Double Standard in US Dept. of Justice?

I read an article recently titled: Guilty!—But Not Really Guilty?

“A cynical public now expects any accused prominent leftist to remain unindicted, while any non-leftwing target will be indicted, convicted, and jailed—for the same alleged offenses.”

By Victor Davis Hanson 

March 18, 2024 

I thought Mr. Hanson laid out his argument in a very straight forward, logical way. After some thought on my part, I concluded that it isn’t so much non-leftwing people who become the target, it’s more likely Trump supporters who end up with a target on their back, or Trump himself. 

 Mr. Hanson gives a couple of examples of federal employees who lied to Congress without any consequences, such as Homeland Security Advisor to President Obama, John Brennan, who lied about assassin drone missions near the Pakistani border not killing any civilians. Instead of being charged with perjury, a crime with up to a 5-year prison sentence, he was awarded the position of CIA Director in 2013. According to Mr. Hanson, the following year Brennan lied again to Congress about the CIA accessing senate staffer’s computers. Once again, no consequences for Brennan, who, after retiring, went to work for MSNBC/NBC as an analyst, where he supported the Russia Gate hoax. 

This is a quote from Hanson’s article:

“Some members of Congress referred a criminal complaint of perjury against Brennan to then Attorney General Eric Holder. Nothing happened. Again, one of the chiefs of the American national security community was exempted after lying to members of Congress.”

“As far as Eric Holder, he had earlier defied a congressional subpoena and was held in contempt by the House. The Department of Justice, however, chose not to pursue the complaint. Later in the Trump administration, Trump adviser Peter Navarro would be sentenced to four months in jail for similarly resisting a congressional subpoena. Was it a crime or not to resist a congressional subpoena?”

Here is the headline from a recent article in The Hill:

Justice Roberts rejects Navarro’s last-ditch bid to stay out of prison 

by Ella Lee – 03/18/24 5:34 PM ET

I believe Mr. Navarro turned himself in just a few days ago at a Miami, FL prison.

Another example Hanson gives is James Clapper, who, as Director of National Intelligence in 2013, lied to Congress about the NSA (National Security Agency) spying on American citizens. It was this televised questioning of Clapper and him saying the NSA didn’t spy on citizens, that was the determining factor for Edward Snowden to go ahead and release the NSA computer files to Glen Greenwald and the Guardian newspaper in 2013. As for James Clapper, there were no consequences, who went on to be a national security analyst for CNN and, according to Mr. Hanson, made the claim that Trump was a Putin asset.

Another quote from Hanson’s article:

“The Justice Department’s Inspector General concluded that Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director and interim director, had lied repeatedly to a variety of officials, including FBI Director James Comey, various FBI agents, and officials of the Office of the Inspector General. 

On some of these occasions, McCabe was sworn under oath.

Yet in 2020, the Department of Justice chose not to pursue the IG’s criminal referrals. McCabe went on to become an outspoken CNN News contributor. Note that Gen. Michael Flynn, Trump’s National Security Advisor, was indicted—and convicted—for similarly lying to the FBI in 2017.”

Two of the people Hanson mentions, Flynn and Navarro, were Donald Trump’s advisors. 

In 2016 the FBI investigated Hillary Clinton concerning the use of private computer servers to transmit classified documents and came to the conclusion that, although it was wrong, no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case. Once again, wrong doing by a federal employee and no consequences. I believe Clinton was Secretary of State at the time.

One more quote from Mr. Hanson’s article:

“In 2018, the now-former FBI Director James Comey on some 245 occasions claimed under oath to Congress that he did not know or could not remember essential facts in the FBI Crossfire Hurricane investigation of Donald Trump, which he had authorized. 

In addition, the Office of the Inspector General of the Justice Department found that Comey had broken the law by violating both DOJ and FBI policies, as well as the FBI’s employment agreement—especially by retaining in his personal safe copies of four bureau memos concerning a confidential conversation with President Trump. 
Elements in the memos from that meeting likely contained classified information. Yet Comey leaked it to a friend without a security clearance in order to make it public. Despite the damning IG report, the Department of Justice chose not to prosecute Comey.”

The last case I’ll discuss is the storage of classified documents by both Trump and Biden. There are differences between these two cases, apparently both were in the wrong, but only one of these men is being prosecuted. Special prosecutor Robert Hur reported that Biden had documents going back to his days as a Senator and had shown some documents to a ghostwriter he was using to write his memoirs, which according to journalist Hanson, Biden had received an $8 million advance for a book deal. 

One final quote from Mr. Hanson’s article:

“After reviewing Biden’s culpability, Hur chose not to prosecute him. As he put it, “Our investigation uncovered evidence that President Biden willfully retained and disclosed classified materials after his vice presidency, when he was a private citizen.”

And why the exemption? Hur explained his reasons further:

“We have also considered that, at trial, Mr. Biden would likely present himself to a jury, as he did during our interview of him, as a sympathetic, well-meaning, elderly man with a poor memory. Based on our direct interactions with and observations of him, he is someone for whom many jurors will want to identify reasonable doubt. It would be difficult to convince a jury that they should convict him—by then a former president well into his eighties—of a serious felony that requires a mental state of willfulness.”

I’ll leave it up to the reader to draw his or her own conclusion. For me, it’s hard to disagree with those who claim there is a double standard in the DOJ. 

About Victor Davis Hanson 

Victor Davis Hanson is a distinguished fellow of the Center for American Greatness and the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is an American military historian, columnist, a former classics professor, and scholar of ancient warfare. He has been a visiting professor at Hillsdale College since 2004, and is the 2023 Giles O’Malley Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy, Pepperdine University. Hanson was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2007 by President George W. Bush, and the Bradley Prize in 2008. Hanson is also a farmer (growing almonds on a family farm in Selma, California) and a critic of social trends related to farming and agrarianism. He is the author most recently of The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won, The Case for Trump and the recently released The Dying Citizen, and the forthcoming The End of Everything (May 7, 2024).. 

Link to Mr. Hanson’s article: https://amgreatness.com/2024/03/18/guilty-but-not-really-guilty/

cover photo: Lady Justice

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *