‘Clearly based on this response, the FBI is going to do nothing to fix the criminal activities within the FBI related to FISA warrant applications…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) FBI Chief General Counsel Dana Boente, who briefly served as President Donald Trump’s acting attorney general prior to the appointment of Jeff Sessions, announced last week that he planned to retire at the end of June following a 40-year career in the DC swamp.
NBC News, which reported on the departure Saturday, said Boente had been asked to resign, according to the Associated Press.
It was unclear to what extent Boente’s role in the Michael Flynn case may have played in the decision. He faced criticism for his decision, along with FBI Director Christopher Wray, to conceal exculpatory “Brady” evidence in the case that showed the bureau had planned in advance to set up a perjury trap for Flynn.
Once again shows the dilemma that top FBI brass during the Trump administration—including many career bureaucrats like Boente—face in confronting the flagrant misconduct of the Obama-era.
On one hand, their duty to the pursuit justice and transparency, as well as an obligation to answer to the White House, have pressured the FBI into the uncomfortable position of investigating itself.
On the other hand, their allegiance to the longstanding processes and methods the agency relies upon in its covert operations appear to have compelled the current occupants of the Hoover Building’s 7th floor not to pull back the curtain more than necessary.
Boente, who signed off on the application approving one of the three FISA renewals to spy on Trump adviser Carter Page, has maintained that the FBI investigators had misled him by withholding information.
However, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz spread the blame around in a follow-up report that noted such failures were widespread throughout the agency, despite nearly all of the FISA requests for domestic surveillance getting rubber-stamped for approval.
After recent disclosures led Attorney General William Barr to drop the case against Flynn, citing the FBI mishandling, Wray announced the agency would be conducting its own internal investigation of the Flynn conspiracy.
The scandal has come to be called “Obamagate” due to the direct interest that the Oval Office took in the intercepting and unmasking of Flynn’s conversations with a Russian ambassador in late December 2016.
The transcripts of all but one of the conversations were released with minimal redactions last week. However, a Dec. 22 call between Flynn and then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
As with prior internal FBI overtures to hold itself accountable, little was expected of Wray’s latest probes. Following the prior IG report, in fact, the Gateway Pundit noted that the response from Wray and Boente, which misspelled the latter’s first name, seemed a clear indicator that they planned to take no meaningful action.
“Clearly based on this response, the FBI is going to do nothing to fix the criminal activities within the FBI related to FISA warrant applications,” it wrote.
Nonetheless, the independent probe by special prosecutor John Durham, believed to be in its final phases, is expected to conclude sometime this summer with prosecutions likely.
Boente’s departure may be a preview of what lies ahead. Already, reports have suggested that his predecessor, Obama-era Chief FBI Counsel James Baker, was cooperating with the probe, possibly as part of a plea deal-type of arrangement to avoid his own indictment.