Last week’s revelations about contemporaneous FBI notes in the case of Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn make it abundantly clear – there is no question that Gen. Flynn was railroaded by the FBI, in what can only be described as an appalling abuse of power by so-called “public servants.”
What’s worse is that the senior-most officials at the FBI believed they could get away with such outrageous, abusive behavior because they had previously allowed other government bureaucrats to behave in a similar fashion without any negative consequences – James Comey, you will recall, was the FBI Director who never held Lois Lerner and her IRS cronies accountable for their illegal targeting of tea party groups.
What happened when the FBI decided to set up Gen. Flynn was not just an attack against Gen. Flynn and President Trump’s new administration; it was an attack against every single American. Every single American who cares about due process, rule of law, or the vote they cast in an election should be outraged by the FBI's actions.
That means Democrats should be just as vocal as Republicans in demanding accountability for Comey and his cohorts.
The FBI's attack on Gen. Flynn was part of a multi-pronged and illegal attack on the Trump campaign and the Trump Administration. They used their power to undermine a duly elected president and his incoming administration.
They prevented a peaceful transition of power. They played right into Russia’s hands, sowing seeds of discontent in America.
It is no longer enough to say, “well, we had a few bad apples, but they’re gone now and can no longer do damage. Move on.” As the case against Gen. Flynn unravels, those who broke the law must be held to account for their misdeeds and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Their trial must be held not in the District of Columbia or Northern Virginia – where nearly everyone makes their living in one way or the other off of our tax dollars, and has a built-in incentive to look the other way – but somewhere in America’s heartland, where the potential jury pool hasn’t been infected by the disease and the rot of the Washington Swamp.
The people in a D.C. or northern Virginia jury pool have a self-interest in allowing government bureaucrats to get away with misbehavior, because they will see it as looking out for someone like one of their family members, friends, co-workers, or neighbors. The only way to prevent that, to ensure a fair trial for the rest of us, is to ensure that the trial is held in the heartland of our country, with a jury made up of everyday, average Americans.
In 2013, we warned that the failure to hold senior IRS officials accountable for the IRS targeting of “Tea Party” and “Patriots” groups would shatter the foundation of trust between the people and the government, and would embolden other bureaucrats to abuse their power. James Comey and his gang at the FBI did not let us down – he let the IRS get away with their bad behavior, and then upped the ante later.
Without true accountability for the FBI’s misdeeds, Americans will be never be able to trust the results of an FBI investigation again, and the FBI will deserve such distrust and skepticism.
Be forewarned: If justice is not served today, the next time this happens it will be worse than the treatment of Gen. Flynn and President-elect Trump. The question will then become how much will America be able to endure when the distrust between those with our power and we, the people, is so deep it cannot be repaired?
Jenny Beth Martin is honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.