The Justice Department Delegitimizes Itself

The ideal of justice is a blindfolded woman poised and still and holding slowly balancing scales. At the Department of Justice over the last several years, the practice of justice is more like an inflatable flailing tube man.  

In the lead-up to the 2016 election, everyone thought that federal prosecutors would decide whether to charge Hillary Clinton based on whether she knowingly violated a law that bars mishandling of classified material. It turned out that then-FBI Director James Comey would decide on the basis of what he thought was “reasonable.” After initially letting Clinton off, the tube man flailed right and Comey, breaking procedure against commenting on a pending investigation, announced that the Clinton probe was on again.   

The Justice Department only got worse from there. Comey told the country that one reason not to charge Clinton was that the government had never before charged someone for conduct similar to hers. Yet after Comey, the Department went on to spend years investigating Donald Trump, not only for conduct never before charged, but for crimes no one even knew were crimes—including rude tweets. A dusty old law chiefly prohibiting cheating the federal government out of money would be stapled to Trump’s tweets and taped to an obstruction-of-justice charge and then the president was going to be marched off to prison for conspiracy to steal an election—or so the Department led the country’s credulous Left to believe for years.  

Gone are the days of Comey’s somewhat evenhanded blundering. The flailing man’s hands are now in an unmistakable search for the necks of its political opponents. Consider the unruly Capitol protest following the 2020 election. For the protesters, the Department has dusted off the charge of “seditious conspiracy.”   

The last time the department pursued seditious conspiracy charges, in 2010, it went after a group of Christian nationalists. The charges were thrown out of court. The last time the department made the charge stick was about 30 years ago—against Islamic terrorists who plotted to blow up the FBI and United Nations headquarters. In that case, seditious conspiracy was icing atop an already well-baked cake of indisputable crime. 

But for the Capitol protesters, the charge is the essential means by which the government hopes to turn a protest into Pearl Harbor. Without seditious conspiracy, all the department can serve its political masters for dessert are uncoordinated offenses against the public peace, mostly misdemeanors like trespass, in a protest otherwise well within the guarantee of the First Amendment.  

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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