American democracy has survived since 1776 because our Constitution clearly defines an individual’s freedoms. It establishes a system of checks and balances with three separate but equal branches of government. Our Founding Fathers were advocates of limited government that afforded citizens protections from deprivation of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. The Monday FBI raid on President Trump’s residence stands to crack the foundation of our democracy and everything the Founders worked for 246 years later.
Independence and impartiality are core values of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ says that it “works each day to earn the public’s trust” and to pursue justice “without prejudice or improper influence.” Lady Justice is blind to symbolize America’s commitment to fairness and impartiality when an individual’s liberty is threatened. Our system isn’t perfect, but it’s the best. I’m confident Brittney Griner and all Americans imprisoned abroad would agree.
Watergate drew bipartisan condemnation in the early 1970s so intense that it forced President Nixon to resign rather than drag the country through a messy impeachment. It shocked the conscience of Americans that a sitting president could abuse the levers of power to cover up the surveillance of a rival political party. America survived a constitutional crisis because our system worked as the Founders had intended it. Due process and transparency were on display via months of congressional hearings and reporting. Indeed, the process was as important as the result by allowing the country to heal.
Since Watergate, America has waded through Iran-Contra, Monica Lewinsky, and Valerie Plame. However, over the last ten years a discernible pattern of government weaponization against political opponents has stained Democratic administrations. In 2013, the IRS reportedly targeted conservative organizations by denying and delaying the approval of their requests for tax exempt status. Lois Lerner, the head of the IRS Exempt Organizations Unit, twice appeared before Congress and pleaded the Fifth Amendment. Her refusal to testify was a powerful admission that the IRS scandal rose to the highest levels despite the Obama administration’s nonchalant attempts to blame two low level employees in Cincinnati. The DOJ concluded a tepid investigation by sending a Friday letter to Congress concluding no crimes had been committed, but two years later the agency apologized. The scandal left a scar for conservatives. Now Democrats want to give the IRS 87,000 new agents.
In 2016, President Obama’s DOJ relied on a Democrat opposition research document to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil President Trump’s campaign as part of operation “Crossfire Hurricane.” The allegation was that members of the Trump campaign were colluding with the Russian government to gain an electoral advantage. The investigation produced the appointment of a special counsel, countless false revelations in the media, and no evidence of collusion by President Trump. However, a lead FBI agent working on the investigation, Peter Strzok, was removed from Robert Mueller’s team and fired over text messages revealing substantial bias against Trump. FBI attorney Kevin Clinesmith also pleaded guilty to making a false statement about altering an email relied upon to obtain a FISA warrant. We recently learned that Hillary Clinton allegedly approved planting a false story to feed the narrative and the worst dirty trick in political history came full circle.
On Monday, President Biden’s attorney general obtained a search warrant and personally approved a raid on the home of Biden’s presumptive opponent for president in 2024, former President Trump. The unprecedented action apparently involves a records dispute with the National Archives and a search for documents related to nuclear weapons. However, even after Merrick Garland’s public statement, little is still known. President Trump isn’t an ordinary citizen. The raid is a disturbing show of force that follows a Democratic pattern of leveraging government power to attack political adversaries. “What can they do to me?” Republicans are left to contemplate.
I’m a former prosecutor who worked on Capitol Hill during the IRS and Russia scandals. The lack of transparency and true accountability for the government’s targeting of political opponents cracked the foundation of our democracy by undermining the institutions of government designed by the Founders to prevent that very thing. The FBI raid on President Trump’s home has blown the crack into a hole because it smacks of political targeting once again — even Democrats Andrew Cuomo and Andrew Yang agree. 74 million Americans currently have much less trust in their government than they did on Sunday night, and that should concern all Americans.
Chuck Flint is an attorney and former U.S. Senate chief of staff. He was previously an Assistant State Attorney in Florida prior to working on Capitol Hill.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Daily Wire.