The Problem With Praetorian Guards

The phenomenon that some are referring to as the Deep State is the fruit of mission creep by the Federal Civil Service, who seem to have taken the wrong lesson from the Praetorian Guard.

The Praetorian Guard (Latincohortes praetoriae) was an elite unit of the Imperial Roman Army whose members served as personal bodyguards to the Roman emperors. During the era of the Roman Republic, the Praetorians served as a small escort force for high-ranking officials such as army generals or provincial governors. With the Republic’s transition into the Roman Empire, however, the first emperor Augustus founded the Guard as his personal security detail. Although they continued to serve in this capacity for roughly three centuries, the Guard became notable for its intrigue and interference in Roman politics, to the point of overthrowing emperors and proclaiming their successors. In 312 the Guard was ultimately disbanded by Constantine the Great.

Our system of Federal Civil Service was created in response to the excesses of the spoils system wherein each incomming Presidential Administration sacked all the officials (of the then much smaller) Federal Agencies and replaced them with their own appointees. The disadvantages of such a system are obvious, the less obvious danger was that they would come to think of themselves as a Praetorian Guard. That moment seems to have arrived.

The FBI’s Trump ‘Insurance’

More troubling evidence of election meddling at the bureau.

By The Editorial Board of the Wall Street Journal

Democrats and the media are accusing anyone who criticizes special counsel Robert Mueller as Trumpian conspirators trying to undermine his probe. But who needs critics when Mr. Mueller’s team is doing so much to undermine its own credibility?

Wednesday’s revelations—they’re coming almost daily—include the Justice Department’s release of 2016 text messages to and from Peter Strzok, the FBI counterintelligence agent whom Mr. Mueller demoted this summer. The texts, which he exchanged with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page, contain expletive-laced tirades against Mr. Trump. Such Trump hatred is no surprise and not by itself disqualifying. More troubling are texts that suggest that some FBI officials may have gone beyond antipathy to anti-Trump plotting.

“I want to believe the path you threw out for consideration in Andy’s office—that there’s no way [Trump] gets elected—but I’m afraid we can’t take that risk,” Mr. Strzok wrote Ms. Page in an Aug. 15, 2016 text. He added: “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

What “policy” would that be? The “Andy” in question is Andrew McCabe, the deputy FBI director. FBI officials are allowed to have political opinions, but what kind of action were they discussing that would amount to anti-Trump “insurance”?

In another exchange that month, Ms. Page forwarded a Trump-related article and wrote: “Maybe you’re meant to stay where you are because you’re meant to protect the country from that menace.” He thanked her and assured: “Of course I’ll try and approach it that way.” Mr. Strzok, recall, is the man who changed the words “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” in James Comey’s July 2016 public exoneration of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

The McCabe meeting came on the heels of the FBI’s launch of its counterintelligence probe into Trump-Russia ties. July is also when former British spook Christopher Steele briefed the FBI on his Clinton-financed dossier of salacious allegations against Mr. Trump. The texts explain why Mr. Mueller would remove Mr. Strzok, though a straight shooter wouldn’t typically resist turning those messages over to Congress for as long as Mr. Mueller did.

Meanwhile, we’re learning more about the political motives of Mr. Mueller’s lieutenant, Andrew Weissmann. Judicial Watch last week released an email in which Mr. Weissmann expressed his “awe” and praise for Sally Yates, after the then acting AG and Obama holdover refused to implement Mr. Trump’s travel ban.

This cannot be tolerated by a Republican form of government. Federal Agencies are neither super-legislatures nor star chambers. As an object lesson the FBI should be purged in whole in their headquarters and Washington DC Station. If such is not accomplished within a year, the FBI’s budget should be set to zero.

[UPDATE] It seems the same cast of FBI officials criminals were circling the wagons to suppress the revelation that former Attorney General Lynch and former (not to be confused with never will be) President Clinton’s off the books meeting on the tarmac in Phoenix.

On The Projections Of The Left
Let's Play "Who's the Idiot?"
  • Walter_Cronanty

    Let us not forget the loving couple, Bruce & Nellie Ohr.

