EDITORIAL: Federal law enforcement the real threat to our republic

It is not quite clear why former Trump adviser Peter Navarro was arrested and jailed after being indicted for contempt of Congress. The arrest — made at Reagan National Airport — is all the more unusual because no one even thought about doing so to then-Attorney General Eric Holder, who was indicted for precisely the same crime 10 years ago.

For that matter, why have dozens of rioters (protesters?) from Jan. 6 remained in pretrial custody for the last 17 months?

Why have Molotov cocktail-throwing lawyers and killers involved in violent riots during the summer of 2020 been given extremely lenient plea deals in New York and California?

Why has no one at the FBI or other federal law enforcement been held accountable for their role in the societally destructive, libelous and wholly fabricated idea that former President Donald Trump and his campaign had, in some magical way, colluded with Russia?

Why is Hunter Biden, having obtained a firearm after lying on a federal application (a felony), still walking around a free man?

Why is the Jan. 6 committee asking questions from people like Mr. Navarro, who had nothing to do with Jan. 6?  Why have they not called FBI informants in the crowd to testify? Why has the committee not asked about why the Capitol’s doors were open, or why the “rioters” were unarmed. 

The answer in each and every instance is the unequal and unfair application of justice brought about by the politicization of federal law enforcement. That politicization, left unchecked, will eventually destroy the republic.

The Jan. 6 committee — whose members talk a lot about the threats to democracy — is, itself a legitimate risk to the republic. By issuing subpoenas to those with no material connection to the events of Jan. 6 (like Mr. Navarro), and to sitting members of Congress, the committee has nakedly politicized what should have been, at most, a modest examination into a law enforcement failure.

Conservatives are, by their very nature, institutionalists; they believe in the legitimacy of institutions. But the time has come to reassess those sentiments.

Federal law enforcement has become a threat to the Republic. There is no surer sign of the erosion of democratic norms than the politicization of the administration of justice.

We need a thorough and unflinching examination of the unwarranted, unwise and illegal acts executed by those who we have entrusted with guns and badges.

The pattern of lawbreaking and indifference to political, social, legal and governmental norms among the bureaucracies of the CIA, the FBI and the Department of Justice has become so obvious and so egregious that Congress must make a granular examination of the activities of those charged with safeguarding the United States and her citizens.

This effort should be led by a serious senator or House member; this is not a moment for the TikTok or Twitter members. This is a matter of the gravest urgency and will require an equally sober, deliberate and nonpartisan assessment of the depth of the crisis and the changes that need to be made.

Despite all the nonsense on both sides about “insurrection” (still, no one charged with that), elections being stolen, votes being suppressed and democracy dying in the darkness, the real and immediate risk to the republic is that some of those with guns and badges have become its enemies.

At a certain point, facts become inescapable. We know that some in the FBI and the DOJ wanted to select the president in 2016 and 2020 and fabricated evidence to do so. We know that law enforcement surveilled presidential campaign staff in 2016. We know that Homeland Security surveilled reporters and others. We know that some of those in the intelligence community and federal law enforcement have lied before Congress and elsewhere. We are watching the unequal application of the law in real-time.

Almost 2,000 years ago, the Roman poet Juvenal wrote:  “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” — who watches the watchmen themselves? The only right answer — and the one we face now — is that we must watch the watchmen and be fearless and resolute in examining their conduct.

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