The recent FBI oversight hearing in the GOP-controlled House Judiciary Committee took a disturbing turn. Instead of conducting a fair examination, Chairman Rep. Jim Jordan and his group of conspiracists turned it into a kangaroo court, attacking the FBI with baseless accusations and fictional claims. This is not just political theatrics; it represents a dangerous threat to our trust in key institutions.
The assault on the FBI led by Jordan is part of a broader campaign to erode Americans’ confidence in their crucial institutions. And unfortunately, it seems to be working. A recent NBC poll revealed that only 37% of registered voters hold a positive view of the FBI, a significant decline from 52% in late 2018. This erosion of trust aligns with Donald Trump’s continuous promotion of false theories and attacks on the agency investigating him, as well as his undermining of other institutions he perceives as threats. Notably, only 17% of Republican voters have a positive view of the FBI, compared to 58% of Democrats.
Engaging in rigorous oversight of institutions is vital for a healthy democracy, especially those with the power to collect intelligence and impact citizens’ freedom. However, Wednesday’s assault on the FBI only served to degrade an agency responsible for preserving domestic security. In doing so, Republicans have harmed our national interests.
Furthermore, this hearing sent a clear message to law enforcers: if they dare to investigate any alleged criminal conduct by members of the party in power, they will face consequences. Under Trump, FBI employees witnessed the firing of Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe subjected to an intrusive IRS audit, and the termination of counterintelligence executive Peter Stzrok. These career-ending actions may have already influenced agency decision-making, and the public beat down of the FBI on Wednesday will only further damage the confidence of its rank and file.
The GOP’s threats against the bureau have now extended beyond individual consequences to broader institutional harms. For instance, Jordan issued a letter asking congressional budget minders not to fund the proposed new FBI headquarters and to consider moving it to Alabama. This move would severely hinder the agency’s effectiveness by placing it far from crucial access to the DOJ, the intelligence community, the White House, and Congress. The FBI has been seeking a larger campus for a decade, and they have finally identified potential locations in suburban Washington. When asked about GOP detractors suggesting defunding and dismantling the FBI, Director Wray pushed back, emphasizing the agency’s role in protecting the American people from cartels, criminals, terrorists, and cyberattacks.
Wray is absolutely right. In his tenure as director, the FBI has dismantled 790 violent gangs, rescued nearly 9,000 child sex trafficking victims, and disrupted over 3,000 terrorism operations. Just last year, the FBI and its partners arrested over 20,000 violent criminals and child predators, averaging 55 arrests per day. Slashing the agency’s budget, relocating its headquarters away from the crucial D.C. sphere, and launching vengeful attacks against the agents and analysts who keep us safe would make us less secure and more vulnerable to the threats we face daily. Criminals, corrupt officials, child predators, spies, terrorists, and hackers would all benefit from a weakened FBI.
During my time as a young supervisor at FBI headquarters, I once saw a small poster hanging on an assistant director’s door. It read, “America is at peace because the FBI is at war.” Now, it seems that certain elected officials are at war with the FBI.
If you’re wondering who the real winners are in Wednesday’s attempt to damage the FBI, you need to look beyond our borders. Our adversaries, such as Russian and Chinese intelligence services, would pay a high price to witness such a withering attack on America’s FBI. But they don’t have to spend a dime because Jim Jordan and his allies are doing it for them, for free.
Jim Jordan’s FBI Crusade: A Dangerous Gift to Our Adversaries
In recent years, Congressman Jim Jordan has emerged as a prominent figure in American politics, particularly for his relentless attacks on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). While it is essential to hold government agencies accountable, Jordan’s crusade against the FBI is not only misguided but also poses a significant threat to national security. By undermining the credibility and integrity of the FBI, Jordan inadvertently provides a dangerous gift to our adversaries.
Jordan’s relentless pursuit of conspiracy theories and baseless allegations against the FBI has created an environment of mistrust and skepticism among the American public. This erosion of trust weakens the FBI’s ability to effectively carry out its mission of protecting the nation from threats, both foreign and domestic. When a significant portion of the population questions the legitimacy of the FBI, it becomes easier for our adversaries to exploit this skepticism and sow discord within our society.
One of the most damaging aspects of Jordan’s crusade is his repeated attempts to undermine the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Despite overwhelming evidence and the consensus of the intelligence community, Jordan has consistently downplayed the severity of this interference, casting doubt on the FBI’s findings. By doing so, he inadvertently aids our adversaries by diminishing the seriousness of their actions and undermining efforts to prevent future interference.
Furthermore, Jordan’s attacks on the FBI’s leadership and personnel have far-reaching consequences. The FBI is composed of dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to protect our nation’s security. By publicly questioning their integrity and casting doubt on their motives, Jordan not only demoralizes these individuals but also discourages talented individuals from pursuing careers in law enforcement. This erosion of trust and talent weakens our ability to counter the evolving threats posed by our adversaries.
It is crucial to recognize that the FBI is not infallible, and it is essential to hold it accountable for any wrongdoing. However, Jordan’s approach is not one of constructive criticism but rather a relentless assault on the institution itself. This approach not only undermines the FBI’s ability to carry out its mission effectively but also plays into the hands of our adversaries who seek to weaken our democratic institutions.
National security should be a bipartisan issue, and it is disheartening to witness a prominent member of Congress actively working against the interests of our nation. Jordan’s actions not only jeopardize the FBI’s ability to protect us from threats but also provide our adversaries with a powerful tool to exploit our divisions and weaken our democracy.
In conclusion, Congressman Jim Jordan’s crusade against the FBI is a dangerous gift to our adversaries. By eroding trust in the FBI, downplaying the severity of Russian interference, and attacking the agency’s personnel, Jordan inadvertently aids our adversaries in their efforts to undermine our democracy. It is imperative that we recognize the importance of a strong and credible FBI in safeguarding our national security and work towards constructive solutions rather than destructive rhetoric.