As someone that has run the largest police department (NYPD) and jail system (Rikers Island) in our country with unparalleled successes and achievements, and has also been the target of a selective and political prosecution by the U.S. Justice Department, I cannot stress enough, the urgency for president Donald Trump to act and force the U.S. Attorney General to do the job he was sworn to do.
Last Thursday, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to the Justice Department demanding compliance with numerous subpoenas that his committee issued for information on how the department and the FBI have handled the Russia probe. Nunes outlined in his letter how Justice had deliberately stonewalled production of that information for months, in violation of the Congressional subpoenas and U.S. law.
Anyone that’s been the target of a federal criminal investigation will tell you that the failure to respond to a Justice Department subpoena would be devastating, with sanctions by the court that could include imprisonment. How is it that the Justice Department can continually violate the laws that they are sworn to uphold?
Over the past eighteen months, we have witnessed unethical and possible criminal conduct by some of the most senior officials in the FBI and Justice Department, and no one to date has been held accountable, nor has the Attorney General instituted policies to prevent this conduct from happening in the future.
In 2014 and 2015, the Justice Department’s Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, complained that he was prevented from conducting independent investigations and forbidden access to department records by then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, and the justice department’s legal counsel. Evidently that has not changed.
We have seen an FBI Director, James Comey, conduct a criminal investigation involving Hillary Clinton’s classified emails without ever producing one shred of evidence before a federal grand jury, and do and say absolutely nothing when former President Bill Clinton, who obviously was a primary witness in their investigation, secretly met with the Attorney General.
He then conspired with several senior officials at the FBI and Justice Department to willfully and intentionally ignore Hillary Clinton, Huma Abedin, and Cheryl Mills’ criminal conduct, and allowed the destruction of evidence, and then concluded the bureau’s investigation without charges. His press conference where he said that “no reasonable prosecutor,” would bring charges in that case was laughable to anyone that’s ever been the target of an FBI or Justice Department investigation.
As ridiculous as it sounded at the time, no one had any idea of how much effort went into squashing that investigation. Emails and text messages have since revealed that Comey, his deputy Andrew McCabe, and others, did everything in their power to ensure that Clinton’s unethical and criminal conduct and culpability was diminished as much as possible.
Then, in a move right out of the Hoover playbook of deceit, Comey leaked a confidential and privileged memo documenting a conversation between him and President Trump to The New York Times through a friend for the sole purpose of influencing the appointment of a special counsel to target the president of the United States, knowing full well that there was no justification for such an investigation.
Over the past few decades, slowly but surely, selective and political prosecutions have increased where members of Congress, politicians at every level and overzealous and politically motivated prosecutors have used the Justice Department to target political opponents and adversaries, their critics, as well as their associates if, for no other reason, just to dirty them up.
Vice President Dick Cheney’s Chief of Staff Scooter Libby, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, and Texas Governor Rick Perry are just a few politically motivated prosecutions that were carried out to destroy the individuals, or as in the Flynn and Libby’s cases, they were targeted to dirty up their bosses.
When you think of politically motivated and overzealous prosecutions, think for a moment of the case against Rod Blagojevich… conspiring to sell Barack Obama’s senate seat, an act that was never carried out. He gained nothing personally, professionally or financially… he just talked about it, and he was sent to prison for 14 years. We sent an American citizen to prison for 14 years for talking about something he didn’t do. He wasn’t talking about murder, a terror attack, or some violent act.
In fact, he would have been better off. The same office that prosecuted him, sent a man to prison for eight years for possessing 30 stolen guns. Another aspiring terrorist called a “villain” by the judge was sentenced to 15 years.
Blagojevich was talking about politics, like every member of Congress does every day of their career. They don’t pick their nose unless there’s some benefit to their office or career, yet we sent Blagojevich to prison for 14 years. Did the punishment fit the crime? Hell no! His case wasn’t about justice. His prosecution was as political as the investigation today, targeting the President of the United States and his family, by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel.
It’s time for someone to take charge and stop this political miscarriage of justice. Unfortunately, Attorney General Jeff Sessions rendered himself completely useless when he recused himself and allowed the appointment of the special counsel that Comey was hoping for. He must reverse his recusal, or step down and let the president appoint an attorney general with the full power and authority to stop the madness.
Michael Horowitz, the DOJ Inspector General (OIG), and Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) must be given the unfettered authority and unrestricted access to department records to conduct independent investigations into unethical and criminal conduct within the FBI and DOJ.
The Congressional oversights conducting the investigation into Russia and the leadership of the FBI and DOJ must not be hindered in anyway, and those responsible for doing so should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
Selective and political prosecutions must stop, and we can start with the one against the president of the United States, and by appointing a special prosecutor to investigate the Clinton allegations, as well as the government officials that conspired to ignore Clinton, and her aide’s apparent criminal conduct. We then need to create policies and internal oversites within DOJ to ensure that politically motivated and overzealous prosecutors are prevented from destroying people’s lives for the purpose of self-promotion, or ignoring criminal conduct based on their political views.
There is no greater threat to a free and democratic nation than a government that fails to protect its citizens’ freedom and liberty as aggressively as it pursues justice. It’s time for our Attorney General and our country’s U.S. Attorneys to stop destroying lives and wasting money over politics and focus on justice… real justice.
As New York City’s 40th Police Commissioner, Bernard Kerik was on the scene just minutes after the first hijacked airliner slammed into Tower One of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. He worked tirelessly with Mayor Rudy Giuliani to oversee the NYPD’s response, rescue, recovery, and the investigative efforts of the most substantial terror attack in world history. He has spent ten of his thirty-five year career working in the Middle East, and has been recognized in more than 100 awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a presidential commendation for heroism by President Ronald Reagan, two Distinguished Service Awards from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, The Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and an appointment as Honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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