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Have the DOJ and the FBI Abused Their Federal Powers?

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By John Ubaldi
Contributor, In Homeland Security

Thomas Jefferson once wrote, “While the laws shall be obeyed, all will be safe. He alone is your enemy who disobeys them.” During the spectacle of Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s testimony before Congress, there was no mention of the alleged abuse of power by the Department of Justice and the FBI.

In an interview last month on “60 Minutes,” former acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe confirmed what Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had said in a conversation. McCabe said Rosenstein agreed to wear a wire in President Trump’s presence to catch Trump saying something that could be used to invoke the 25th Amendment and remove him from office.

Rosenstein flatly denied the allegation, saying it was only a joke. But former FBI general counsel James Baker testified that McCabe had spoken to him and Baker believed it was not a joke. Who is telling the truth?

McCabe Opens Counter Intelligence Investigation of Trump

In the same “60 Minutes” interview, McCabe stated that he opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Trump after Trump fired then-FBI Director James Comey.

Text messages and congressional testimony revealed that after the Comey firing, McCabe’s “Russia team” had re-established ties with former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele. Steele is the author of the infamous Russian dossier whose authenticity has never been verified or substantiated in building a case against Trump for obstruction of justice. This was the same dossier that DOJ and FBI officials presented to a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court judge to get a warrant to investigate possible ties between Russia and the Trump election campaign.

Former Federal Prosecutors and Investigators Question FBI Motives

“Former federal prosecutors and investigators described the move to RealClear Investigations as ‘desperate.’ They also said the FBI’s decision to suddenly re-engage with a discredited confidential source raises fresh questions about the evidentiary grounds on which the FBI opened an unprecedented probe targeting the president,” the online news source reported.

RealClear Investigations went on: “’It suggests that McCabe lacked evidence to make an espionage case against Trump and was desperate to find it — ‘even if that meant going back to the same unreliable source of still-unverified dossier dirt,’ former federal prosecutor Solomon L. Wisenberg said.”

McCabe Testifies That without Dossier, FBI Couldn’t Get FISA Warrant

Incidentally, McCabe testified before a closed-door session of the House Intelligence Committee that the FBI could not have obtained the FISA warrant without the dossier. Even Comey stated that the “dossier” was “salacious and unverified.”

RealClear also reported: “While noting that there are not only Justice Department rules but also federal laws against opening groundless investigations, they [presumably the former federal prosecutors and investigators] warned that if the nation’s top police force can investigate and spy on a president without hard evidence of criminal behavior, they can do it to anyone. ‘It’s pretty clear that Comey’s firing is what prompted McCabe’s fury,’ Wisenberg said.”

DOJ Contacts Fusion GPS

The DOJ used senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr because his wife, Nellie Ohr, worked for Fusion GPS. That company was paid by both the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to provide opposition research on Trump.

Throughout the presidential campaign and into the first year of the Trump presidency, Ohr acted as a conduit between Fusion GPS and the FBI. When North Carolina Republican Representative Mark Meadows asked Ohr about this relationship, Ohr admitted to fostering it.

So far, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) hasn’t ruled if the Clinton campaign and the DNC violated campaign finance laws by making payments to Fusion GPS. According to Forbes, “During the 2016 election cycle, Hillary for America reported $5,631,421 in payments to Perkins Coie. These were described as ‘Legal Services.’…Further, the DNC reported paying Perkins Coie $6,466,711 for ‘Legal and Compliance Consulting.’”

Under FEC rules, payments for legal services over $250,000 have to be fully reported. That wasn’t done in this case.

Why Did the DOJ and FBI Rely on Steele?

Why did the FBI and the DOJ still rely on Steele for information and continue to work with Fusion GPS, using a dossier that could not be verified and substantiated?

“Michael Biasello, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who spent 10 years in counterintelligence, agreed that McCabe lacked a case against Trump,” RealClearInvestigations said. “‘What McCabe did is outrageous,’ he said, ‘and McCabe as a lawyer should have known better.’”

An interesting aspect is that McCabe was fired for precisely “the same reason as Steele’s: leaking and for lying about it.”

An additional dozen FBI and DOJ officials have resigned, retired, been fired or reassigned for unethical and likely illegal behavior.

Democrats Subpoena Access to Trump Records

Democratic House Judiciary Committee Chairman Representative Jerrold Nadler has announced that the Comey firing will be part of any obstruction of justice and corruption inquiry. Ironically, prosecutors and investigators interviewed by RealClear Investigations have said that none of the information now available would have been enough to launch an FBI investigation.

In fact, the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee has requested documents from 81 government agencies, entities and individuals looking into possible obstruction of justice by Trump and others.

Will the Judiciary Committee also look into how the DOJ and FBI conducted their investigations?

It’s time we have an honest assessment of alleged abuses of power by the DOJ and the FBI. If we don’t, we will pay a high price.

John Ubaldi is a 30-year retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps with three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is president and founder of Ubaldi Reports, which provides credible, political content, addressing domestic and global issues. John authored the book, "The New Business Brigade: Veterans Dynamic Impact on U.S. Business," currently available on Amazon. John has a Master’s Degree in National Security Studies from American Military University (AMU) with a concentration in Middle Eastern Studies, and a Bachelor’s degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento.

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