Former Asst. FBI Director James Kallstrom said in an interview on Sunday that there was a plot among high-ranking officials in the Obama administration’s FBI and Justice Department to ensure that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was not indicted for criminal mishandling of classified emails because they did not want Donald Trump to win and they believed that she would if she was allowed to remain in the race.
“I think we have ample facts revealed to us during this last year and a half that high-ranking people throughout government, not just the FBI, high-ranking people had a plot to not have Hillary Clinton, you know, indicted,” Kallstrom said.
Kallstrom, a 27-year FBI vet, was responding to a question about whether he thought that someone in the FBI was directing officials to protect Clinton.
The former FBI second-in-command also said these same ranking officials had a scheme to blame Trump for the Russian interference during the 2016 election.
“They had a backup plan to basically frame Donald Trump and that’s what’s been going,” Kallstrom said.
“It goes right to the top, and it involves that whole strategy. They were going to win (the 2016 election), nobody would ever know this stuff, and they just unleashed the intelligence community,” Kallstrom added.
“Look at the unmaskings? We haven’t even heard about that yet,” he added. “Look at the way they violated the rights of these American citizens? [source]
Analysis: It’s hard to argue that Kallstrom is merely bloviating on a cable news channel. There has been no evidence produced by a number of congressional investigations as well as separate probes by the FBI, DoJ, and special counsel Robert Mueller indicating that the Trump campaign colluded in any way with the Russian government.
Now, putting aside the argument that Trump may or may not be ‘qualified’ to be president, it’s getting harder for his opponents to deny 1) that there is a form of “deep state” that exists underneath the surface in D.C. consisting of elements of the law enforcement bureaucracy, intelligence community, and career government employees; and 2) that deep state is vehemently opposed to the outsider Trump sitting in the Oval Office.
Just consider who’s been directing their ire at the president.
Over the weekend, President Obama’s CIA director, John Brennan, tweeted angrily at Trump after the Justice Department’s firing of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday: “When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America…America will triumph over you.”
Those are strong words from a former CIA director who claims on his Twitter profile that he’s “nonpartisan.”
Then there is former FBI Director James Comey, whom Trump fired over his mishandling (according to the Justice Department) of the Clinton email investigation. He also warned the president that, essentially, there are ‘truths to come out’ next month contained in a new book he wrote that reportedly provides heretofore unknown details about his interactions with Trump during his time in the administration.
Why all of this matters is because it is nearly unprecedented. I can’t recall a time when there was so much politicization of the nation’s top law enforcement agency and the Justice Department (Watergate was close but I think what happened with Trump tops that). Ranking elements of the FBI and DoJ were clearly in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and there is no doubt that Obama himself knew about it because what was being conducted against the Trump campaign was a counterintelligence operation and the president is briefed on those daily.
The problem is the politicization of these agencies has created an aura of mistrust among a huge segment of the population. Government operates on the people’s trust; when it loses that, it loses legitimacy and unrest is the most common result, which sometimes leads to outbreaks of internal conflict.
The Trump administration’s firing of McCabe and ongoing investigations into how the Clinton probe was handled are good steps at restoring the public’s trust. But there will be a large plurality of the population that will see even these corrective measures as politically motivated.
Which means it may be a while before this all gets fixed — if it ever does.