The FBI continued along after Connolly brushing aside as it always had things that caused embarrassment. Then Trump got elected. He came to office with lots of baggage. For one thing, the FBI was already investigating certain things surrounding him that appeared to involve foreign interference with our country. They had received the Steele Dossier which implied Trump was a tool of the Russians. They had other information that members of his campaign were in contact with Russian agents.
Hardly could Trump take the usual position that the FBI was beyond reproach. Nor could he say that it was “the finest federal law enforcement organization in the world.” He had to do what he could to undermine it in the same way he continues to undermine the free press. He did not know what it would uncover. Clearly, as he saw it, it was not in his interest to have it go on as usual. What it was in his background causing him to attack the FBI so viciously as he has done. I assume we’ll soon be finding out. But there is no doubt he has been working diligently smearing the Bureau.
I sense that he would like to destroy it. He has said he plans to get more involved in the Justice Department. If and when he does I expect that the FBI will find its wings clipped. his is easily done by limiting its jurisdiction. Perhaps Trump will make the FBI great again by going back to its early days. He can limit it to Mann Act violations, interstate kidnappings, automobile thefts and bank robberies. As Trump continues to accrue power expect him to transfer terrorist investigations to Homeland Security’s Border Patrol and ICE and give the rest of its responsibilities to the military.
How then is it that I’m not in agreement with Trump that the FBI should have its wings clipped after my complaints about it. It would seem I would be pleased by them. Is it because of my ill feelings toward Trump that I now support the FBI? Do I believe the FBI should be abolished and replaced by other agencies with less power and more discreet and limited objectives? Why do I think Trump’s course will be a disaster for the country?
When I was closer to the situation I wrote in my book my suggestions for improving the FBI. When I worked investigating cases I avoided working with it because it was a one way street. I would give it information but could not get anything back in return. This was a common complaint among police officers. It was too secretive. It was because of that I refused to step back from being in charge of the John Salvi case and letting it take the lead after being requested to do so by the U.S. attorney in Boston.
I was never a fan of the FBI but I never questioned the integrity of its agents. I thought they were operating in a system where in the tradition of J. Edgar Hoover it sought to gobble up all the credit for successful outcomes. It wasn’t how I operated because getting the credit meant little; what was important was doing the job. Under Hoover the FBI had a whole division set up for the purpose of pushing out good publicity. This necessitated limiting the amount of information provided to others in law enforcement. The natural response to its stinginess with information and unwillingness to cooperate made other law enforcement officers feel the were looked down upon and could not be trusted.