President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are engaged in what has become a war for America. Trump woke up Friday morning with the next battle firmly fixed in his mind as he wages into an unpreceded rift with his own Justice Department. Using his favorite form of mass communication, the president started the weekend with a shot that could be heard ‘round the world.
“The top Leadership and Investigators of the FBI and the Justice Department have politicized the sacred investigative process in favor of Democrats and against Republicans – something which would have been unthinkable just a short time ago,” he wrote. “Rank & File are great people!”
Trump wisely included this last bit to assure the hardworking men and women of the nation’s top law enforcement agency that he was not Obama 2.0. Trump ran a campaign partially based on promising police officers that he would have their back…quite unlike the last guy. With his war against the leadership of these agencies, he must carefully distinguish between calling out malfeasance at the top levels of the Justice Department and any beef one might perceive with the agents who go out and do their jobs to protect this nation.
And yet, problems cannot be ignored.
While the secret “Nunes Memo” had not been released to the public as of Friday morning, there is already more than enough evidence available for even a slow-witted observer to conclude that something was badly amiss in Obama’s DOJ. There are the text messages sent between Agent Peter Strzok and his mistress. There is the fact that the FBI secured surveillance warrants against American citizens using the flimsy opposition research known as the dossier as their only argument. And there is the ongoing mystifying response from congressional Democrats, who insist that any oversight of the FBI and the Justice Department amounts to obstruction.
To be sure, what comes next will not be pretty. There are reports that FBI Director Christopher Wray may resign if the memo is released. Top Democrats in the Congress and the Senate are calling on Paul Ryan to remove Devin Nunes from the House Intelligence Committee. And on Friday – whether this was simply wishful thinking or a report based on something substantial – there were even stories indicating that Robert Mueller could bring an indictment against a sitting president for the first time in American history.
It may seem hyperbolic – silly, even – to refer to what’s happening right now as a war for the future of this country, but we don’t know any other way to describe it. One side will win. One side will lose. And the victor will determine where we go from here. Will our democracy be thwarted and yanked away from the people by a handful of bureaucrats and Obama-allied ideologues in the intelligence community? Or will these people be exposed for attempting nothing less than a third-world coup in plain sight?
May you live in interesting times, says the old proverb. And boy do we.