by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
A little over 40 years ago, Richard Nixon went from a landslide re-election winner to a president forced to resign in disgrace. Nixon’s downfall was the direct result of his unsuccessful attempts to politicize through patronage of an independent, straight-arrow FBI. The commonsense, ethical lesson from this for all government officials would be to avoid attempts to use our nation’s independent fact-finder as a partisan force.
There is as well, of course, a more perverse lesson to be learned from Nixon’s downfall at the hands of an independent FBI, to wit: there is much power to gain by politicizing the Bureau, but only if its upper-leadership team is all on partisan board. Emerging evidence increasingly suggests, sadly, that this was former FBI Director James Comey’s leadership strategy in our country’s most sensitive investigations. …
… In the years running up to the 2016 presidential election, Comey made sure not to make the same “mistakes” … that plagued Nixon. The IRS conservative harassment scandal was swept under the rug. The Clinton Foundation, seemingly overtly corrupt, was given a pass even after the Uranium One sale by a large Clinton Foundation donor was approved by the Clinton State Department. Comey even went so far as to take the unusual step of exonerating Hillary Clinton for her grossly negligent handling of classified materials, not a decision that was his to make. More shockingly, he permitted the destruction of 30,000 Clinton emails and relevant hard drives. It strains credulity to contend that Comey would have done the same for President Donald Trump if the occasion arose.