• Donald V. Watkins

It's Time to Prosecute "Rogue" Prosecutors and FBI Agents

Updated: May 11

A Commentary

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on May 10, 2020

Rogue prosecutors and FBI agents tried to take down President Donald J. Trump from 2017 to 2019. It was a classic coup d'état. Former FBI Director James Comey, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and their team of rogue prosecutors and FBI agents destroyed the lives of many of Trump's friends and associates in search of any law enforcement angle to nail the President. In February 2020, President Trump had this to say about them: "Look how they have hurt people. They've destroyed the lives of people that were great people .... Their lives have been destroyed by scum. Okay, by scum."

While Trump was a presidential candidate, two rogue FBI agents -- Peter Strzok and Lisa Page -- tried to stop his election as president by using the awesome power of the FBI to target, investigate, and intimidate law abiding American citizens who were connected to Trump and/or his campaign. This scheme was concocted and implemented while Strzok and Page were in the midst of their steamy extramarital love affair.

Robert Mueller's rogue prosecutors investigated and prosecuted Roger Stone solely because he was Donald Trump's close personal friend. After Stone's conviction on process crimes (i.e., lying to Congress, obstruction, etc.), these rogue prosecutors asked Stone's trial judge to give him a Draconian sentence that was not warranted under the facts and circumstances of his case. To his credit, Attorney General William Barr had to step in to prevent this manifest injustice.

Rogue prosecutors and FBI agents also destroyed the lives of former Trump presidential campaign manager Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos simply because they were associated with the Trump Campaign. In the same investigation of the Trump Campaign's alleged collusion with Russia (which has now been debunked on multiple occasions by multiple agencies), Mueller's prosecutors violated Department of Justice (DOJ) standards of professionalism to extract a guilty plea from former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. As a result, the DOJ formally dropped charges against Flynn on Thursday.

Obama-era rogue federal prosecutors indicted, tried, and convicted two of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christy's staff members -- Bridget Anne Kelly and William Baroni -- on trumped up "honest services" fraud charges over the infamous "Bridgegate" controversy. Their convictions were overturned last week by the U.S. Supreme Court on a 9-0 vote. This case evidences a clear abuse of prosecutorial power over a 7-year period.

In March, rogue federal prosecutors in Boston were caught cheating in Hollywood actress Lori Loughlin's college admissions bribery case. These prosecutors deliberately withheld 309 pages of notes made by their star witness from Loughlin's defense team. The notes were exculpatory in nature and were favorable to Loughlin's defense. Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are set to go to trial in October in a case that should be dismissed for prosecutorial misconduct.

None of this is new. In 1963, the rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents who ran the COINTELPRO program tried to make Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., commit suicide. They also called King the "most dangerous Negro" in America. They labeled him a "thug," a "filthy animal," and an "evil, abnormal beast."

The list of professional misconduct by rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents is endless and nationwide in scope. For the most part, they are accountable to no one.

Past Presidents Have Failed to Stop Rogue Prosecutors and FBI Agents

Rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents have been out of control for a very long time. President John F. Kennedy never trusted them. President Kennedy appointed his brother Bobbie Kennedy as Attorney General to keep a watchful eye on these rogues while the president and his brother engaged in sexual escapades inside and out of the White House.

President Bill Clinton was too busy having sexual relations with White House intern Monica Lewinski to tackle the growing problem of rogue prosecutors and FBI agents. When Clinton did call upon these DOJ officials, it was to get a same-day pardon for fugitive Marc Rich while Clinton was lusting over Rich's voluptuous wife in the Oval office.

President George W. Bush had Vice President Dick Cheney watching over the rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents. While these DOJ officials were busy expanding the definition of political crimes under the "honest services" category of fraud crimes, they missed all of the red flags leading up to the 9/11 terrorists attacks on America. Nearly 3,000 Americans died because rogue prosecutors and FBI agents were consumed with manufacturing political crimes like the prosecution of former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman for bribery.