    Until Dec. 6, when Fox News began making inquiries about him, Bruce Ohr held two titles at DOJ. He was, and remains, director of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force; but his other job was far more senior. Mr. Ohr held the rank of associate deputy attorney general, a post that gave him an office four doors down from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The day before Fox News reported that Mr. Ohr held his secret meetings last year with the founder of Fusion GPS, Glenn Simpson, and with Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled the dossier, the Justice Department stripped Ohr of his deputy title and ousted him from his fourth floor office at the building that DOJ insiders call “Main Justice.”

    …Nellie H. Ohr, wife of the demoted official, Bruce G. Ohr, worked for the opposition research firm last year. The precise nature of Mrs. Ohr’s duties – including whether she worked on the dossier – remains unclear but a review of her published works available online reveals Mrs. Ohr has written extensively on Russia-related subjects. HPSCI staff confirmed to Fox News that she was paid by Fusion GPS through the summer and fall of 2016.

    • Turns out the trail runs through Mrs. Ohr:

      Court Filing Confirms Fusion GPS Hired DOJ Official’s CIA Wife To Dig Up Dirt On Trump
      The head of opposition research firm Fusion GPS admitted in a court filing this week that his firm paid the wife of a senior Justice Department official to help dig up damaging information on then-candidate Donald Trump.

      Glenn Simpson, co-founder of Fusion GPS, filed the signed declaration in a D.C. court this week affirming that Nellie Ohr, wife of demoted DOJ official Bruce Ohr, was contracted by Fusion through the summer and fall of 2016 “to help our company with its research and analysis of Mr. Trump,” according to the filing. The House Intelligence Committee determined that in November 2016, Simpson met with Bruce Ohr shortly after the election to discuss their findings regarding Russia and Trump. Bruce Ohr lost his senior-level position at the DOJ as associate deputy attorney general after his meetings with Simpson and British spy Christopher Steele, who assembled the Trump-Russia dossier, were discovered.

      And why would Fusion GPS hire Nellie Ohr? Aside from the obvious connection to her DOJ husband who was in a position to provide Fusion GPS with information on Trump gathered by US intelligence agencies, Nellie Ohr also represented the CIA’s “Open Source Works” group in a 2010 “expert working group report on international organized crime” along with Bruce Ohr and Glenn Simpson.

      Heads need to roll.

      • jim_m

        I emphatically disagree. Heads must not roll, that’s just a euphemism for firing people. Now, bodies hanging from lamp posts and trees would be appropriate. Firing isn’t a real consequence in American politics they just move over into lobbying and make even more money.

        • Who said I was speaking euphamistically? A thin rope and a long drop will answer nicely.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    Nor should we forget Mueller’s “pit bull” of a prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, who attended Hillary’s election night “celebration” party [snort], gave “$6,600 to the Democratic National Committee and the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton,” and:

    …praised former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ defiance of Trump.

    “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects,” Weissmann wrote to Yates on Jan. 30. The email followed Yates’ instruction to the DOJ not to defend an executive order banning immigration from seven nations, an act that led to her dismissal by President Trump.

    • stan25

      Don’t also forget Mrs Ohr applied for a HAM radio license to circumvent the NSA electronics eavesdropping apparatus. This was to ensure the scheme did not get public scrutiny too soon.

      • Walter_Cronanty

        Well, isn’t that interesting?!

        I’m totally unaware of if/why HAM radio communications are “…a way to avoid the risk of U.S. intelligence intercepts on her communications.” But, then again, why “[a]ll of a sudden, [does] a 60(ish)-year-old woman decide[] to use a HAM radio the month after contracting with Christopher Steele for a Russian opposition research dossier on Donald Trump?”

        • stan25

          HAM radio operates on a short wave radio frequency and is not subject to scrutiny by the NSA. However, the FCC does control the frequency and does monitor what is put out. We all know the Obama FCC was all in for the Hildabeast to win.

          • Brett Buck

            What makes you think the NSA doesn’t monitor shortwave? That’s essentially trivial and that was the very first place that any sort of signals intelligence was implemented.

  • Walter_Cronanty

    The Mueller investigation, and the acts leading up to it, are looking more and more like a superficially genteel coup d’etat.