”

Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, submitted a proposal before the hearing that calls for “eliminating taxpayer funding for any new FBI headquarter facility.”

Jordan said in a letter to the Republican chair of the House appropriations committee that he also wants a plan for moving the FBI headquarters out of Washington, noting an existing facility in Huntsville, Alabama—a recommendation Heritage has also made.

“One of the goals we’ve set in this Congress as Republicans is to do the oversight so we can impact the appropriations process,” Jordan said in a brief interview at the Capitol, and “put limitations on how taxpayer money is spent to stop the weaponization of these agencies against the American people.”

Jordan also called for the DOJ to halt all politically-sentitive investigations until the department and its corrupt agencies were able to make the changes necessary to proceed in a nonpartisan fashion.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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