The political ménage à trois of President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Attorney General Eric holder was simply too weak and too distracted by Obama's celebrity status to stop prosecutorial misconduct by rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents. DOJ lawlessness ramped up on Obama's watch. What is worse, these three men did absolutely nothing to address and curb the only legalized form of slavery in the United States that targets Americans of color and poor people -- the disproportionate intake of inmates of color in federal penal colonies. Furthermore, Obama, Biden, and Holder left 63-year-old grandmother and first-time, non-violent, drug offender Alice Marie Johnson to languish in a federal prison until her death, while failing to prosecute a single Wall Street bank chief executive officer for the $13 trillion in financial fraud that caused the U.S. economy to collapse in 2008. Fortunately, President Trump freed Ms. Johnson after 23 years of imprisonment.

Federal Judges Are Afraid of These Rogues

Federal magistrates and district court judges, who should be policing prosecutorial misconduct in their courtrooms, are afraid of rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents because these federal law enforcement agents will turn on judges as quickly as they will turn on ordinary Americans. Because of the close collaboration between FBI agents and prosecutors, these DOJ rogues know the dark, seedy side of federal judges and U.S. magistrates. They know who's an alcoholic, who's popping prescription pills while conducting trials, who is sleeping with courtroom deputies, law clerks, and court reporters, and who has personal financial problems. They often use this embarrassing personal information to intimidate and control judges and magistrates.

This control gives rogue prosecutors and FBI agents a license to lie to grand juries, magistrates, trial judges, and appellate judges. They feel free to: (a) target potential defendants for political or personal reasons, (b) manufacture phony criminal charges against political figures, controversial activists, Hollywood celebrities, unpopular public figures, and other "undesirables," (c) encourage pro-government witnesses to give testimony that is known to be false and misleading, (d) withhold or suppress evidence that is favorable to the defense, and (e) hijack the courtrooms of judges who are known to be weak, dumb, compromised, and/or lazy.

Federal judges and magistrates rarely hold federal prosecutors accountable for complying with ethical rules of conduct that apply to other licensed attorneys who appear in their courtrooms. Too often, they look for lame excuses to forgive ethical lapses by rogue prosecutors.

The American Bar Association is silent on this troublesome issue. The same is true for the Federal Judges Association and all 50 state bar associations.

Epilogue

Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who headed the Bureau from 1924 to 1972, would be proud of today's rogue federal prosecutors and FBI agents. He is their idol. They epitomize Hoover's arrogance and lawlessness. This is especially true for the rogue prosecutors and FBI agents in Southern states who continue to carry out Hoover's COINTELPRO operations, albeit on an informal, discreet basis.

In the 1950s, Hoover weaponized the DOJ as a force for political intimidation and for crushing dissent on public policy issues he opposed. Hoover was an overt racist and staunch enemy of civil liberties. Under Hoover's watch, the DOJ used its power to pick winners and losers in the political arena. This is a tradition that continues today.

Rogue prosecutors and FBI agents tried to prevent the election of President Donald J. Trump. After Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in 2016, Robert Mueller and his band of rogue prosecutors and FBI agents tried to overthrow his presidency. This bold move constituted a coup d'etat that was green-lighted by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who made up a flimsy excuse for recusing himself from Mueller's Russia investigation so that Trump-hater Rod Rosenstein could supervise and direct the probe. This coup d'etat failed, miserably.

Today, President Donald Trump is doing something past presidents have failed to do -- he is attacking corruption and misconduct within the ranks of federal prosecutors and FBI agents. This is one more substantive way Trump is distinguishing himself from the criminal justice failures of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Now is the time for Trump to direct Attorney General William Barr to prosecute rogue prosecutors and FBI agents. If Trump does not tackle this perennial problem within the federal criminal justice system, nobody will.




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© 2020 by Donald V. Watkins, P.C.