As a result, the FBI’s only public influence on the election worked to Trump’s advantage.The history of the FBI shows how dangerous a politicized bureau can be. Edgar Hoover, the bureau treated the Constitution as a mere list of suggestions, tapping phones, breaking into homes, and suppressing political activists, particularly non-violent left-wing and civil-rights activists, because Hoover regarded them as domestic enemies.That asymmetry means that the FBI often responds to Republican or conservative criticism differently than it responds to criticism from Democrats.As I wrote in May, the FBI’s attempts to shield its reputation for political independence from conservative criticism has resulted in its actual political independence being compromised.Although both candidates were under investigation when the ballots were cast, then-FBI director James Comey defied Justice Department guidelines against taking “overt investigative steps” close to an election by holding a press conference excoriating Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton while declining to seek charges against her, and later announced, days before the election itself, that the FBI was reopening its inquiry into her handling of private information as secretary of state.
Which is just how the president who ran a campaign promising to imprison his political rival wants it.Comey’s July 2016 press conference excoriating Clinton, and his subsequent public letter announcing the investigation had been reopened, were attempts to pre-empt conservative criticism that the FBI was biased.Several FBI officials have been demoted or pushed out of the bureau because their actions or views might be taken as biased by Trump officials or their allies. Kanai, Feidlen, Firth, and Rees (2011) captured political attitudes on a single-tem measure where participants used a five-point scale to rate themselves from very liberal to very conservative.Even though this may seem like a simple measure, it accurately predicts an individual’s voting behaviors and has been used successfully to determine genetic contributions to political orientations. (2011) concluded that political liberalism and conservatism were correlated with brain structure....Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whose Justice Department oversees the FBI, has been largely silent in the face of the conservative attacks, despite his frequent jeremiads against alleged liberal demonization of law enforcement.