At the beginning of the second century AD, a Roman poet named Decimus Iunius Iuvenalis, known as Juvenal, wrote his Satires, which contained the famous Latin phrase, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? The literal translation is “Who will guard the guards themselves?” A looser, but more common translation, is, “Who watches the watchmen?”
The question succinctly posits an age-old dilemma. How do we control those who misuse their power? Who polices the cops? Or do we simply trust them to be fair and do the right thing?
Juvenal’s philosophical question has gained renewed relevancy today as more and more details of a massive scandal within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Justice come to light. At this point, it is clear that FBI and DOJ managers played politics by taking extraordinary steps to exonerate Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information and the willful destruction of subpoenaed evidence. At the same time, top law enforcement officials sought to destroy presidential candidate and later president-elect Donald Trump by endlessly investigating claims of Trump-Russia collusion based on a phony dossier financed by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton.
It was inconceivable to them at the time that Clinton could be defeated by the likes of Donald Trump and that they would get caught with their thumbs on the scale of justice. Consequently, law enforcement officials believed it was completely safe to bend the full force of our justice system toward the desired outcome. Never in a million years did FBI and DOJ officials think their scheme would backfire, but backfire it did. So the only thing left for them to do was hunker down and stonewall any and all attempts at gaining access to unredacted records that would reveal what they did when they thought it safe to do so.
This metastasizing scandal is a testament to the power of the deep-state, where unelected bureaucrats band together to thwart any attempt to hold them to account. Although many of the officials implicated in the brazen scheme have been fired, resigned, or reassigned, none of them have been indicted for obstruction of justice – justice that they meticulously doled out with regularity to common folk who have no political clout.
Other than losing their positions at the FBI and DOJ, corrupt law enforcement officials have not suffered any legal consequences, like the loss of their liberty, for tampering with our election process. Despite yeoman attempts by the FBI and DOJ to withhold information, congress and citizens advisory groups have obtained mounds of incriminating evidence showing corruption within the top echelon of the FBI and DOJ. Unfortunately, this hasn’t resulted in any criminal charges against the perpetrators thus far.
U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director, Christopher Wray, for some reason appear reluctant to seriously investigate and indict those who schemed to exonerate Clinton, frame Donald Trump, and illicitly obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants to spy on Trump associates. President Trump has complained bitterly about the injustice of a partisan investigation into purported Russian interference in our national election and threatened to intervene. However, Trump is hesitant to act because of the fierce political fallout he will encounter if he attempts to shut down Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe and clean house at the Justice Department. After a yearlong investigation led by DOJ Inspector General, Michael Horowitz, into the Justice Department’s handling of the Clinton email investigation, the IG issued a whitewash that concluded that politics did not affect the Clinton investigation. See www.investmentwatchblog.com/comey-and-horowitz-birds-of-a-feather/
Angry whistleblowers within the FBI and DOJ have privately discussed the scandal with former colleagues. Thus far, they haven’t decided to go public for fear of suffering reprisals from their superiors within the FBI and DOJ organizations.
All of these developments have frustrated Americans, who are paying attention and see a glaring double standard of justice: one for politically-connected individuals and another one for the rest of us.
It is premature to conclude that it is an exercise in futility to believe justice will ever be visited upon these arrogant bureaucrats. Instead of gradually subsiding, one of the biggest scandals in American history is growing with every passing week as more damning evidence surfaces. Not only have we seen devastating evidence in the form of hostile text messages by FBI and DOJ officials toward Donald Trump, we have learned that officials handled Clinton’s case with extraordinary leniency and actually edited documents to make sure Clinton was exonerated before she and other witnesses were even interviewed. We have seen compelling evidence of the blatant abuse of the FISA courts to obtain warrants to spy on Americans.
Partisan politics was at the root of the scandal where law enforcement leaders thought they could abuse our justice system with impunity to influence the outcome of a national election. Ironically, partisan politics is again at play as the enemies of President Trump attempt to defend and excuse what FBI and DOJ officials did behind closed doors leading up to the 2016 election. Of course, the same enablers would be up in arms if law enforcement officials tried to harm one of their own candidates while simultaneously favoring an opposition candidate. It goes without saying that our justice system should not be pawned for some short-term political gain.
It may take time for this scandal to play itself out, but that is to be expected when there an aggressive cover-up orchestrated by government officials. Justice should prevail at the end of the day. At least, that’s the fervent hope. We can’t abide law enforcers breaking the law for some perceived political advantage. Chief Justice Earl Warren once said, “The police must obey the law while enforcing the law.” Hence, it behooves us to remain vigilant until corrupt Justice Department insiders are brought to justice in order to restore integrity to a justice system they cynically perverted after they were entrusted to be its guardians.
If Juvenal were here today, he probably would have put it this way: Nos scimus qui estis, nos scimus quae tu fecit, et nos vigilantes.
Translation: We know who you are, we know what you did, and we are watching.