You’d think Greg Gianforte would show more appreciation for law enforcement. After all, despite violently assaulting a reporter in front of witnesses, Bozeman law enforcement officers let him drive away from the crime scene to enjoy hours of silence to improve his chances of winning an election, and even though Gianforte lied to those same law enforcement officers about the assault, he didn’t face charges for obstruction or lying to a peace officer.
Instead of being grateful for the way he was treated, Gianforte has decided to turn on law enforcement, this week attacking the FBI for doing its job. In a prepared statement
And Mr. Chairman, if you have to investigate something — if your fever just won’t break — maybe you could bring in Inspector General Horowitz from the Justice Department to discuss the actions of the FBI, CIA, and Special Counsel. Maybe you could do more than take a shallow look at the deep state.”
I know you have to say some foolish and despicable things to stand out in the Republican Party these days, but Gianforte’s remarks go well beyond the insult he offered to law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line, intelligence agents who work to protect our national security, and even the Robert Mueller, the combat veteran and former FBI director who has served administrations from both political parties.
His remarks are dangerous.
In a world in which more and more conservatives believe every conspiracy theory about gun confiscation, government efforts to restrict the rights of Americans, and nefarious globalization schemes that fuel their paranoid fantasies, it’s breathtakingly irresponsible for a member of Congress and gubernatorial candidate to give these fantasies credence. They undermine our democratic norms and inflame the passions of those who, while loaded with certainty about foreign and domestic affairs, often know the least.
The truth, of course, is that President Trump is being investigated because he’s a danger not to some shadowy state or “the swamp,” but to our country and its laws. Aside from his efforts to enrich himself as President in violation of the Constitution, his campaign finance violations, his coterie of incompetent and criminal officials and staffers, he is conducting American foreign policy to benefit himself at the expense of our national security.
As former National Security Analyst John Schindler notes:
Many spies distrust the commander-in-chief, which is why some of our secret agencies are withholding highly classified intelligence from a White House they think is penetrated by Russian intelligence.
The Russia angle is most troubling to the IC. Behind closed doors, plenty of American intelligence experts believe that President Trump is the pawn of the Kremlin, wittingly or not, and assess that it’s only a matter of time before unseemly Moscow ties are exposed and the White House enters unsurvivable political crisis.
Read that again carefully: a former NSA analyst says that the intelligence community is afraid that the Trump White House has been compromised by Russian spies. And Gianforte believes Congress should not investigate?
The recent news (broken by those well-known liberals at the Wall Street Journal) about Trump’s conversations with Ukrainian officials underscore just how dangerously corrupt and unstable Trump has been.
Instead of fulfilling his constitutional duty to check the President, Greg Gianforte has sold his soul to Trump for the fleeting promise of his electoral support and he’s impugned the law enforcement officers at the FBI and officers in other agencies that Republicans used to support to do so.
Of course, I’m not suggesting that law enforcement and intelligence agencies are beyond criticism, but “deep state” histrionics that aren’t rooted in evidence don’t check abuses of power and don’t serve the national interest.
When the history of the Trump Administration is written, Greg Gianforte’s cowardly endorsement of absurd conspiracy theories to prop up a doddering, corrupt President will perhaps only be a footnote, but today, they should serve as clear evidence that he is neither qualified nor decent enough to be our Representative in Congress or our governor.